Given the concern over possible military base closures or cuts in years ahead, the Independent recently asked each of the leading mayoral candidates, "How much time should the mayor spend praising the armed forces in hopes of keeping the federal spending coming?"
Each of the four candidates voiced support generally for the military's local presence. Amy Lathen touted the importance of, and her familiarity with, strong working agreements between the military and local governments. She also spoke about the wisdom of developing other aspects of the economy, as did Suthers ("What we need to work on is expanding the private sector, as opposed to suggesting we need to reduce the military sector"), and Makepeace ("What if there are some reductions? ... What is our Plan B here?")
In his answer, Joel Miller suggested that one key to a successful relationship is in better addressing military needs as they arise. "When the base commander says, 'We can't get people in the gate because of the backup on Powers [Boulevard],'" Miller said, "and we haven't done anything about it, it doesn't really speak volumes for us." — KW