City employee seeks to be next mayor

Kathleen Gilluly
Outlook managing editor
Dave Waggoner

“Working for the city, I have an insight on how the city’s being run and I don’t agree with it,” said Dave Waggoner, candidate for mayor. Having lived in Laurel for 13 years has also influenced his desire to improve life for the city’s residents.
Waggoner, 58, a water treatment plant operator for 10 years, lives on Maple Ave., is married and with his wife, Ann, has eight children and four grandchildren. In addition to his family, he is passionate about the city running efficiently.
“We need to straighten City Hall out,” he said. “The staff have to be accountable. They need to bring the council truthful information and somebody needs to be there to answer questions.” Waggoner said he is frustrated by staff efforts to mislead the council and not having answers to councilors’ questions, especially on items that have been discussed previously or are on the agenda.
“The next mayor needs to step up and be on top of city business,” he said citing several specific issues with public works projects. “The water intake is only partly up and the wastewater treatment plant still doesn’t work right.” Some of the problems were with the engineering, he said, and not making the mistakes to begin with could have saved money.
Besides the municipal water and sewer problems, Waggoner thinks the city should have a better plan for fixing streets in disrepair.
“We need to budget five to 10 blocks each year and go curb to curb,” he said. By making that modest effort, it will at least be evident Laurel is trying to make progress. Waggoner said the condition of the streets are a black eye for the citizens of Laurel.
“There are ‘Pothole Capitol of the World’ bumper stickers about Laurel,” he said. “I think if people knew money was going to fix the streets, they would even be willing to pay a little more.”
Waggoner said it is hard to get responses to messages, complaints or questions from the city.
“There is no communication between residents and city hall,” he said. “We have larger problems than garage sale signs. There have been million of dollars in mistakes made on city projects.”
Better research into possible options could help.
“Don’t take the salesmen’s word, do some investigation,” he said. “You do that when you make any major purchase.”
There are plenty of moneymaking opportunities the city is missing out on, as well, the candidate said.
“We should revitalize Riverside Park for one thing,” he said. “It can pay for itself. And the city should have a water stand pipe for folks who haul water.” Waggoner said the city had one that was abandoned after it fell into disrepair.
“We need to be generating funds with garbage,” he continued. “We could pick up from county addresses—the trucks drive by them every day; and we don’t advertise that we have roll-off containers, so people get them elsewhere.”
Despite the problems, Waggoner said the city’s public works department has great employees.
“They do what they can with the money they are given,” he said. “But, there should be a better maintenance budget, even if we have to sell a boat or cut personnel. City Hall is top heavy.” He also said those in top jobs should be required to live in Laurel.
“Their decisions have no effect on them,” he said.
With all the ongoing projects and crumbling infrastructure in the city, Waggoner said hiring a city engineer to oversee projects would save money in the long run.
“We can’t keep putting a bandaid on something that needs stitches,” he said.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961


What is your favorite thing about summer?

The Laurel Outlook


Click Here to Check Out Our Latest Ads

We use Google cookies to determine our demographic of visitors to our site. You can opt out here.

We also use Twitter Analytics to track clicks from our twitter feed. 

You can find all the City Council documents that we have received here.