Harlan mayor looks ahead

Published 12:20 pm Thursday, November 17, 2022

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With the election over, it is now time for the winners to prepare for the task of running the offices the voters have placed them in. City of Harlan Mayor Joe Meadors discussed his plan after winning his second term.

Meadors discussed the direction of Harlan in an interview on Monday.

“Ever since I took office four years ago, we’ve been actively involved in cleaning our community up,” Meadors said. “We have a lot of deteriorated and dilapidated commercial and residential structures, not only in the downtown area but spread out over the community.”

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Meadors explained the city will address the condition of many downtown buildings immediately.

“I’m real optimistic about what’s happening downtown,” Meadors said. “We have some buildings we’re going to have to address, whether they’re to be torn down. The city is going to be actively involved with the property owners to help them get their properties back in shape.”

Meadors mentioned the Harlan City Council is on board with the direction.

“I think most people on the city council feel like things are on an uptick in Harlan,” Meadors said. “We’re just going to try to make it attractive not only to our visitors but to the people that live here every day. We need to take care of our beautiful mountains. We’re very blessed to live where we do.”

According to Meadors, the city has reached a turning point in the right direction.

“We bottomed out a few years ago, but we’re rapidly coming back up now,” Meadors said. “I think we’re all eagerly awaiting what the future holds for us, and we’re going to work every day to make the city of Harlan a place where people want to live, conduct business, and visit. That’s what we’re going to try to continue.”

Meadors explained running the city requires keeping a close eye on the finances.

“We have to examine our books every year to make sure we’re bringing in enough money to sustain the services that we have to provide,” Meadors said. “Right now, we’re doing well. But every month, costs can go up, whether it is insurance, diesel fuel, dumping fees, or whatever it may be. We’re not going to raise the costs of our services unless we absolutely have to.”

Meadors expressed his appreciation for being voted in as mayor for another term.

“I’m very humbled by it,” Meadors said. “This is a job a lot of people may think is just for show, but the mayor has to work. There are a lot of things that have to be done…I just try to be a good steward for the city of Harlan.”