Butler's advantage is a ‘no-nonsense personality'
Mike Butler is no stranger to hard work.
As if balancing a budget in tough economic times isn't hard enough, he thinks maintaining a family-friendly environment amidst turmoil and controversy is even harder.
"You have to have pretty broad shoulders to be on the City Council these days," said Butler, 41, one of seven candidates vying for three open seats on Nov. 6.
But election drama hasn't deterred Butler, a machinist with Valley Truck and Tractor, from the coarse he set when three-term Councilman Jim Yoder announced that he would not seek reelection.
He dismisses rumors as ridiculous that he was handpicked by the embattled and sometimes controversial city manager, and says running for elected office was his personal choice.
"I'm nobody's yes man," Butler said. "I am not seeking office for any professional gain or with any personal agenda."
What Butler said he does want to do is give back to the city he loves.
Butler is Exalted Ruler of the Willows Elks, whose mission is to do charitable work through social events that help local communities.
"I feel I have an obligation to be involved in community matters," he said.
Butler is a lifelong resident of Glenn County, having grown up in Elk Creek and Willows.
He's married to City Clerk Natalie Butler and they are raising three children in a city he knows is different from what it was when he was a boy.
"I remember Daughtry's Department Store," he said. "You could go in, buy a gift and then go upstairs to have it gift wrapped. I remember the jewelry store and Johnson's shoes."
But times have changed, he said, not just for Willows.
"In these challenging economic times, I believe every citizens should have a voice and vested interest in the future of our city and in preserving and protecting our heritage," he said.
If that means people stopping to pick up trash or move a branch from the middle of the street, then that is what he plans to promote.
He also want to inspire creative thinking and encourage the City Council and the public to hold faithful to the city's values — and work together to preserve what people hold dear.
"I am proud to live in a city where our citizens can feel safe, where we have well-maintained streets, beautiful parks, recreational events and activities for people of all ages, and a functional and efficient library."
Butler said he knows if he is elected he will have his work cut out for him.
He has the advantage, he said, of working in the private sector all of his life — and having a no-nonsense personality.
"I'm someone who packs a lunch and goes to work everyday," he said.
Butler, however, does have ideas he plans to bring to the table.
He said he would diffinently continue the current City Council's efforts to protect reserves, but he would also suggest the city implement a reserve police officer program that will help fill the gap in certain law enforcement duties at little cost to the city.
"We use to have reserve police officers," he said. "We can have reserve police officers again."
He would also like to look at reducing the statutory requirements and fees placed on new businesses opening in the city, partly to offset some of the state's stringent requirements.
"How are we going to get businesses to move into Willows, if we can't get them to move into California," Butler said.
Finally, Butler said he hopes to identify more affordable housing and transportation alternatives for all citizens.
Everyone, he said, has to work together for a city to achieve common goals.