Back in August, even before newly resigned Mayor Mike Crist announced his resignation, Nate Pike publicized his bid for Mayor. When Pike’s bid was originally annouced, it was intended for the election in May 2018; when Crist’s term was set to expire. Now Crist’s resignation has moved up Pike’s candidacy.

Pike said there is definitely a need for a new city hall, but the price is an issue. “There’s no doubt that Anna will need a new city hall as we continue to grow, not to mention a real police station along with added fire stations. Citizens need a place to conduct government of which they can be proud. But the $17 million price tag is government bloat at its finest. We need to slash that budget and look to build something conservative that still represents our city well. The current plan simply isn’t fiscally responsible.”

The need to look at solutions before enacting eminent domain is high on Pike’s list, he said. “I’m a private-property guy, plain and simple. That’s why we need robust protections for land owners when it comes to eminent domain at the state level. But here locally, I can commit to voters that the City of Anna will respect their private property and look for amicable solutions before eminent domain is even on the table.”

Pike said annexation is unavoidable. “Annexation is a really valuable tool in our civic toolbox, especially for a growing city like Anna. We need to make sure that people who are receiving city services are paying their fair share for those services, and annexation is a great way to do that. That having been said, annexations should be 100 percent voluntary. If we can’t do a good enough job as city leaders to explain to people the benefits of living in our city, that’s our failure, not the homeowners.”

When asked his opinion on the city branding, Pike said he is not amused. “What an absolute joke. Therefore, people don’t trust government, and frankly, why I have a hard time trusting government as well. To pay nearly six figures for ‘branding’ is absurd. As mayor I’ll be asking the tough questions as to why the brakes weren’t put on this thing a long time ago.”