Masterson seeks second term in District 1Published 12:03am Saturday, June 30, 2012
Russellville City Councilman Jeff Masterson has announced his plans to seek a second term representing District 1.
“I humbly seek a second term to Russellville City Council,” Masterson said.
“I would love to serve another four years and see what we could accomplish under better economic conditions, as we seem to have turned a corner. I know every family has had challenges making ends meet and likewise the last four years have been financially tough on local governments.
“We’ve spent our term proceeding cautiously as we’ve kept our heads above water in providing basic services, honoring retiree/employee benefits and being good stewards of the city’s funds. I’m proud of the fact that with the hard work of our department heads and employees managing their budgets, we were able to keep everyone employed with no furloughs or wage reductions. Also we were able to help our schools financially, and hopefully, preserved some teacher jobs along the way in supporting our students. Our school system is a major asset and responsibility to the city and it’s been my pleasure to help preserve that.
“In my opinion, the biggest issue our administration has faced was the legal alcohol sales. Whether one agreed with it or not, it was voted in by the majority and we were charged with the responsibility of writing an ordinance to police it. Not everyone got everything they wanted in it, but I think we did a fair job of it. It wasn’t perfect, but we’ve tweaked it along the way as its a work in progress to ensure Russellville remains a town we are proud to call home.
“The truth is that our police department has done an outstanding job of enforcing the ordinance and the legal sales have brought in extra revenue that’s allowed us to help support the schools, approve our employees a much deserved five-percent across the board raise and start building some reserves to help improve the town.
“If re-elected I will continue to vote to ensure the sales are regulated and our town is a safe place to shop, go to school and raise a family.
“Most recently, with some redirecting of gas funds that this administration has implemented, we’ve begun an ambitious paving project in the city that will improve our streets. The paving has been a long time coming, but in hindsight we built our gas tax street maintenance fund to allow us to pay as we go with the monies we have and avoid borrowing. Each councilman had to be patient and at times it was trying because the public demands and deserves its streets maintained.
“One goal I have been able to assist in accomplishing in my district was the road that was built that allowed the Country Hills Estates to have an exit when the railroad tracks were blocked. I campaigned on that goal, and it was a major satisfaction in seeing it completed.
“I will continue to promote our town to business and industry, support our employees and schools and vote against unnecessary purchases that would prevent us from building reserves and running an efficient government.
“I’ve looked and will continue to seek ways to help our employees and retirees lower their health insurance costs. In reality there’s just no easy fix, but we must look further. It’s hard to say no sometimes, but this economy is still fragile and we just can’t live beyond our means. We will, however, remain assertive in cleaning up the city, both privately owned and city owned property. We have made progress in that area as we have torn down many empty homes and buildings.
“I will also work with the chief of police to do a better job of getting the city inmates out more often in litter detail when manpower allows.
“Two of the biggest concerns I’m asked about frequently are bringing a steak house to Russellville and a lack of things for our teens to do. Addressing the teen issues, the council and I initiated The Mayors Youth Council through RCS to include the youth’s discussion and suggestions for the town. Its amazing the brilliant ideas and information they contributed. I share their goal of bringing a new state of the art library to main street.
“In the next term we must look for grant money to do this and also do a better job of meeting with the youth.
“The annual July 4th fireworks, music and car show this council initiated has been a big success that hopefully will lead to private investors building some type of water park here. The city owned property across from Sloss Lake would be an ideal location for city officials to promote for that. This land could also house a sports complex for our girls programs if we can seek out grants to help fund it.
“Most recently I’ve been in contact with an individual who’s considering opening a steak house in Russellville as the chains are not at this time receptive to building in this economy. Also it may be time to revisit with retail recruitment services to help us place a steak house here.
“If re-elected I will continue to carry my constituents concerns to city hall. If you live in my district, I’ve returned your calls in a timely manner and tried to help resolve your issues. I’ll never forget, I represent you, government for the people not people for the government. In the last four years I know I made mistakes. Like all of us, there’s been votes on issues I wish I had back, but all I ever promised and continue to promise is to do the right thing. Again I humbly ask you for your consideration and support.”
Masterson is employed by Norfolk Southern Railroad as a mechanical inspector, he also serves as a labor representative for Carman’s local 6060. He owns and operates a cattle and grain farm and is a bank advisory board member at Community Spirit Bank. He’s married to Leah Hester Masterson, a 4th grade teacher at Russellville Elementary.
Jeff and Leah are both 1982 graduates of Russellville High School.
Together they have two daughters Julie (16) and Jill (14) who are students and cheerleaders at RCS.