Morris seeking re-election
Incumbent Tim Morris is seeking re-election to the Holton City Commission during the April 7 election. Blair Wagner has also filed for this position.
If elected, this would be Morris’ third three-year term on the commission. He was first elected in April 2009.
Morris, 64, is a lifelong resident of Jackson County and has lived in Holton since graduating from high school. He is retired after working for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for 39 years.
“As a longtime resident of Holton, I am committed to both the younger people raising families and those who are retired,” Morris said. “My wife and I feel fortunate to have raised our three, now grown, daughters in this community. We supported the recent school bond issue and are excited about the new elementary school coming to Holton. I feel this school will be an asset to the city.”
Morris said he understands both the needs of younger families and retired couples in the community.
“I am seeking re-election because I feel I offer a moderate but fiscally conservative view to the commission,” he said. “I am supportive of growth and development within the city but not at the cost of overburdening taxpayers.”
During his tenure in office, Morris said he has been a proponent of reducing the city’s debt, which was slightly more than $13 million in 2009. Currently, the city’s debt is $6.5 million.
“I did not know the city’s debt was that high when I was elected to my first term,” he said.
Morris said he agrees with the city’s certified public account/planning auditor who has indicated that the city’s debt load is still too high for a city of Holton’s size with an assessed valuation of $20 million.
“For a city the size of Holton, a $3 million debt load is manageable debt according to the CPA, PA,” he said. “If re-elected, I would continue to be a proponent of reducing the city’s debt.”
Morris is also seeking re-election to help oversee the rebuilding of the city’s sewer lines. In November 2013, Holton voters approved a .5 percent sales tax increase to fund the repairs.
“With this additional revenue, the city has put into place a plan that will allow us to pay for the replacement and repair as it is done, thus not adding debt to the city,” he said.
He also said he wants to work with the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, the Jackson County Historical Society and other organizations to improve Holton and its schools and businesses.
“In my life, I have learned to balance my wants and needs, living within my budget,” he said. “I want this for the city of Holton, too. We have not raised the mill levy in Holton in the past four years. As a city commissioner, I know higher taxes are a concern. I would like to move Holton forward without additional burdens to taxpayers.”
As a commissioner, Morris said he’s had to make hard decisions that have been unpopular sometimes with some groups, such as continuing the regulation to not allow pit bull dogs within city limits.
“I feel I am qualified for the city commission because I will take a stand on issues when necessary. I have opted to keep my home phone in order to be accessible to the people of Holton,” he said. “I am retired and have the time to devote to the city commission and will listen to the people.”
He and his wife, Sandra, have three grown daughters, Stephanie Morris, Katherine Walker and Erin Schwartz.
While his children were growing up, Morris was actively involved in the Holton softball program and 4-H. He continues to support these programs.
He is a member of the First United Methodist Church where he currently serves on the board of trustees. He and Sandra are members of the Jackson County Historical Society and the Chamber of Commerce. He previously served 12 years on the USD 336 Holton Board of Education.