Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw recently spoke with The Brazil Times to reflect on her first full year in office and outline her plans for the city in 2009.
"Working to improve the water system continues to be a major priority for the new year," Bradshaw said. "We made some strides in 2008 by completing the income survey, but I want to make a big push to get the water grant."
She added the grant would help the city replace the current water tower, which holds 750,000 gallons, with one that holds 1 million gallons. Also, the grant could potentially help add a second tower near Interstate 70.
One major success Bradshaw feels the city accomplished in 2008 was getting the financial records straightened out.
"It truly was an all-around effort from all the offices, especially (Clerk-Treasurer) Karen McQueen," she said. "We also couldn't have done it without the help of (Umbaugh and Associates CPA Principal) Dan Hedden because not only did things get fixed, he helped us create a solid budget for 2009."
Sticking to the budget is also one of Bradshaw's major goals for this year, but she is also looking into some creative options for the historical district.
"It is sort of a 'dream' project, but I am looking for grants that would allow us to brick the side streets in the historical district," Bradshaw told The Brazil Times.
"Brick roads have a tendency to hold up longer than regular paving and I think it would bring back part of what made the area special."
Although she feels 2008 was a successful year for the city, Bradshaw said there were major disappointments.
"I was really disappointed the city was unable to afford to do any street paving," she said. "Also, I hate not being able to give the employees raises. The elected officials can take a back seat to them, especially since they work so hard, and it hurt not being able to reward them for their efforts."
Despite the disappointments, Bradshaw told The Brazil Times she is looking forward to trying to enhance the atmosphere of the city.
"I would like to see more industries come to the area and create more jobs," she said.
"Also, we are working to possibly boost the Brazil City Police Department by attempting to get a second K-9 unit."
Also, she plans to continue her "open-door policy" and try to strengthen the city's relationship with county officials.
"I always welcome the public to call me or come to my office to express concerns," Bradshaw said.
"We also have a good working relationship with officials on the county level and look forward to building those relationships even further."
Bradshaw acknowledged being an elected official has its ups and downs, but that she enjoys her job and plans to continue to improve.
"I know there are going to be times where decisions have to be made that are unpopular," Bradshaw said.
"However, we are always trying to do what is best for the residents and keep the city moving forward in the right direction."