Race for City Hall: Independent Candidate Weston Lindemann
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - With less than a week to go in the race to become Meridian’s next mayor, we are talking with the three candidates. We start with Independent candidate Weston Lindemann.
We begin with Lindemann’s approach to paving roads. He said it can be done in an efficient and cost effective way that doesn’t include borrowing money.
“The city has not had a budget for paving in over 30 years. I know my opponent wants to rely more on bonded borrowing because that’s the way, he says, they’ve always done it,” Lindemann said. “That’s why the streets look the way they do. We ended the last two budget years with $4 million left over. The city council has borrowed $6 million to pave streets but they have issued zero paving contracts since they borrowed that money. They could have budgeted for it and we would have gotten more accomplished in the same amount of time.”
Industrial growth is another topic where Lindemann said he has a plan. He said the city has continuously put money into resources that haven’t yielded results.
“One of the things that we are going to do is hire a lead generation service that gives me a list of companies that are looking to relocate,” Lindemann explained. “I will be doing everything I can to recruit them. We are going to be telling industries that use water as a primary component to their product that Meridian has the cleanest water in the country. That’s a fact and it’s something we are not marketing.”
On the topic of crime, Lindemann has many ideas and policies he would like to implement. He discussed three changes for the Meridian Police Department.
The first is to eliminate the personnel that are dragging the department down because of their involvement in criminal activity. That’s just point blank the way it is. We are going to get rid of that so we can retain more officers and actually be able to recruit people,” Lindemann said. “The second thing we are going to do is subdivide the investigation division into things like homicide, robbery, narcotics and etc… The third thing we are going to do is incentivize community policing by having officers that actually live inside the city of Meridian. We are going to pay them more money to do so.”
Lindemann said giving money to locally owned businesses would be better than giving it to big box stores.
“In the past we’ve given money to things like Hobby Lobby. $900,000 of taxpayer money that they will pay back over time through sales taxes. What if we instead gave that money to locally owned businesses so that local people can benefit,” Lindemann said. “That money that gets spent at Aldi, Walmart and Hobby Lobby gets exported out of the city and out of the state. We want local people to profit and benefit.”
Lindemann says he has been in the community talking to voters and will continue doing so leading up to next Tuesday.
“This campaign has been real grassroots because, unlike my opponent, we are not backed by people that are willing to write $15,000 checks in order to gain influence at City Hall,” Lindemann said. “This has been a real effort to knock on more than 2,000 doors and share information with them about my campaign.”
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