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Lake City council incumbents promise more of same

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Two of the candidates contending for council seats in Lake City, say the municipality's tiny size is a good thing.

Incumbent Dwight Ginn said there's not too much to be done, in governing of the 1.8 square-mile city, and, if elected, he promises to keep it that way.

"We don't have any big issues in Lake City, because we got a good city," said Ginn, who is semi-retired after his salvage company, in Forest Park, burned down. "Lake City has always been a good town ... We just all work together and we try to keep everything in line. We don't fuss and carry on like a lot of other cities do."

Incumbent Bobby Williams, a retired telephone maintenance engineer, who has been on the city council for more than two decades, agreed.

"It's a small place," he said. "We don't have any big issues, right now. We're just keeping everything on an even keel. That's what we try to do here."

The two council members, up for re-election in the Nov. 6 polling, said their goal, in the next term, will be to keep the citizens happy.

One citizen who isn't happy with the current council is Ray Johnson, who is running for a Lake City council seat.

"The same old people have been over there for 35 years," Johnson said. "We need something different. I want to make a difference."

Johnson said he decided he'd run for a seat on the council when he was angered by a city newsletter. The newsletter alerted the Lake City residents to an upcoming picnic and the details of the garbage pick-up service, according to Johnson, but said nothing about the budget or the economic situation.

"We [the citizens] don't know about the budget," Johnson said. "We don't know anything ... The council doesn't want anybody to interfere with anything. I'd like to see more people be more involved. I'd like to get more information to the people."

Johnson, who owns a cleaning service, said that, if elected, he would work to get more police protection and limit the department's focus on speeding tickets. Lake City is "getting known as a speed trap," he said.

Johnson said he believes the little city needs to grow, and he promises to work to bring more businesses and new residents into the city.

"We've got too many empty businesses and we need to get people coming here," Johnson said.

He said he did not yet have a plan for improving the city's economics and attracting companies to Lake City.

Ginn and Williams said their focus, in the upcoming term, will be on keeping the city clean, out of debt and quiet.

"We intend," Ginn said, "to keep what we've got intact."

Also on the city's Nov. 6 ballot, Mayor Willie Oswalt is up for re-election. He's unopposed in the race.

Whether voting for change or for keeping things the same, Lake City residents can cast their ballots on Tuesday at the old city hall, 5535 North Parkway.