Ray A. Hofman

Ray A. Hofman
The Plain Talk asked the five candidates in the upcoming Vermillion city election about their views on several city issues. Vermillion citizens will choose a mayor and one city council member from the Southeast Ward.

1. Why are you running for election to the Vermillion City Council?

2. Approximately two years ago, consultants helped Vermillion develop a master plan for downtown streetscape improvements. Has enough progress been made on implementing this plan? Is there anything you would like to see changed in the final draft?

3. Vermillion appears to be at the mercy of Mediacom for cable television and internet services. The company has admitted that our prices have gone up to help pay for increases in their employees� health insurance benefits. What approach do you think the community should take to relieve consumers of paying more and more for Mediacom�s services?

4. In November, Vermillion citizens will decide, by voting in referendum election, whether to connect Crawford Road with Burbank Road. What is your position on the issue?

Southeast Ward

Ray A. Hofman

Age: 52

Family: Wife, Pam; two children, Alex 21 years old and Ariel 17 years old

Occupation: Clay Co. Veterans Service Officer, Clay Co. Zoning , Clay Co. Welfare

1. I have devoted my life to public service and feel I am valuable to the council in many ways. I have lived in Vermillion 44 years, and know many of the people and the issues of this town. As an employee of Clay County, I bring an added perspective to Council discussions concerning city-county issues. I have always tried to represent the interests of the people of the SE ward during the four years that I have served on the City Council.

2. A final draft of the downtown streetscape committee�s recommendations was delivered to the Council in April of 2004. It is a wonderful plan looking at all aspects of downtown vitalization including its strengths and weaknesses. We have made visible improvements to downtown, and lack only further funding to complete more goals. Our grant application continues to make progress towards final approval by Washington, DC.

3. Following the Mediacom presentation in January, staff was asked to look at other available options. To date the City has visited with two other possible cable service providers. Yankton demonstrates that competition is one way to help keep cable prices low. The agreement with Mediacom is not exclusive so another company can serve the Vermillion citizens. Any cable company needs to sign an agreement with the city to use the public right-of-way to provide cable service. Actual competition for the home maybe a year or so away as in competing company would need to set up their wires and system in the community in order to be able to provide service.

4. One of my positions with Clay County is the planning and zoning administrator. Because the proposed road and the alternate routes were within the three mile city-county extraterritorial zone I was advised by legal counsel to abstain from voting, and voicing an opinion on this issue. To go against counsels� advice may have opened the vote up to court action, which would have been very costly to the taxpayers and not in the best interests of the citizens of the city and especially for the people in the SE precinct. It is important that everyone in our community has the right to vote on this issue, and I will support the will of the people on the public vote.

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