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Felix Dias for Lamar Mayor

 

Courtesy Photo from Mike Bowen

 

Felix Dias, the challenger candidate for Mayor of Lamar in the November 7th election, responded to several questions from The Prowers Journal regarding his candidacy.

 

What is the one best thing that can be done to open doors to new businesses in Lamar?

“If we could get a large scale business operation like a distribution system of trucks that run through Lamar, it could help grow our businesses in other areas. We could use Lamar as a central point for picking up and hauling trailers to transport goods and materials.  Look at the Pilot J truck stop that’s being built.  Jobs will be created and more people could learn about our community and its position on the highways.  That could be a good start for us.”

How well do you think the Urban Redevelopment Authority has served to aid businesses?

“Truthfully, I’d have to give that some thought. For example, though, with the Flying J coming in, that means the value of that developed property increases which can be used by the Authority.  The Authority is heading in the right direction, but it could use some more fine tuning.”

What are your thoughts about Lamar’s housing shortage? How can the city aid in that area?

“Whatever we can do will be great. It could bring more families into our area, but would the city have the money to build houses for someone to buy?  I think if a development could be built in areas of the town it would be affordable and beneficial and a way to accommodate more people under just one project.”

There are reports of a national epidemic of opioid abuse and effects on marijuana legalization. How prevalent do you think that is in Lamar?

“I know we have a local problem. There have been around five drug overdoses in our community in the past year and even one or two is a problem that has to be fixed.  It impacts all of us where we’re a small community and we all know one another.   It’s hard when you go into a store or meet with someone and you see a family where someone in it has had drug problems.  It especially makes you want to be able to do something so it doesn’t repeat itself and grow in our town.”

Do you think Lamar will follow the legalization of marijuana like other communities?

“I think we need more information before we take any action. We need to talk to other communities and see what happened in their towns.  That will help us with the pros and cons on it.  I know towns are doing it for the revenue it creates, who wouldn’t?  But we need to explore all the options and see what the residents really want.”

How effective is the mayor when working with the Council and Administrator? How do you view your role?

“For me, I would take more of a supervisor role, to make sure everyone is doing their job in the city and not wasting time from one point to the next. I don’t want to overspend, but to be sure that all of our department heads are responsible and keep a watch on their funding.”

On how funds could be spent on a successful ARPA settlement.

“Just like the IRS has rebates, we could use some of that settlement money to help ourselves with matching grants for programs that aid the community. Those dollars could be put to work on our housing problem and to help improve and clean up our neighborhoods.” 

What do you think is the single biggest concern facing the city right now?

“Job development and making sure we have an economy that can grow and help our population begin to grow again.”

Why should you receive a vote to be Mayor of Lamar?

“I want to be able to bring a change to the town. I’m tired of hearing about drug overdoses and I would take the opportunity to get people to start making some positive changes.  That is one I’m leaving up to the voters, but over the summer at our ballparks, one of my good friends who knew how I loved being on the council, said, ‘Here comes the next mayor of Lamar!’  Well, that night, my wife and I started talking about what he said and we talked about the possibilities and what I could do to work from that position on the council.  We need to make changes for the better.  I moved here from Walsh when I was 13 and I know these neighborhoods in this town and many also feel it’s time for a change. I’ve had a lot of good feedback on my running.”

 

The same list of questions were asked of incumbent mayor, Roger Stanger, who is the other candidate for Lamar City Mayor and his responses will be available in the Prowers Journal online, and in a future Wednesday publication.

By Russ Baldwin

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