The Glen-Willis House was buzzing with “good luck” wishes and “we’ll get it done again,” promises during Bill May’s fundraiser kickoff for the mayoral race.
May says he decided to run for another term – which would be his fourth – after hearing support from city employees and community members.
“I feel that it’s important for me to run because there would be a gap in city government experience if I didn’t,” May said.
About 40 friends, band mates and colleagues made their way through the Glen-Willis House to pick up their “May for Mayor” yard signs and show support for the current city commissioner.
Though May, who served as Frankfort’s mayor from 1996-2009, did not make a formal speech about his campaign, he told The State Journal his goals, if elected, focus on using his past successes with city government.
May is familiar with the city’s budget and says he’s learned the best way to cut a budget is to listen to the department directors.
“When we make cuts to the budget, we talk to the department heads to see where things can be cut because they’re the seasoned professionals,” he said.
“We always provided our employees with the best equipment we could afford, and I thought that was important, while still being able to have a good solid reserve account to use when needed,” May told the newspaper about his fiscal record.
However, he said he thinks starting the new pay-as-you-throw garbage program puts the city at a disadvantage financially.
During the garbage system discussions last year, May pushed to hire a sustainability coordinator to encourage recycling instead of starting the new program.
“I felt it was important to encourage the commission to not move in that direction until the community was comfortable,” he said.
Though May didn’t make a formal speech to his supporters at his event, he said he plans to continue with many of the initiatives and goals he set during his terms as mayor.
As for the remainder of his city commission term, he says aging equipment and longevity pay are items that should be addressed.
Longevity pay – that's set to phase out – was created as an incentive to keep employees and their experience in the city, May said.
“We were losing employees left and right, and the longevity pay plan was created to encourage folks to stay with city government and not go to the private sector where in many cases there is a lot higher salary,” he said.
When the city trains the employees and then they take their skills to another place, the city experiences a huge loss, he says.
“I would like to see something that will make a good fit for employees that the city can afford to do because they are the heart and soul of city government,” he said.
Donna Hecker and Kyle Thompson oppose May in the 2012 mayoral race. The primary will be May 22.