Duncan, however, said he would support Wallace if he loses his bid to run for a third term as Norwalk’s mayor.
The two Republican mayoral candidates sat down for a question-and-answer session with the public Wednesday evening at 16 West in downtown Norwalk.
Duncan and Wallace will square off in the May 7 primary. The winner will take on Democrat Dave Light in the Nov. 5 election.
They each were asked six questions by Huron County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kelly Lippus and executive assistant Tony Schaffer. The candidates were given two minutes to respond and five minutes for their opening and closing statements.
Question 1: As mayor, how would you involve Norwalk residents in program and policy development for the city?
Rob Duncan: Already a lot of feedback and ideas used for city services have been generated by resident surveys and “great conversations” with community members at local events.
Dave Wallace: Encouraging Norwalk citizens to attend city council meetings, to provide input and be a part of the process of guiding the direction of the city;
Question 2: If (re)elected, what ideas do you have to keep the city moving progressively forward and how would you implement them?
Wallace: A five-point plan consisting of a “shop Norwalk first” policy, customer service, economic development, improving dilapidated properties and zoning regulations and a war on drugs.
Duncan: A changeable five-year “and beyond” plan for the city — to be re-evaluated as needed, strategic planning to efficiently consolidate and make accessible more services for residents;
Question 3: What would be your first priority be if (re)elected?
Duncan: Continuing the city’s progress and strategic planning, to encourage frequent and open communication with city councilmembers.
Wallace: Meeting and working with local businesses on economic development, to maintain the quality of life for Norwalk residents;
Question 4: If you received a $1 million grant to use any way you wanted to improve the quality of life in our city, what would you do, and why?
Wallace: Reconvene the Blue Ribbon Committee and gather with leaders of the business community to figure out the best direction for the city — as opposed to the decision being made by one person.
Duncan: Go to the council to bring back the BRC, green-light projects that have been tabled due to lack of funding and secure leftover project funds for city emergencies;
Question 5: If (re)elected, what three steps would you take to put the city on a firmer financial standing?
• Continue evaluating city programs and the community’s vision to see a worthwhile return on investments
• Cutting health insurance deficits by providing wellness programs to help with insurance costs for the city and employees
• Look for additional revenue through partnerships, applying for grants to benefit community “resource utilization”
• Keeping to the budget set by council
• Utilizing remaining resources for lacking programs and initiatives
• Encourage city employees to become experts in their healthcare
Question 6: If you were to lose the primary race, would you support your opponent?
Wallace: No. “I’m running to make a positive change and if not elected, I will support the person who I think will best bring about that change.”
Duncan: “Absolutely,” recalling a recent election for a local judge where the losing candidate came out and marched in a parade in support of his opponent. “I would absolutely support my opponent because Republican values are really important to me.”