By Martin Couch
When Brian and Melissa Ruby came to Bryant in 2001, it was just a budding community.
Today, with the population of Bryant nearly doubling to over 18,000 and an explosion of commercialization and urbanization, Ruby wants to become even more involved in his community and has decided to run for the vacated Ward 2, Position 1 on the Bryant City Council.[more]
"I'm excited about it and I'm definitely up to the challenge," Ruby said in an exclusive interview with Bryantdaily.com. "There are some continuing issues in our ward, like the flooding, and I've been getting assurances from the folks here that we are ready to put it to bed. Everyone is tired of worrying about it and it's time to move on with other issues like growth."
Ruby has been active in the community as a member of the Bryant Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the Bryant Economic Development committee and is a two-time graduate of Bryant Citizens for Public Safety. He is also an honorary deputy for the Bryant Fire Department and, as of last July, is a Saline County reserve deputy. He was also instrumental in developing full-time benefits for the police and fire departments through his organization, Bryant Citizens for Public Safety.
"I want to keep Bryant growing," Ruby said. "The secret is out that it's a great place to live. I understand that the city is doing its best to try and stay ahead, but I believe it could benefit from a fresh pair of eyes, who could keep the heat on and look to the future."
Ruby has spent time canvassing his ward, talking with voters who have been annexed into the city of Bryant.
"I want them to have their concerns heard and, so far, many of them have said no one has spoken to them," he said. "They have issues about sewer and water. I want to help continue the process about building new activities and neighborhoods in the city and I believe that aldermen need to be linked to their community. I think we should have more open forum meetings with the citizens to address the issues as they come up."
Ruby and his wife are raising their 7-year-old son Dylon in Bryant and have an invested interest in the future of their chosen community.
"Growth is welcomed," he said. "A lot of people who have been here a long time want the city to keep focused on growing and keeping up. I believe we need to offer them services like good schools and low crime. We need to stay on top of it and manage it better. Every action has a reaction and it's in our best interest if we look at the long-term benefits for our city.
“The reason I am running is that I believe I am in touch with what the people are wanting,” Ruby said. “It's more than one issue and I've been going door to door to get a feel of what they want. I know this: I will work harder than anyone by keeping citizens in the loop in the future, and use their ideas."