THE 2019 MARVIN ELECTION

"The best Council going forward

is one that has Mary Shkut on it!"

"The best Council going forward

is one that has Mary Shkut on it!"

Mr. Christopher Smith,

Candidate for Marvin Mayor, 2019

I'm Chris Smith, Candidate for Marvin Mayor.

 

This election represents a critical moment in Marvin’s continued evolution, and one that needs your input to ensure a unified vision around transparency, accountability, 

and service to our community.

That’s why I’d ask that you write in Mary Shkut’s name for Village Council. She has the experience, leadership, perspective and diversity we need on our council. 

I’ve been actively engaged in council activities for a long time and currently serve on the Village Planning Board. I’ve gotten to know the current council members, the issues we’re facing, and what kind of leadership is needed to tackle those issues in an effective and thoughtful manner. I think writing down Mary’s name to remain on the council is the right thing to do. 


 

Call me if you’d like to discuss my candidacy or hear my point of view on what an effective village council would look like. (tel.) 402-707-5201
 

Thank you, Chris

 

Marvin Election 2019 - Recent Articles

Are you Sure You

Want This Job?

Candidates for public office are asking the people to hire them. And, candidates for any other job usually provide a resume, a list of credentials, a cover letter saying why they want the job ...

Sincere Responses to Critics

& Campaign Material

I rarely use social media...Yet, this morning, one of my critics posted to Nextdoor and, for the first-time, I felt inclined to provide information for those who might want another perspective...  

About My Decision to

Accept Write-In Votes

Over the past several weeks a handful of citizens had asked whether they could write-in my name... But one request caused me to think about the prospect more seriously...

Conscientious, Informed, Dedicated, Experienced Leadership

Dear Friends, and Supporters,

I am humbled residents still feel I might be able to provide valuable guidance and leadership. If, by some miracle, I am elected through a write-in vote, I would be honored, especially in light of everything residents stood-up for in 2018.  If called upon to advocate for residents for another term, I will gladly serve them again!

~ Mary Shkut, November, 2019

Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to create a separate website.  Please accept the material on this website, and this page, as a quick overview of:  a. My Village Related-Experience  b. My Views on Important Issues.

 
 

About Mary Shkut

The Quick Pre-Election Guide 

Values & Principles

  • Compassionate, thoughtful, intelligent, creative, resourceful, process-oriented and data-driven

  • Dedicated to the collective interests of all Marvin residents, not just a few

  • Exceedingly transparent with a belief Village business information should be readily provided to citizens

  • Averse to the use of public office for personal gain, or for the accumulation of popularity points.  

  • Unwavering commitment to duty, regardless of adversity, intimidation and disparagement

  • Committed to making decisions in accordance with open, lawful processes and approved policies

  • Belief in evaluating the merits of ideas and proposals, secondary to politics and their origination

  • Approach to citizen concerns with a sense of importance, respect and fairness

  • Approach to difficult situations with diplomacy, communication and willingness to compromise 

  • Courageous, principled and judicious defense of democratic values despite pressure & coercion 

Views on Land Development

  • ​Low-density residential growth to protect against school redistricting and overburdened roads

  • Current levels of age-restricted development, proportionate to demographics of Marvin population

  • Neighborhood-scale commercial only, to avoid increased trip generation and Village area traffic.  

  • Local development mindful of the taxpayer implications and requirements for security & regulation 

  • Development only with reliable data showing the provision of sufficiently adequate infrastructure

  • Preservation of trees, green space, semi-rural character and cherished land development values 

  • Continued support for parks, greenways and public spaces that foster community character 

  • Limited, low impact uses which encourage pedestrian activity and highlight our architectural history  

  • Village Center which focuses on linear parks, green gathering spaces and historic landmarks 

Village Service & Experience

No. of Years

Thirteen (13) years

One (1) year

Eight (8) years

Two (2) plus years

One (1) year

Eighteen (18) months

No. of Years

Thirteen (13) years

One (1) year

Eight (8) years

Two (2) plus years

One (1) year

Eighteen (18) months

Applicable Years

2006 - 2019

2006-2007

2008-2011; 2013-2017

2011-2013

2017-2018

2018-2019

Village Service Timeline

In 2005 - joined the ‘Longview South Working Group’ to conduct a citizen survey 

- Represented citizen interests in the face of a 1M sq. ft. commercial development at Rea & Tom Short Rd.

In 2006 - Appointed to the Village of Marvin Planning Board

In 2007 - Unanimously elected Marvin Planning Board Vice Chairperson

In 2009-  Unanimously elected Marvin Planning Board Chairperson

- The first female and youngest person to hold this position in Marvin.

- Served as Chairperson for a sum total of eight years.

In 2011- Employed to fulfill needs for a Village Clerk and Park Development Coordinator

In 2012- Used academic research expertise to conduct a comprehensive Land Use Plan survey

- Encourage the use of statistically significant public input to drive vision and planning goals

In 2016 - Employed a Village Planner

In 2017 - Employed as  Administrator/Village Planner.

In 2018 - Appointed to complete Councilman Ron Salimao’s term, out of loyalty to his constituents

In 2019 - Prepared to retire from public service; asked to remain available if elected through write-in vote

Priorities & Issues

Transparency - Our Council has operated under a hovering cloud of issues, casting a shadow over meeting agenda items. Many times, issues would come up for discussion and it seemed as if fellow Council members were trying to accomplish a particular end without being plain about that 'end' and without revealing some pre-arranged “backdoor deal” to achieve a pre-arranged end.  I know if I sensed that, smart Marvin voters have detected too. They have lost trust in Mayor and Council actions. That needs to change. There is no need for “shady deals” to be shady. If Council members want to accomplish a goal or objective, they should have the strength and courage to present an argument and do their best to persuade other members of the board, in an open, transparent forum rather than coercing staff members to produce certain facts, or presenting contrived scenarios to achieve a cloudy unclear end. Fostering transparency, fosters trust.”  

 

For more information like this view the 'Accomplishments' page

Ethics - Many times, I felt I was fighting a lone battle to implement transparent practices, open meeting protocols and rules of procedure; in deliberation or through decision-making. From land development policies to service contracts, it often felt like the “deals” were complete before we, as an entire Council, could begin deliberating on them in an open meeting.  Unfortunately, I witnessed events where public officials voted to provide contracts to friends or associates, or voted to provide funds to support their own legal issues. Other times friends of council members would be invited to meetings to provide advice and consultation on village projects, without properly requesting proposals or following open government, bidding procedures. Yet, I also knew citizens did not want to see every council meeting turn into hand-to-hand combat. So, instead, I turned my focus to policy, in an attempt to place ethical procedures around areas of concern. I feel one of my biggest accomplishments, was my ability to work with the "Council majority" (those opposed to my appointment) to introduce and pass a “Statement of Economic Disclosure” form and policy. A similar policy, and form, was then devised for Village employees as well. As long as the new Council will abide by and reinforce these policies, these disclosures will be required each year, from all council members, all advisory board members, and Village staff members. Truthful economic disclosures from each official and employee (which sheds light on questionable associations or affiliations) should set an ethical standard we expect from those who participate in Village business; and the business transactions, themselves. Citizens deserve to know about any associations or affiliations which might compromise Village business, or might be driving particular pursuits on the part of public officers and employees.

For more information like this view the 'Accomplishments' page

Appropriate Roles, Duties & Perspectives for Public Officers -  This is an issue which will be difficult to describe. Nonetheless, it is important and I believe anyone watching the Council's conduct, around the Charter Amendment, will understand what I hope to describe here:  Unfortunately, I encountered flawed perspectives about the roles and duties of public officers, over and over again, during my time on the Marvin Council. The Village needs to do a better job of finding candidates who understand that "public office" is not an entitlement to "personal power"; nor is it an endowment of infinite citizen trust in the officer's judgment. "The people" endow public officers with power; and elected officials work to fulfill the interests of the people who elected them.  When public officers make decisions they are always expending valuable resources on behalf of citizens (e.g. monetary funds, time, materials, staff hours, professional services, etc.)  Every minute in a meeting, every direction given to a staff member, every act and all refusals to act, should be motivated by the best interpretation an officer can muster of what reasonable people would do, given the same situation, the same options, and the same set of facts. 

For example, Village legal funds, expended by the Council, are not their own and should not be used to satisfy personal vendettas or political tugs-of-war. I realize this commentary on the expenditure of legal funds will draw ire from some who are unfamiliar with 'why' the legal settlement climbed to a $75,000 figure. That's unfortunate; because what occurred perfectly illustrates how Council members can cause harm to the Village when they forget what they are "actually" tasked with doing on the part of citizens. Public officers are tasked with making reasonable decisions in the best interest of the Village.  Making decisions solely based on what "feels good" to a public officer, leads to government systems which quickly descend into tyranny. Critics fail to realize that an an offer to settle the lawsuit (which was filed to hold the government accountable for illegal meetings and unlawful actions) was made in October of 2018.  Settling at that time would have cost Village taxpayers $0.00 dollars!  That's correct. Council members had been provided with an offer to settle all legal disputes, at no cost to the Village. Had public officers made a decision, based on what was best for the Village, taxpayers would not have sustained any monetary impact. Instead, personal pride and self-indulgent leadership got in the way and Council members refused a critical opportunity to save funds and settle disputes.  Instead, leadership unnecessarily dragged out an expensive lawsuit, for another six months. Meanwhile fees legal fees climbed, for both parties, on both sides of the issue -- not to mention the money the Council majority voted to give themselves, to defend their unlawful conduct.  The decision not to settle in October 2018, for $0.00 (in exchange for dropping all legal actions) was self-indulgent and negligent and hurt taxpayers in more ways than one. A failure to understand the selfless duties required in public office can cost the village, financially, politically & spiritually, with no appropriate rationale or justification to show for it.

For more information like this view the timeline on the 'Welcome' page

More coming soon!

 
 
 
 
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I freely endorse the impeccable legal minds and compassionate 

advocacy received at the law firm of Weaver, Bennett & Bland

© 2019 Mary4Marvin 

Village of Marvin, Marvin

N.C. USA 28173