Mike Bates, who is unopposed in the Ward 1 race, is seeking his sixth term on the board of aldermen.

Bates grew up in Pacific and is a graduate of Pacific High School. He received an associate’s degree from Ranken Technical College.

He works at Valent Aerostructures, where he is a shift supervisor and a tool and die maker.

Bates is an active member of the Eagles and Columbia Lodge 534.

He has twice been elected president of the board of aldermen. He served six years as board liaison to the planning and zoning commission.

During his 10 years as an alderman, Bates said he has seen the city change dramatically due to the board’s activities in the area of infrastructure improvements.

“It was a complicated process and I’m grateful that I was a part of it,” he said.

He said the city made the improvements using a combination of federal matching transportation grants, CDBG grants, through its partnerships with MoDOT and Franklin County, and three community improvement districts, (CID), where sales taxes were used to help fund street improvements.

“We found many ways to improve our roads,” Bates said. “Now we have new downtown streets with lighting, the first railroad overpass in our city’s history, a new Interstate 44 interchange, new West Osage with streetlights and trees.

“Most important, we have sidewalks on Old Gray Summit Road and South Highway N that have brought people out to live more active and healthier lives,” Bates said. “When I drive out to my mom’s and I see people out walking on the sidewalks, it’s a great feeling.”

If re-elected, Bates said his driving focus for the next two years would be to complete a new city comprehensive plan, or master plan, that will be developed with input from the public.

“This would be the one tool in our arsenal that we don’t have that would make us more marketable to attract more growth,” he said. “Not just for today, but to give us a vision for future years, the next five years or 10 years. It will spell out what can happen in all directions.”

The comprehensive plan should look at the city in a way that can place more emphasis on retail growth, he said.

“This (the comprehensive plan) is something that we will put on paper for everyone to see,” he added.

Bates stressed that the comprehensive plan is all about what the city and its citizens want for the city.

“We want everybody’s input,” he stressed. “If we do this right, this will be a blueprint for many years to come.”

Bates and his wife Loren have two sons, Michael Jr. and Jeremy, who live in Pacific.