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Bolan, McDonald to vie in general election

GRANDVIEW - The September primary has whittled a three-way race to two contenders for the Grandview City Council, position 2, seat.

The current seat holder is Jan McDonald, who was appointed to the council position last year and won the September primary with more than 50 percent of the vote.

She will be challenged in the November general election by Larry Bolan, who edged fellow challenger Mary Barrett in the primary.

McDonald is the executive director of Life Options and previously served on the Grandview Planning Commission before her council appointment.

Bolan is a former Boeing employee who serves on the Powell Museum Board, and helped work on the Grandview Junior Miss float.

As during the primary race, McDonald said she is focusing her campaign on a personal, one-on-one approach.

"My campaign is still going to be the same," she says. "Personal, talking to a lot more people."

McDonald feels her people skills, planning commission and council experience, as well as her administrative background will be helpful if she is elected to retain the seat. She also pointed to her efforts with Life Options, which under her guidance has transitioned into a medical facility.

She also sees public safety, economic development and quality of life as key issues for the city.

In addition, McDonald said she is concerned the city find ways to retain more of its young people.

"The more time I spend with our youth, the more I feel we need to provide more in the way of jobs and opportunities to stay here," she said. McDonald noted the YVCC campus in Grandview is an "absolutely positive place for them (the city's youth) to plug into."

Again, though, she said the city needs to do more to retain those young people when they become working adults beyond high school and college.

"We need to have working opportunities for them to stay," she says. McDonald said that includes making efforts to attract new businesses and employers to the city. "We are working on marketing Grandview," she noted.

Bolan's prime campaign focus is sounding the alarm about a $4 million aquatic center the city is considering and toughening Grandview's criminal prosecution efforts.

Grandview residents previously voted down proposals to issue bonds for an aquatics center. During the Sept. 17 city council meeting the council listed the aquatic center as a priority in a sort of "wish list" of capital projects.

Bolan fears the public is unaware of what he says are the real costs associated with the center. He suggests that paying back the bond plus interest, insurance and maintenance on the facility over a 25-year period would end up tallying about $18 million.

Based on a 100-day pool season, Bolan estimates it would require 2,400 patrons a day at the aquatic center paying $3 each in order for the center to pay for itself.

Money spent on an aquatic center, he believes, would be better used helping City Attorney Jack Maxwell prosecute more crimes in the city's municipal court.

"I think the city needs to be tougher in prosecuting things," Bolan says, noting that Maxwell is already "spread thin" by serving as city attorney for other municipalities, such as Mabton. Bolan feels a wiser use of funds, (versus an aquatic center) would be to hire more help to prosecute cases.

That's especially true, he feels, given the city's recent efforts to get tough on gang activity.

Ballots for the Nov. 6 general election will be mailed out on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The voter registration deadline is Oct. 6.

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