Marion mayoral candidates see bigger isses than local landfill

Neither candidate for mayor of Marion sees labels of “pro” and “anti” landfill as being correct ways to categorize their position on the community’s hottest issue.

Waste Connections, Inc., has withdrawn its offer for the city of Marion to host a landfill in the Martin Marietta quarry northeast of town for two months during which time the campaign for mayor also is being waged.

The candidates said they would rather see votes based on who is the best person for the office.

Martin Tice said he is running for mayor because he wants to see an end to a divisive situation that has been with the community for several years with the landfill the most divisive element “at this point.”

He said a decision needs to be made one way or the other on the landfill, and “the issue put to rest.”

He said it isn’t correct to say he is anti-landfill, but he does feel the issue is beyond city authority.

“With the information I have, I see it as a county responsibility, not a city one,” he said. “If the county says we have a transfer station as our mode of operation, then that’s how we operate.

“We’ve been arguing about trash in the community for years, and we’re not accomplishing much else. Even if the city would approve a landfill host agreement, it would need county approval, too.”

Tice said the main concerns of the city need to be about economic development, about completing the industrial parks, maintaining and updating utility infrastructure, and fostoring community involvement “to work together.”

Eloise Mueller said it isn’t correct to say she is pro-landfill because she needs more information to make any decision.

She said she would especially have to be assured of the safety and environmental soundness of any landfill development.

“I don’t think talk about getting a landfill in town should keep us from other things,” she said. “We still have to work to get the community to grow.

“We definitely need more jobs here. We need new industries here, and we need to work with those people already here to help them grow their businesses.

“We need some more retirement homes here for those who want to move to one, but don’t qualify (because of income) for the existing ones,” she added. “That would also free more homes for younger people. There are many improvements to be done.”

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