Candidates meet, greet potential voters in Providence
PROVIDENCE -- Meeting the candidates for City Council was the main agenda at last week's council meeting.
The candidates were given time to introduce themselves and tell residents in attendance of their reasons for seeking council seats.
Wendy R. Simmons said she has lived in Providence for 19 years and wants to see more safety measures implemented there.
"I am concerned mainly with the safety of this city," Simmons said. "I want people to tell us of their concerns."
Simmons said she had already spent 13 hours knocking on doors of Providence residents introducing herself and letting the citizens know what she can do for them if elected.
Candidate Dennis Nelson said he has lived in Providence for 14 years and that this is his second attempt at running.
"I'm not running to gain friends," Nelson said, "but I think you have to be consistent for the betterment of the city."
Nelson said he wants to see more involvement and better communication between the citizens of Providence. "The communication with them is important because we need to get the citizens view."
Four-year council veteran Paul Cook agreed with Nelson's ideas for more community involvement.
"We instituted a 24-hour police protection four years ago," Cook said. "We didn't have that when I came here. We also instituted a Neighborhood Watch and want to see that grow and expand."
Cook said it is the safety and planning that will create prosperity.
"It's the citizens that make the community great," Cook said. "We need to reach out, let the people know that we care and that we are trying to meet the needs of the people."
Candidate Dwight D. Cook complemented those words about serving the citizens if elected. He said despite the two openings on the Council and the other great candidates running against him, he decided to stay in the race to try and benefit the citizens.
"I'll do the best to serve the citizens if they want me," Dwight said.
Incumbent Jay C. Hicken, who has lived in Providence for more than 30 years and served on the council for six years, said he wants to try and avoid individual agendas.
"My goal is to participate with the council and specifically work with the water, the streets of the city and the sewers," Hicken said. "I enjoy what I'm doing, but we have challenges, especially with the sewers."
Hicken said council members need to let more citizen committees get involved.
Candidate Ronald S. Liechty, who has lived in Providence for 46 years, said he has never really been interested in politics of the city until now.
"I believe growth is a big issue with our city," Liechty said. "We have to grow to stay alive, but at the same time, it needs to be done properly to match what we have. We also need to protect our heritage."
After the citizens briefly met the candidates, the public was then able to ask questions to the panel of nominees in which they each had approximately one minute to respond with their point of view on the issue.
The council election will be held on Nov. 2.