50 Years, 50 Stories

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Published Oct. 22, 1993, in The Ledger Independent

The candidates for Maysville City Commission locked horns Thursday night during a live televised candidate forum.

The result?

Well, all of the candidates were opposed to casino gambling if it becomes a local issue in coming months or years.

Most the candidates were opposed to a union formed by city firefighters recently, although the challengers were critical of the incumbent candidates for not being sensitive to the firemen’s concerns.

The forum, televised on the Limestone Cable access station, was presented by the Maysville-Mason County Chamber of Commerce.

The race for commissioners’ seat in the November election pits incumbents Bill Boggs, George B. Purdon Jr., Johnny Mains and P. Thomas Pfeffer against challengers Donald Bussell, Jerry Schumacher and Kenneth Roberson.

R. Bruce Carlson, challenger for the mayor’ seat against incumbent Rick Litton, came out strongly against what he called the “detached and unresponsive” city government as it exists.

He pledged to “change the style and substance” of city government by turning attention to issues such as downtown beautification rather than strict focus upon economic development.

Purdon sought to ease any concerns that his health might hamper his effectiveness as a city officials.

“Rest assured my health is fine or I would not be running,” he said.

On the issue of adequacy of emergency service coverage, most of the incumbents indicated they are satisfied with the current level.

Purdon said he has always advocated more police officers — at least three more. The rest of the emergency services are adequately staffed, he said.

But several challengers were critical of those current levels.

Carlson said he supported more staffing at the fire department.

Bussell, a former Maysville police officer, indicated support for increased staffing in both the fire department and police ranks.

Roberson, also a former Maysville cop, said “there are certain parts of our city that are not what they ought to be as far as safety goes.”

Boggs noted that he read the concerns of the firefighters’ union and saw “none that I viewed to be collective bargaining.”

He did conceded that the city might need to “open up a line of communications” with the firefighters.

“Schumacher responded that “apparently the lines of communication broke down.”

He said he was not in favor of the union.

“I don;t think its in the best interest of the taxpayers to recognize a union,” Mains said.

While calling the union “unnecessary,” Roberson said the organization was “formed out of frustration: with city officials.

Pfeffer noted that industries have been drawn to Maysville as a traditionally non-union town and expressed concern for the effect of the firefighters’ organization on future business prospects.

“I hop we’re not sending them… the wrong message,” he said.

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