Two seasoned city councilmen and a political newcomer are vying for a chance to represent Ward 2 in Merriam.
Jim Wymer, John Crabtree and Julianne Clark are running for the open City Council seat in Tuesday’s primary. The top two finishers will compete in the April 2 general election.
Wymer, an Army veteran, said that if elected, he would study issues facing the city very carefully and only support decisions that are beneficial to Merriam. He thinks that before issues are automatically voted on, the other side of the story should be considered.
As a business owner for 30 years, he wants to use his expertise to watch for wasteful spending within the city budget and keep an eye out for city government overreaching its control.
The former city councilman also said he thinks residents should have an honest governing body.
“I, for one, have lived in Merriam since before Merriam became a city and I know more of the history of Merriam than most of the (city) staff will know by the time they find a better job and move on,” Wymer said. “I would like to salvage what heritage Merriam has that I see slipping away.”
Crabtree, on the other hand, would like to keep his council seat so he can help Merriam maintain its tremendous growth. He points out that while he has been on the council, the city has been able to hold steady the property tax rate, improve parks, maintain infrastructure and keep a balanced budget, all during a down economy.
If re-elected, the 41-year-old would also like to see expansion of the streamway trail, as well as continued development of Waterfall Park on Merriam Lane.
As a business owner, he hopes to see small, independent businesses fill Merriam’s downtown corridor.
“With the coming of Ikea, Hendricks, Lexus, QT and other big developments, we’ve seen our little city do some pretty big things,” said Crabtree. “Now we have to ask, what is the next big thing? I’m very proud of our city — we’re not done yet.”
Business in Merriam is also a high priority for Clark, a salon owner. She thinks Merriam residents should have more say in the decisions that directly affect them. She would like to not only be a voice for the people, but also provide positive solutions.
“There will be a lot of issues arising in the near future with the implementation of the Ikea store, traffic disruption, tax issues and additional development situations,” said Clark. “I want to do what I can to help the transition go as smoothly as possible and protect the interests of Merriam residents.”