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Businessman looks to bring experience to Ironton Council

John Elam has seen quite a bit in his 20-plus years in the medical industry and he hopes to bring his knowledge to Ironton City Council.

Monday, October 29, 2001

John Elam has seen quite a bit in his 20-plus years in the medical industry and he hopes to bring his knowledge to Ironton City Council.

This marks Elam’s first attempt at running for public office, doing so after serving on the mayor’s Right Choice Committee. Elam said serving on the committee helped him gain a look into the city’s financial statements and a glimpse into the city’s financial past.

"I was able to get a snapshot of what’s going on (with the city’s money situation)," Elam said about serving on the committee.

Elam said, if elected, he will work with administration to operate the city in an "efficient" manner.

In order to do that, he said the city should work to gain grants to fund city projects and bring a recruiter on board to attract more work to the area. Elam said he doesn’t support pulling the city’s current services but wants to explore different ways to support the city’s coffers. Elam, a seven-year resident of the city, said it’s easy to see the effects of the loss of industry on the city.

"When I first moved here," Elam said, "it was hard to find a block that had a house for sale. Now, it’s hard to find a block without a house for sale."

Elam said he could offer a fresh, new perspective on how to handle the city’s budget. It’s like with a business, Elam explained. He said when a business needs to rethink its business plan, it hires an outside consultant. An outsider, Elam said, brings a "fresh set of eyes" to the situation and may be able to offer a different look at a problem and Elam hopes he can bring his experiences and offer a new approach to the city’s financial problems.

Elam said he would also like to see how other city’s and organizations fixed problems similar to what Ironton is facing.

The city should "look at other communities," that have pulled out of its financial downfall. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel," Elam said, "especially when you can look at how other people pulled out of financial dire."

"I can’t say I’m going to make the right decision every time, but I’ll try my best to make the right decision for the community and listen to the people," Elam said. He added, "I will continue to promote Ironton for the betterment of its citizens."

 

Editor’s note: This is the fourth part of a series of interviews with those running for Ironton City Council. Council candidates are urged to contact the newsroom if they wish to be included.

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