Four seats on November ballot
AVON – Think you’ve got what it takes to be a Avon town councilman?
It’s no easy job, current council members said.
It’s long hours dissecting complicated problems, and not to mention dealing with anyone and everyone who wants to make himself or herself heard, and trying to please as many people as possible at the end of the day.
“You’ve got to have thick skin,” said Councilman Mac McDevitt. “Especially as the town matures, there’s a lot more public involvement than there was before, which is good, but you’re obligated to listen and respond the best you can.”
After November’s elections, McDevitt will be able to let his thick skin smooth out. He and Councilwoman Debbie Buckley are term limited and can’t run for re-election.
Mayor Ron Wolfe and Councilman Brian Sipes’ terms are up but will run to keep their seats. Between everyone leaving or trying to avoid leaving, there are four council spots up for grabs.
But like the councilors have said time and time again, it’s not a job for just anyone. “Being a council person is not easy,” Wolfe said. “It takes a lot of preparation.”
And it’s more than just reading the material and showing up. Having a passion for the town is a requisite, councilors said, as is having an open mind.
“Try not to micromanage the staff,” Buckley said. “Let them do their job. We have a really good staff, and the chain of command is really important. That’s not to say I haven’t wanted to do it before, but I’ve tried not to.”
With Wildridge residents McDevitt and Buckley both leaving town council, McDevitt thinks the new additions to council should hail from Wildridge.
“More than half the voters are in Wildridge,” he said.
Although Buckley and McDevitt won’t be on council anymore, they still have hopes for what the new council will accomplish. Buckley said she would like to see improvements in Avon’s relationship with Traer Creek, the developer of Wal-Mart and The Home Depot.
She’d also like to see Avon continue to value recreation by building pocket parts, bike and walking trails.
“Certainly you’ve got to be persistent in unraveling the meat of each issue,” McDevitt said. “You just can’t think about it on the surface or listen to what your friend might tell you at a party. You’ve really got to dig into each issue.”
Still think you’re ready to get involved? Well, take care to not get too involved.
Many council members agreed Avon needs to continue work on affordable housing and transportation and responsibly manage the growth and development in town.
Nervous about the task ahead? It’s easy sailing until you actually get elected, said Councilwoman Amy Phillips.
“The real work starts after you’re elected,” Phillips said. “The getting elected part is actually pretty fun.”
Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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