Phillip Biston, Glen Moritz and Kevin Alm are running for the Kirksville City Council seat available in the April municipal election.
On April 3, Kirksville citizens will vote for the open city council position. Biston’s seat on the council is up for re-election, so he faces two challengers — Glen Moritz and Kevin Alm.
Biston was first elected April 2015 and is looking for a second term after a year as mayor. He said since he was elected, a lot has happened for Kirksville. Economic development and city infrastructure have been priorities. He said because he was on the council when these projects began, he would like to remain on and see them from start to finish.
Biston said he is highlighting the economic development of Kirksville in his campaign. In the last three years a number of businesses have opened or announced intentions to open in Kirksville, including Menards, Hobby Lobby, Marshalls and two hotels.
“Economic development is the key to everything,” Biston said. “Once you have economic development, you have growth, more people, and higher wages and jobs, which then helps generate more sales tax to improve Kirksville.”
Biston said he would also like to look at helping existing businesses in Kirksville flourish and would expect reasonable growth in coming years. Biston said he wants to improve the quality of life of Kirksville residents by addressing road concerns, creating more activities and improving amenities in the parks system.
“We have been doing well for the past two years,” Biston said. “So I am hoping for a lot of the same. The economic snowball doesn’t look like it is melting yet.”
Moritz previously held a city council seat from 2013-2016, holding both the mayor and mayor pro tem positions. Currently, he runs an airport shuttle service he founded in 2014 and is working on building a homeless shelter. Moritz said he is running because he would like to see more progress, accountability and transparency from the City Council. He said the Council does not do enough advanced planning and there is not clear, strong leadership.
Moritz said street improvements are an area he would like to address, along with development of the Kirksville airport and the surrounding area. He said he would like to see more attractions and businesses there, as well as improvement of the facility itself.
Moritz said he could provide strong leadership and direction to the City Council.
“I would give direction to departments and the city manager, instead of the other way around it seems to be right now,” Moritz said. “I would be more proactive with getting things done because right now [projects] are not being finished as quickly as they could [be].”
Moritz said he would work hard for Kirksville because of the passion he has for the city. He has organized door-to-door campaigns and yard signs to gain support, and said he encourages people to look at his current record and activity in the city to help decide their vote.
Alm is the only candidate in the race without prior experience on the Council, even though he has run before. He said he is running for City Council because he sees problems with the way the current council is run. Alm said the main issues he would like to address are the street problems and the city codes and planning department. These issues are important, he said, because they are what the citizens he has spoken to are concerned about.
Alm said he would like to see a total review of city codes and ordinances.
“Some of the ordinances are so old they need to be updated,” Alm said. “Some are irrelevant and need to be thrown out because now there are too many restrictions in place, and I don’t think that is fair.”
Alm said he would be receptive to the people of Kirksville, listening to their needs and what they want. He said hopes to make Kirksville better for everyone, bringing fresh ideas and listening to the ideas of the current Council members. He would also encourage more businesses and factories to locate to Kirksville.
The candidates will further discuss their platforms at the Chamber of Commerce Spring Candidate Forum on Tuesday, March 20.