HAYDEN — Editor’s Note: This article is the last in a series about local candidates for Tuesday’s elections.
In Hayden, a former mayor is running for his old position against the town’s incumbent.
Mayor Thelma Smith, who has held the office for the past four years, will face Larry Armstrong, who served as mayor from 1996 to 2008 with the exception of one year when he stepped down to help care for his sick father.
Smith and Armstrong did not face each other in 2008; he did not run for re-election that year because his mother was sick.
Armstrong said he wants to serve again in Hayden’s top office for a simple reason: “We need a different mayor.”
Armstrong said the town has “just kind of existed” for the past four years, and has not progressed.
Armstrong has some specific goals in mind if voters put him back into office.
His No. 1 priority is to upgrade the town’s water department, which he said he helped build when he was mayor.
“There has been little maintenance and no upgrades. Nothing has been done for the last for years,” Armstrong said. “Lines are leaking and need repaired; some need replaced.”
He said that when he was serving as mayor, he sometimes personally repaired water lines.
“I have gone out and fixed water lines in the middle of the night,” he said. “I will do it again.”
Armstrong said he would also turn his attention to roads that need to be paved, if he is elected.
“When I was there, we paved every street in town except two short streets that were in good condition,” he said. “There has not been one street paved since I left there. ... They’re needing repaved again.”
Another of Armstrong’s goals if elected is to “be very transparent with the town’s money,” he said, adding that he would have a website created and post the town’s revenue and expenditures. He said the website would be updated monthly.
Armstrong said he is qualified for the job largely because of the 11 years experience he has had as mayor.
One difference now, he said, is that he is now retired and would be able to dedicate more time to the city than he did before.
“I will be on the job every day, seven days a week,” he said.
Mayor Smith did not return telephone calls by press deadline Tuesday to comment on this article.