By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer
As a Rutledge resident since spring of 2004 and the owner of Lily Beth’s, a general store and home decor shop in downtown Rutledge, Joellen Artz said that she has gotten a good chance to “see a lot of what is going on” in Rutledge. What she has seen has caused her to run for the office of mayor in Rutledge.
“I signed up to run against the last eight years of mayor and city council,” said Artz regarding the impetus for her candidacy.
Artz states that, in the current Rutledge administration “nothing is brought up,” and that issues brought to the attention of the mayor and city council are swept under the rug by claims that they will look into the issue.
“I will follow up,” said Artz about her desire to make sure that all concerns are thoroughly dealt with.
Artz stated that there have been concerns about her ability to deal with water and sewer responsibilities as a candidate with no previous experience. However, Artz is confident that she will be able to adequately manage the water and sewer systems by enlisting the aid of those who do know how the operate those systems.
“I just have to know how to manage it,” said Artz. “I want to use my 40 years of management experience to manage the city.”
She considers problems with the infrastructure in the city, including the water and sewer systems, to be of the utmost importance.
“It cannot take six years to complete projects,” said Artz, who stated that the coming of the nearby Baxter project will create a “demand on our infrastructure” in the next decade.
“I love the challenge of anticipating problems and solving them,” stated Artz.
Artz wants to establish closer ties to the county in order to deal with the service difficulties that Rutledge will have in the future. Rutledge’s ability to “build bridges” to Morgan County organizations and businesses will ultimately “benefit Rutledge,” as long as Rutledge is willing to be the “squeaky wheel” with its concerns.
Artz’ love for Rutledge is also a driving force behind her candidacy.
“You’ve got to love Rutledge,” said Artz, expressing her pleasure with Rutledge’s “small but special” persona.