Ward 2 can­di­date: Larry Wilms

The Weekly Vista - - News -

• Back­ground

Larry Wilms has lived in Bella Vista for 13 years af­ter mov­ing from south­east Wis­con­sin.

Wilms said he has about 45 years to­tal ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ments in a wide va­ri­ety of po­si­tions.

His re­sume lists 21 years work­ing as a con­sult­ing en­gi­neer for cities and util­ity dis­tricts, more than 11 years work­ing as a city en­gi­neer and as­sis­tant city en­gi­neer, 13 years as a wa­ter and san­i­tary sewer sys­tem man­ager and util­ity en­gi­neer and his cur­rent work for the city of Cen­ter­ton in the plan­ning de­part­ment.

He’s served in mul­ti­ple ad­min­is­tra­tive roles on the ser­vice club and pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tion groups.

Wilms is an ac­tive mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Wa­ter Works as­so­ci­a­tion and cur­rently serves on the Board of Zon­ing Ad­just­ment for Bella Vista.

“My ex­pe­ri­ence and back­ground bring a depth that prob­a­bly no other can­di­date brings to the ta­ble,” he said.

• On city coun­cil

Wilms said he be­lieves a coun­cil mem­ber’s re­spon­si­bil­ity is “to gov­ern a lo­cal com­mu­nity in the best

in­ter­est of its ci­ti­zens in the short and long term.”

Their work should be ef­fi­cient and eco­log­i­cal, he said.

The city also has ex­cel­lent po­lice, fire and streets de­part­ments, which coun­cil mem­bers need to be able to pro­vide a good vi­sion for.

If elected, Wilms said he

would like to build eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment by estab­lish­ing a mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sys­tem, which is nec­es­sary to pro­vide wa­ter to non POA prop­erty within the city.

“We have lots of va­cant land,” he said. “De­vel­op­ment there needs a city wa­ter de­part­ment.”

• The is­sues

The city is fac­ing a series of sig­nif­i­cant ex­penses, he said, in­clud­ing a new city hall and po­lice sta­tion and fire de­part­ment train­ing fa­cil­ity,

in ad­di­tion to the on­go­ing main­te­nance of city in­fra­struc­ture. It will be im­por­tant for coun­cil mem­bers to pri­or­i­tize these needs, he said.

The city and POA have sep­a­rate func­tions and ob­jec­tives, he said, with the POA ex­ist­ing to serve mem­bers and the city re­spon­si­ble for ev­ery­one within its bounds.

“Both have im­por­tant func­tions for Bella Vista and it’s im­por­tant that they are able to work to­gether as two or­ga­ni­za­tions

for the bet­ter­ment of Bella Vista,” he said.

With on­go­ing growth, he said, the city has plenty of space that can be used to make more homes, most of which al­ready has wa­ter and sep­tic avail­able.

“Our growth fo­cus re­ally needs to be for com­mer­cial and other types of de­vel­op­ment for em­ploy­ment and… tax rev­enue,” he said. “We have land for that com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment … the lim­i­ta­tion is lack of city wa­ter ser­vice.”

WILMS

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