Democrats express differing views of Anderson
Apr. 29—ANDERSON — The three men seeking the Democratic Party nomination for mayor of Anderson are taking differing views of the city.
Incumbent Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. seeks a third term and is being challenged by former city councilman and mayoral candidate Rodney Chamberlain and former police chief Tony Watters.
"Being born raised and working in Anderson my entire professional life, I saw the possibilities of rebuilding our community, making it once again a great city in which to live, work and play," Broderick said of his decision to seek a third term.
"We have come a long way and have accomplished significant progress during my time as mayor, despite the difficulties of the pandemic, but there is more to do," he said. "We have several major projects that I would like to complete, as well as new initiatives that will grow our community and bring new housing and business development."
Chamberlain said he decided to run for mayor because he believes Anderson has been neglected and the city has been mismanaged.
"There has not been one single idea over the last eight years that has come from the current administration," he said. "We need an administration that can manage the basic upkeep of the city, while having a vision for future growth."
Chamberlain said Anderson needs an administration to address the problems of homelessness, housing, drug addiction, a shrinking workforce and deteriorating infrastructure.
Watters said as a lifelong resident, he wants Anderson to be a great place for people to work, live and raise families.
"Drug problems have been rampant in Anderson and it's time to do something about it," he said. "I want to make our streets safe again...and I want residents to trust their local law enforcement again.
"I plan to work hard with our city council to make our government accountable and transparent and make sure residents can voice their opinions and be heard on issues."
Chamberlain said over the next four years, he wants to address the issues of homelessness, lack of affordable housing and increase programming for youth and senior citizens.
"The first thing I plan to do as mayor is to reinstate the mayor's youth commission so we can invite youth into the planning of our city," he said.
Chamberlain said he will also work to update the city's comprehensive plan.
Watters said he will also work with the city council if elected as mayor.
"We want to make government business open and transparent while implementing a number of policies and initiatives centered around moving Anderson forward," he said.
Watters also mentioned expanded programs for youth and senior citizens and creating new job opportunities.
"We will work to beautify our city and make Anderson more appealing to future employers," he said.
Broderick said over the next four years, a key goal would be to expand the Lafayette water plant and replace the old water system.
"We want to continue to expand our quality of life and place programs for children, families and senior, including the development of the newly acquired community center and continued park improvements," he said. "Continuing our ongoing programs of annual paving, park development and community development."
Watters said votes cast in the primary election will indicate the direction of Anderson for the next four years.
"I haven't run any fancy fundraisers or spent money foolishly on fancy signs and campaign materials," he said. "I plan to run my administration the same way, with a lot of hard work and investing time and effort into finding solutions instead of throwing money at a problem."
Broderick said he has the proven qualifications, education and experience to continue to move Anderson in the right direction.
"During my time serving as mayor, we have made progress that you can see," he said. "With a total budget of $230 million, 21 departments, 700 employees and four utilities and full-time police and fire departments, the operation of city government is serious business. I am the qualified and proven candidate to continue our progress."
Chamberlain said with his experience as a member of the city council in the past, he can work to get things done.
"I understand this community and can be trusted to do the right thing by our citizens," he said. "I am not afraid to reach out to partners and collaborators to make important things happen for Anderson."
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.