Bob Hall of South Bend is running as an incumbent for City Council Position No. 5. Hall is running against Kathy Balcom. Hall answered questions from the Willapa Harbor Herald about his candidacy.
Give us a little background to the voters about yourself. Resident of South Bend since 1968. Retired from teaching 5th and 6th grades at South Bend after 34 years. Married 42 years to wife Nancy, who retired from Raymond Elementary after 32 years. Currently I continue to substitute at South Bend and Raymond schools. I returned to the South Bend City Council in 2009 and have been mayor pro tem since that time (which means conducting council meetings when the Mayor is absent). Some of my other community connections are: South Bend representative to the Administrative Board of the North Pacific County Emergency Medical Services (ambulances), volunteer South Bend Police Reserve Harbormaster, Timberland Regional Library Pacific County Trustee. I am also a member of the South Bend Library Friends, Willapa Harbor Gun Club, and Pacific County Historical Society. My wife is a volunteer to the Historical Society.
Why should voters cast their ballot for you instead of your opponent? Experience and common sense. Also I would expect someone running would make themselves aware of current issues facing the city. Julie Struck and Pat Neve have been regularly attending council meetings since filing. My opponent has yet to attend.
What is the biggest problem facing the city of South Bend and what would you do to try to fix it? Lack of funds and I do not have an easy answer, but I am always interested in suggestions from anyone.
Because the city is facing a budget shortfall, South Bend residents are facing another rate increase on their water bill. Do you have another idea how the city can generate revenue? The water, sewer, and garbage are all utilities and are required by state law to have independent accounts and generate their own revenue. The water plant and sewer plants did benefit from some grants and low interest loans but in order to repay the loans and operating expenses our rates are higher than any of us like to pay.
Does South Bend have an infrastructure problem? If so, what is your plan to fix it? Where would you start and how would you get the money? Infrastructure needs (streets, water and sewer systems) continue and are constantly worked on by the public works crew and city supervisor. We always seek any outside money available, such as for streets or the water and sewer utilities but such sources are very limited currently.
Have you studied the budget? What would you cut from the budget and what would you add into the budget? Of course I have studied the budget, but currently do not see areas that are possible to change significantly.
If there’s anything you’d like to say, please do so.
I have stood for transparency of government and defended the right of citizens to share their input at council meetings. I believe my experience brings an important value to the position. I believe in honesty and ethics and will not make promises that cannot be kept.