Office seeking: Councilman Ward 5
Name: Randy Hammon
Occupation: Retired Electronics Process Engineer
Education: Electronics Engineering Degree from Devry University.
A little about myself: I've been married for 38 years to Sandra Cobler Hammon; two children and five grandchildren; been an active member of Gideons International for 23 years, and have worked with helps ministries on local levels. My church membership is with Central UMC where I am an active member. I enjoy physical activity and am a firm believer in a healthy lifestyle.
Why I am seeking office: I am seeking office in an effort to correct and improve the processes which the city has been using for the past 25 years. The main part of that process involves changing outdated ordinances, and stopping the spending of taxpayer's money on "special projects" which do not benefit the entire city. Spending needs to be in the environment of the taxpayer. We cannot stabilize the city and make it safe without changing emphasis and the process that it runs on.
The most pressing issue facing Meridian and what I will do to address it: Meridian's most pressing issue is failing to look at the root problems and changing in order to address these problems. I will ask the mayor and council to join forces to stabilize the city process by doing the following:
1) Stop any new spending for a minimum of two years, to concentrate spending on core services and city wide cleanup.
2) Reduce $7 million city overhead and the $5 million debt service by 5 percent to create a $600,000 starting block for city wide cleanup and stabilization of neighborhoods. Keep in mind that every city block generates $20,000 in taxes and we have lost a minimum of 600 to 800 square blocks at 50 percent. This translates to $6 million to $8 million in taxes each year for the last 10-20 years.
3) Immediately revise five to ten of the main city ordinances dealing with bad behavior. Reinforce them along with a city curfew to ultimately minimize crime MPD is now dealing with. Ordinances also deal with school behavior, before and after.
4) Revise and relax our codes for businesses. They need to be "friendlier" than other cities competing for them, so that prospective businesses will be interested in locating in Meridian. Clean up on a city wide level is also crucial to attract businesses, as they want a stable environment to invest in.
5) Immediate meeting to form a working relationship with builders association, Habitat for Humanity, and Americorps, to initiate city revitalization. While other cities have initiated programs with blight ordinances such as Safe City Strike Force, Livable City Initiative, Proactive Code Enforcement, and Vacant Property Prevention, we have none.
Why I feel I am most qualified to fill this position: My work career as well as my life outside of my career has been about solving problems. I have maintained this method of problem solving and can see it is lacking in our present administration. This makes me the most qualified to serve as Councilman of Ward 5.