Mark Springer is an old Council hand. Before being appointed by the Council mid-term to his present seat, Springer had served two previous terms on Bethel’s City Council. It’s his third time on the ballot.
Many were surprised that Mark Springer put his name up for consideration earlier this year to fill a vacancy on the Council.
“People asked me if I was crazy for wanting to be reappointed, but the fact is I enjoy public service. I enjoy being a representative of the people,” said Springer. “I believe I continue to have contributions to make to the future of our community.”
Mark Springer is someone who is not afraid of getting in the weeds of the legislative process, or taking unpopular actions. He points to helping pass an increase to water and sewer rates, which were not popular, but that he says were necessary. But the esoteric issues involved in the “tall towers” ordinance are what he's most proud of.
“It was fairly complex, fairly technical. It does impact the future of our community. It impacts getting a 350-foot tall windmill,” said Springer. “It impacts any new construction that GCI might do, or anybody else for putting in telecommunications infrastructure. I guess I would kind of geekily point to that.”
Springer says that Bethel has some major challenges ahead. Like many other candidates, he points to the need to improve the city’s infrastructure. But unlike many, he says that the biggest challenge facing the city may be keeping good staff.
“People from Bethel that have worked for the city for a while are going to work for other organizations here,” said Springer. “I think the biggest challenge, for a while, is making sure the city of Bethel is viewed by current employees and potential employees as being a favorable place to work. There are a lot of talented folks here, and we need more of them working for the city, but sometimes it’s just really hard to compete with other organizations here in town.”
Springer also says revenue remains a major challenge for the city. Bethel is a second-class city and does not have access to property taxes. Its revenue has to come from sales taxes and fees.
Springer encourages everyone to get out and vote on October 3.
“I hope we get a good turnout for the election. It’s an opportunity to provide direction for your community for the next couple of years. There’s a good slate of candidates there, so I imagine some people will have some hard decisions to make,” said Springer.