Ashland is certainly “Growing Beyond Tomorrow,” as its city motto states. In the last four years, Ashland’s population has nearly doubled, increasing from approximately 1,600 residents to 3,000 residents.
After serving as mayor for four years, Alan Bauer is not seeking re-election, giving Barbara Bishop or Mike Asmus a chance to run in the April 7 election.
Bishop has lived in Ashland for more than 10 years and her husband, Bernie Martin, who has lived in Ashland for more than 30 years, said that the city needs some balance in leadership, especially from the mayoral seat. She is a member of the city’s Park Board and said she has attended every city, planning and zoning and Park Board meeting since August 2005. Bishop describes herself as an “armchair politician” who wants to get out of the chair and see where changes need to be made. “Currently in Ashland, we have infrastructure issues,” Bishop said. “I just don’t think that the current administration was looking at the Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan.”
Asmus, an Ashland resident since 1998, has served as chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and more recently as alderman for the
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“I’ve enjoyed helping manage the city’s civic and economic growth,” he said.
Asmus believes that you have to work with the city one day at a time.
“The differences are fairly noticeable,” he said. According to Asmus, the city will grow regardless of who wins the election.
Bishop said that the city needs to address the problems with the streets, sidewalks and buildings that already exist before focusing on any more growth.
“Growth, green space and being able to take care of what we have before we go and take more,” Bishop said. “I want to see a planned commercial development with a controlled design,” she said.
Bishop would like to work on a plan to beautify Broadway, making it more inviting to residents and visitors of Ashland.
Asmus said that his main focuses would include finding a way to maintain and balance the residential, recreational, commercial and retail aspects of Ashland. If elected, he said he will work on completing a comprehensive storm-water management plan, and improving planned commercial zones, a wastewater treatment plant and the overall water supply.
“We want to listen to what folks have to say and try to give them what they want,” he said.
Bishop said her experience as a Missouri State Certified Real Estate Appraiser allows her to look at the conformity of Ashland, which in turn provides insight on what can be done to improve the growth of the city.
Asmus said that since he has worked on both the Planning and Zoning Commission and as an alderman, he understands how the city is run from both a community and business-like perspective.
Since the addition of the city administrator’s position in 2000, Ashland has faced a large change in how the city is run. Bishop feels that there is not enough communication between the boards.
“Things have changed,” she said. “We need a balance and we need to see the Mayor working hand and hand with the city administrator.”
“I think it’s time that we step up and look at how we’re inviting sprawl,” she said. “We’re bringing folks in, and now we have to show them that we can take care of what we’ve got.”