8/12/2014 10:59:00 AM Q&A with Mayor John Moore
Three Williams city councilmen and mayor head into primary election with no challengers, despite lack of opponents the News checks in with incumbents for a quick state of the city update
Williams Mayor John Moore stands in the courtyard of the Wild West Junction, the themed attraction he owns in downtown Williams. Moore is running for mayor uncontested in the Aug. 26 primary election. Ryan Williams/WGCN
How long have you been involved in city government?
I've been involved in city government for 10 years. I was on the council for four years, one term, and then I ran for mayor. This will be my fourth (two-year) term for mayor.
What made you decide to run?
I love Williams-it's my home, I love it here. I thought I had something to contribute, and I guess that time on the council and as mayor has proved that to be correct.
What have you achieved during the last two years as mayor?
I certainly in the last several years have led the charge on many fronts. One that I've been very active in is the cleanup of Williams, making it a prettier more attractive place with more curb appeal. I'm kind of proud of that.
We have seen some new businesses come to town, particularly in the last three or four years. Bearizona was one. I think that's been a big asset to the community and I was a part of getting them to come and be here along with the other council people. Love's Travel Stop is in most people's eyes going to be a big asset to the community. The sawmill is a project that's come about in the last couple months. It certainly was in negotiation and being worked on for a couple years along with the city manager and the city council.
I think if there's one thing that I have done and can do and will continue to do it's to lead and work with the city council to make Williams a better community.
List one problem the city has faced in the last two years and how you solved it.
The biggest problem we've faced in the last several years is the water situation. It's a very difficult situation and in part is why I chose to run for mayor again. I felt like I had some knowledge of what had been done and what maybe needs to be done in the future to secure water for the town of Williams.
It's a real difficult thing because we need water for what's here now and at the same time we don't have the funds to develop all the water we need for now. So we have to at least at some point start to see some growth so our revenues will grow. That enables us to drill more wells or find other sources for water. That's the hard part of being a mayor and working with it and working with SRP (Salt River Project) and the Arizona water companies and stuff like that to make it happen.
What challenges, besides water, does Williams face in the future?
There are challenges that are always going to be recurring challenges. Our streets are in terrible shape. Our infrastructure's not good. All of those things need to be and we have plans in place to try to make them better or fix them.
You get back to the same problem-without growth you don't have the income to do the necessary infrastructure work that you need to do like streets and water lines and sewer lines. At the same time, you don't want to just let the growth go out of control. A lot of people think that the mayor and city council can set and pick and choose what builds in town and what doesn't build in town. We cannot do that, that's not our function. So that is an issue that we're dealing with now and that's going to be an issue that we deal with for quite a long time, because no matter what we do, we have to have the funds to make it better.
Why do you think no one is running against you?
I don't know why that is. You hear all sorts of things. You hear that people don't want to run for elected office in Williams right now because of the water situation and they don't want to get caught up in that. You hear other things that people are totally satisfied with the current mayor and city council. So I don't know what the answer is.
What are your goals for the next two years?
My first and foremost goal is to find a source and replenish our water system so that we know we don't have to go through this again for a long long time. I would like to see an improvement in our electrical system, which is definitely coming about. We need to work on that. It's not as critical as water, but it is an issue. For many years things just haven't gotten done. In the last several years we've been working toward it and are getting there. And we will get there.
I think right now one of the very important things that we have to do is pass our Home Rule, which controls our budget limitations. We need to pass our Home Rule so that we can control our own destiny and not have the state dictate to us what we can and can't do, what we can and can't spend. We need to keep control at home in Williams. The state doesn't need the federal government telling them what to do, and the cities sure don't need the state telling them what to do.