Jack Ceo Reelection Q & A
Jack Ceo will be asking Saline to grant him a fourth term on the Saline City Council next month. The Sun Times News asked why in the following conversation, which was conducted over the phone and has been edited for length and clarity.
The Sun Times
News: Why do you want to run for reelection?
Jack Ceo: I think that we have a lot of important work going on right now; not that the work that City Council is doing is not important. But with the work we have going on right now, I think it needs some continuity in terms of doing it done.
I think that we have a good group of people on Council right now, that get along pretty well. Not that there is one hundred percent agreement with one another, but I think we are working more effectively and efficiently with each other than ever.
I think we need some continuity to deal with the business that we still have unfinished.
TSTN: What business do you have unfinished?
Ceo: I think the big one is the wastewater treatment plant. Trying to work on the plan for the future, to not only increase the capacity but to make it more efficient and effective. We’re facing all these other problems like Pfas, odor, growth in the community, and the need to enhance the east belt trunk, west belt trunk, and central trunk. Some of those things need some people who have some understanding about what is going on.
I think one of the other issues is the water quality. There are a lot of concerns right now about colored water coming out of the tap. I think there are concerned about that. I share an understanding [with] the other reports with [the] Flint [water crisis]. I don’t think that we’re harming anybody with the water we’re providing, but it just doesn’t look good.
We’re just at the turning point with providing a solid staff for the city. For a while, we had some key positions vacant. We have been able to hire a very effective city manager. We have got a new DPW director, a new wastewater and water quality director. We have a new deputy chief of police. I think we are moving effectively, so I would like to keep that work going.
TSTN: Have you made any mistakes during your time in office?
Ceo: Of course. We’re all human, we all make mistakes. I think it is important as a councilperson to listen to the points of view of the other Council people. I think it is important to come to the Council meetings prepared, but with a willingness to understand other points of view too so you don’t make too many big blunders.
TSTN: How has your experience in office changed your political ideology or your approach to politics?
Ceo: Too many times we have seen people get involved in politics as a means to their own personal aggrandizement, power and authority. I think that is an absolute wrong reason to get involved in politics.
I think that you should have a servant-based view of being involved as a politician. I think as I get older that the real purpose of politics is to stay involved to do the people’s will; not because as it makes you more powerful as an individual.
TSTN: What has been your biggest accomplishment in office, or the biggest accomplishment you have contributed to?
Ceo: I think the effective hiring of the police chief, city manager. [It’s not] that we didn’t have good people before, but I think we have very good people now. I think that with a small town like Saline, [it] becomes difficult to attract really solid folks. But I think we have done a very good job with our effective hires.
TSTN: What makes all of this worth it for you?
Ceo: [I] was raised in a family where my father taught one of the values, we should have is public service. I think that at the end of the day, even with the most challenging days … you can console yourself by being able to say ‘I participated in this public venture. I made my contribution, whether it was listened to or not, and I tried to do my part honestly and straightforwardly to do what I think what is best for the people we represent.’
Image Credit: cityofsaline.org.