Carnes looks to improve infrastructure

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pierce City Ward 2 candidate challenges Joe Portillo

Zachary Carnes is one of two persons who have filed for the open Pierce City Ward 2 seat on the Board of Aldermen, which will be decided at the upcoming April 3 municipal election.


Carnes, a clinical excellence and patient advocate with Cox Monett Hospital, said he grew up in neighboring Monett, but has family in the Pierce City, and has long held an interest in the community and its residents.

"Pierce City has the potential of future business growth," he said. "In doing that, we have to have a solid school foundation to bring people into the community."

Carnes said he has no specific agenda for wanting to join the council, but wants to expand focus on what's already going well in the community.

"Water service is definitely an issue for Pierce City," he said. "I believe we need to substantially increase the city's infrastructure and the water system needs to be the priority.

"There is also a housing shortage in Pierce City. I feel there is a need to get the community involved in improving our existing homes and improve the curb appeal of those residences."

Carnes and his wife, Erin Gasser Carnes, have lived in the city for about a year, and plan to set down roots and make a permanent home.

"We currently live in a house on Elm Street," Carnes said. "But, I've purchased the property adjacent to the [city] well just up from the park. I plan to develop it in the next couple of years."

As a new resident to the community, Carnes is eager to do what he can to serve the community.

"Looking far into the future, I hope to be able to help improve the demographics of the city," he said. "I think the first thing to do is to look into available grants, in addition to those we have already received, for continued infrastructure upgrades. The tax money currently collected by the city is rapidly utilized doing preventive maintenance, and there is not enough to allow for infrastructure repair or expansion. I also believe there are areas of the budget where funds could be better allocated."

In that respect, Carnes offers his experience in management and finance.

"I'm very familiar with management, budgets and finance, and I am definitely an advocate for the proper utilization of resources," Carnes said.

If elected, Carnes plans to have an open door, or phone, to his constituents to discuss their ideas and concerns.

The Ward 2 seat is the only contested race in this year's municipal election. The position is currently held by Joe Portillo, who was appointed nearly six months ago to fill the vacancy left by Jeremy Williams, who moved out of the ward.

Voters will decide the contest in the upcoming April 3 election.

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