Candidate Q&A: Nicole Rice, Saline City Council


Note to readers: The Sun Times News has made its media outlet available to candidates running for public office. Articles published do not reflect an endorsement by the STN. Submissions are from candidates who responded within our guidelines. In order to be as fair and equitable as possible, candidates can submit their responses to four basic questions.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why are you running?
  3. What issues do you think are important?
  4. Why should we vote for you?

Candidate’s responses are printed as submitted.

1. Who are you? (What office are you running for? Your career/experience? Where you live. Etc.)

My name is Nicole Rice and I am a resident of downtown Saline’s historic district, running for City Council. I spent my undergraduate years studying communication technology at EMU, then moved out East for graduate school where I studied publishing and communication arts. I lived 10+ years in the Washington, DC area working for a variety of organizations that served Congress, the federal government, and the military. In 2015, my long-time partner and retired Army officer, Christopher, and I chose to move back near our families in the Midwest. Once we settled into Saline, we immediately began building relationships with new friends and neighbors and looking for ways to contribute to the community.

2. Why are you running?

Throughout my career I have worked extensively to create connections between people and resources. As a communicator by both nature and trade, I hope to connect the citizens of Saline to the services and support available across the city.

As a military family, service is a natural part of our lives. Recently, I joined the Saline Code and Ordinance Commission where I use my technical translation skills toward work that directly impacts the citizens and businesses within the city. I also currently serve as the Communications Chair for Saline’s Summerfest where I connect with local organizations and help promote one of Saline’s most popular community events.

In running for city council, I hope to expand my service to the community and find new ways to use my skills to achieve the goals of the citizens, businesses, and city of Saline.

3. What issues do you think are important?

As a councilmember, my priorities will be the citizens’ priorities. I will work to ensure that there is balance between the community’s needs and the city’s plans.

Obviously, the wastewater treatment facility is high on everyone’s priority list. We need to take a closer look at the sustainability of all infrastructure in Saline. Environmental compliance, future expansion, and risks are knocking on our door. We need a sustainability plan that includes new sources of revenue for major projects.

Another topic of priority for me is community development. I believe there are ways in which we can structure and add to our current city staff that will serve the business community in a more robust way.

4. Why should we vote for you?

I have a focused plan for moving the city forward.

First, we need a better understanding of the recent retirements/turnover of City staff. A succession plan will allow us to assess whether or not the City is set up to be adaptable and successful in the coming years.

Second, sustainment of infrastructure. We have to look at the entire lifetime of an asset, and continue to adaptively manage projects. DPW has begun to utilize new asset management tools and a continued investment in this arena will allow us to shape our goals through informed decisions.

Also, we must reach segments of the community without the resources necessary to contribute to a greener future. An environmental sustainability plan that includes public/private partnerships and funding is high priority.

Lastly, we need a full communications plan that includes residential and business engagement, pointed marketing to all segments of the community, and a more robust strategy for use of communication tools.

As ambitious as these may sound, I truly believe that my ability to communicate, collaborate, and cooperate across the board will benefit the inner workings of city council as well as the city’s connection to the entire Saline community.

Images: Nicole Rice. Photo by Cameryn Carey Photography

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