Cassville mayor faces opponent for seat
Shiveley looks for sixth year, challenger takes aim at city administration
March 29, 2017
Cassville mayor Bill Shiveley will face newcomer candidate Colby Lowe in the General Municipal Election next Tuesday. Lowe came out saying he ran to bring an end to corruption in the city.
Lowe, 28, moved to Cassville four years ago. He is originally form Roland, Okla. His wife is from the area, which is why they decided to settle in Barry County. Since here, Lowe said he has seen multiple problems he would like to see fixed if he is elected.
He said, “I don’t feel like the current administration was doing anything. I’ve been here four years, and the only thing I’ve noticed got done was the sidewalks. I’m not satisfied with how the town is being ran. My platform is fixing the flood issue, which would help with insurance for everyone in that zone, and properly maintaining the roads, not chip and sealing them.”
Shiveley said he ran again, seeking what would be his sixth year in office, because he wants to see some projects through to completion. Shiveley said, “It’s mostly because of the water and sewer bond issue. I’d like to at least get a good start on it. I’d like to see a few more things done with transportation and get that really running good, and I’d like to get the creek clean up and flood study completed.”
Lowe’s concerns with the flooding and streets are primary talking points for his campaign. When asked what he would do differently than how the city is pursuing the flood study and approaching the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Natural Resources, he said, “It shouldn’t have taken this long to get that study started. The flooding has been going on for decades. To fix the flooding issue long term, I’d like to see some retention basins put in and be multipurpose. It makes sense. This is what they do other places like Las Vegas and Arizona.” He added, “A lot of people feel they can’t trust the city administration with the funds if the bond passes. So I’m going to focus on that if it does pass and I am elected.”
Shiveley said the flooding is being addressed in the best way it can be. Work cannot be done until the study is completed and other government entities get involved. He said, “We’re spending another $100,000 this year to do more creek cleaning, and we’ve got in mind to do another large dollar amount next year. Based on what we’re seeing from our engineers, until we have our HEC-RAS (Hydrologic Engineering Center River Analysis System) done, we are at more of a maintenance point until we can see what we can change.
“See if we change the flow of the creek here or can we build a retention basin over here. We’ve made some progress, but we can make some more progress in the next few years with this study.”
Lowe said he has approached people in Cassville to see if he has support in his run and it has been positive. He said, “I’ve walked around the town quite a bit and introduced myself. Everyone I talked to seemed to be supportive of me because they don’t like the way things are going. You could see them kind of light up. They say Steve [Walensky] and Bill both are dishonest. A lot of people like Bill, but don’t think he is productive. Neither one are very popular with the people I’ve spoken to.”
He added, “Before Bill’s time in there, I spoke to many people, and they’ve all said the same thing. It’s the same regardless of who is in there. I haven’t been in city hall to question anyone, but I’m going off of the town people’s opinions and their concerns. If the town is not happy, there are obviously issues.”
Shiveley countered, saying that he feels there have been positive changes within the city since he has been in office, and he hopes the trend continues. “What I think we’ve accomplished most is the transportation tax so we have a funding mechanism to fix our streets. I know people would like to see them fixed all at one time, but we are working with the money we have.
“We’ve got city hall on an even keel and full staff now. We’re beginning to get things done. Steve is working more on economic development and looking at where we can acquire new businesses.
“I think they’ll be able to see something. The issue is that you’ve only got X number of dollars to work with. Depending on what you do on the streets, you either spend more and do less streets, or have a temporary fix. But all of it’s all based on sales tax.”
Lowe’s commentary about streets has been tied to work done on First Street in Cassville and the last of maintenance for smaller streets. “Don’t waste the money on a chip and seal job. Like First Street, the money was spent on it was not worth it.
“You don’t forget about any of the streets, but you don’t waste money on any of them. Take the money from where you have to. I’m not for wasting any money on a chip and seal job.”
Lowe also said, “I have a desire to eventually have a higher government role, and you haven to start somewhere. I want to prove my methods are successful in a small town before I move on. The town needs someone who cares about it in charge.
Shiveley and Lowe face off the in the election for the Cassville mayor’s seat on Tuesday, April 4.