By Matt Montgomery
Piedmont City Councilmen Donnie Robinson and Al Gleichmann will run unopposed in the Piedmont City Council election on April 1. The filing period deadline for the City of Piedmont general election expired Wednesday, Feb. 5. No one filed to run for election against the two current council members in wards three and five, Robinson (Ward five) and Gleichmann (Ward three).
Robinson said this council will face some of the same issues in the budget cycle they’ve faced in the past including road repairs, maintaining a police department, getting new businesses in Piedmont and cutting the budget.
“I think we have a pretty stable council right now,” Robinson said. “I think we have an outstanding planning commission that does their due diligence in preparing things for us (city council).”
He said the city council must be very cautious in their approach on various issues and following proper guidelines.
Robinson has been a council member for many years and said budget issues are common for any council.
“You can go and set a budget then you can have something like a fire engine go down,” Robinson said. “You’ve got the unforeseen out there also. While you may have budgeted money for a project, an emergency comes up so you have to put that on hold. There’s always the unknown that’s out there, but the known is you’ve got to run a police department, a fire department, got to have a city hall, got to have road work done constantly and have equipment.”
Robinson said the City of Piedmont has been working to repair the roads in Piedmont. He said with a little bit of luck, the city will get to fix three to four miles of road in 2014. He said the city is constantly doing road projects that all of the residents might not know about, especially the rural roads around Piedmont.
He said in the future, a big road project will require another bond issue. Piedmont faced it’s first ever General Obligation Bond issue for road repairs in April 2013. The citizens voted that one down, which would have allotted money to fix a majority of some of the major roads in Piedmont.
Robinson said he felt like if the bond issue last April would have been prepared a little better, it might have had more success passing by the voters.
“I think it was done in too rushed of a time,” Robinson said. “The first one that you put out there is always a tough one. That was the first bond issue that the City has ever put out there for roads. I think the City learned a lot from it. It was kind of an educational process, also. We need to step back and take a look and see how the cities do it, that are experienced at doing it, and getting input from them.”
Robinson said he is very confident that this council will work hard. He said there is nothing wrong with disagreements, because that’s how the facts get straightened out.
Gleichmann said that the council needs to tighten the budget. He said one of the biggest things he wants to get accomplished is fixing the roads in Piedmont.
“I look forward to serving all of the people in my ward three,” Gleichmann said. “If they have a problem, call me. I don’t always find out about the problems at first. Give me an idea what the people want.”
Gleichmann said he wants the residents in his ward to call him to let him know about issues in his ward.
He wants to know what the residents think needs to be cut from the budget or things in general that need to be accomplished. He can be reached at 373-2018.
“I want people to give me opinions,” he said. “That way, you can find out what the people really want out there. If somebody lets me know about a road or if I discover a road then I get a hold of Jim (Crosby) and see what we can do about it.”
The next scheduled Piedmont City Council meeting is set for 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 24 at the George Fina Municipal Building, located on Edmond Road, just west of Piedmont Road.