Orient Mayor Matthew Swanson will finish his second two-year term leading the community at the end of this year and is seeking a third term in the city/school election that is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Overall, Swanson said he’s pleased with the direction Orient is heading in.
“Financially we’re doing well,” Swanson said. “I think we have a strong community with us.”
In the past, Swanson said he’s been especially proud of the way that Orient was able to spend TIF money off the nearby wind farm to reconstruct streets in town. They’ve also worked a lot to clean up the community’s abandoned buildings.
While he wants to keep going with several of those initiatives, Swanson also says infrastructure is a major focus he sees for Orient in the coming months and years. They’ve sought out a grant for water distribution system upgrades and are in need of work on their electrical system, which is out of date when compared to those of other communities.
A key to doing all this is to still be responsible with taxpayer money, Swanson said.
“Infrastructure is really what I want to focus on. If things are out of date, I want to bring them up to date,” Swanson said. “I see a pretty big need to focus on those things.”
A strength for Orient is its city council, which has a mixture of younger and more experienced members, Swanson said. Josh Madison and Gary Metzger’s current terms on the council are expiring.
“I think Orient’s got a good thing going. We’re not Creston, we’re not Greenfield, but we have some ammenities that other times our size don’t have, like our store, our cafe and our bar and a park,” Swanson said. “I’m proud of we’re we are and if anybody else saw this community they would probably say the same thing.”
Candidacy filing is open and will remain open for the election until 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21. City candidates should file with the Adair County Auditor’s Office.