A modest crowd of Democrats gathered in Branson last night to hear non-partisan local candidates Branson Style Retail Politik ©
Ward II Alderman contender Cris Bohinc ponied up support for workforce housing early in the night followed by second on the issue by Ward III Alderman hopeful Marc Williams.
Williams endorsement of subsidized housing was followed with a chant to Jefferson City who he believes gives little attention to middle and lower income families in Southwest Missouri in lieu of Kansas City and St. Louis.
Last year, Missouri Senator Harry Kennedy (D) St. Louis, toured with Jack Goodman through Joplin and Branson on a bipartisan Blue Ribbon panel on affordable housing.
Williams was put to task on two hot issues: 1. Potential Conflict of Interest with business endeavors and the reduction In Branson Missouri's Bond Rating. On the question of Branson's Bond rating moving from AAA to B, Williams stated that Branson was in good financial health, citing other others aren't so lucky and able to lend as easily as Branson during the nations current economic state. Challenged with the possibility of a ratings increase during his term, Williams wasn't willing to commit to a ratings increase during one term.
On the issue of a possible conflict of interest, Williams said he wasn't currently in negotiations with the city (see background below)
Williams competitor for Branson Ward III, Dr. Rick Davis moved the chessboard up to Branson's Highway 76, Center Strip. Davis lobbied for pedestrians promoting improved sidewalk infrastructure.
Backgaround : During a planning session last week Mayor Roanne Presley openly negotiated for 11.4 acres of Branson Hills property adjacent to the Branson Rec Plex Complex. The HCW developed Branson Hills property was previously slated by HCW for a Senior Housing Complex and offered to the City of Branson for approx: One million dollars with 60 days for the city of Branson to consider purchase. Branson Alderman stalled. Branson Alderman set aside $750,000 this year's budget in reserve to negotiate the purchase.
The City of Branson stalled on the 60 day option and after assessment of the property of approx: $2,000,000 which Huffman extended to the city at assessed value during a second round of discussions the price doubled. Presley said the city could dolly-up the $1,000,000 previously offered but was convinced HCW wouldn't bite. Property in Branson Hills for $500,000 an acre have been reported.
Steve Willoughby will be running a series of debates which will air live. All Branson Alderman have agreed to debate.
Tri-Lakes Board of Realtors granted $320 to local politicos after they were invited to address the trade group. Williams and Alderman Ward II Incumbent Jack Purvis also received Tri-Lakes Realtors endorsement.
Branson's City Council Meeting began in parallel at 7:00 P.M. but Alderman's campaign flyer was passed out by Democrat's MC Kathy Hilliard who is challenging Maynard Wallace for the Missouri House 143rd District.