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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Arthur wants to give direction to Brazil

Friday, October 31, 2003

Tom Arthur thinks that he can move Brazil in the right direction.

The 30-year-old Northview mathematics teacher has been on the campaign trail since July, and has been involved in local politics longer than that. He was president of Brazil's Democrat Club for a year, the Democratic Party Chair for two years, and a member of the Brazil City Council for four.

When asked what made him want to be mayor, Arthur said that he "didn't feel the city was moving in any direction."

"I look at stats and visit towns like Bloomington, Spencer, Bloomfield -- those towns are always progressing. I've always been interested in politics, too.

"I did a lot of talking to my wife and pastor, and a lot of praying. My wife and I came to a decision that three people telling us out of the blue that I should be mayor would be a good sign. I had more like 30 people tell me."

Arthur said that the final sign that he should run came from a pastor, who was visiting from Jacksonville, Fla.

"The pastor told me that he saw a promotion for me," he said. "A promotion in a job that I had a little experience in. He said that I'd be getting a lot deeper into it."

Arthur, who is from Spencer, graduated from Owen Valley High School in 1992 and attained a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics Education from ISU in 1997. He has been teaching at Northview for seven years.

He believes that his best qualification is his somewhat stubborn nature.

"One of the things going in my favor is that I'm only 30. I respect Mayor Crabb, but we need someone with fire in office. You can't tell me 'No' or I'll find a way to do it.

"I know I don't have all the answers, nobody does," he continued, "but I want to surround myself with good advisors and supervisors to say 'No, Tom, that's not a good idea, and this is why.'"

Part of Arthur's "fire," he said, and a major difference between he and Crabb is his aggressiveness.

"When I go to meetings, the biggest complaint always involves money. That's where Mayor Crabb and I are different... I'm going to aggressively look for grants. That's definitely one of my priorities.

"My motto on this is that if you don't ask for it, you won't get it. I know I'm not going to get every grant I apply for, but I can get some of them."

Arthur also said that many of the things he lacks can be built over time.

"I've been on the campaign trail since July, and I've tried to meet everyone I possibly can. Are we going to lose some experience with me going into the office? Yes. But we're going to gain so much more. You can build that experience and those connections over the years."


His biggest plans for the town, as he put them, are "streets and jobs."

"When you start compairing cities around here with us, you have to ask what they have that we don't. The answer is this: Good, decent-paying jobs. If you get people better jobs with better pay, they start taking more pride in their community. Things just start building on each other like that. I realize that this won't solve every problem, but it will the majority of them."

Though he has been at Northview a number of years, Arthur believes that, if elected, the time will come to say goodbye to the school.

"I've been through a lot of turmoil thinking about what to do here," he said. "Right now I'm leaning towards being 90 percent sure that I'm going to have to give teaching up. I have big goals that are going to take a lot of work. I need to be there all the time."

If the election does not work to his favor, however, Arthur said he would gladly return to Northview.

"It's kind of funny, a lot of my students kid around with me and ask what I'll do if I lose the election. I just look at them and say: 'Then I'll see you next semester.'"

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