John Schrader has been a resident of Manchester for 12 years. During 10 of those years, he said, he has been attending most board of alderman meetings. Now Schrader is running against Alderman Don Ryan for the Ward 3 alderman seat. Schrader tells Patch that he felt his interest and those of the residents were not been represented because of the constant bickering of the board, so he decided to run.
“My impression was that we have a board that is completely and totally divided, and some of their attitudes seems like kindergarten kids,” Schrader said.
Schrader said he does not have any political experience, which he believes will bring a unique perspective to the board.
“I didn’t get into this with any personal or political agenda,” Schrader said. “I got into this strictly to represent the citizens of Manchester.”
Schrader said one of his main goals if elected is to improve communication with the residents of his ward and the board of aldermen. To accomplish this, Schrader created a website, which he said he will maintain after the election, updating it with information about different issues in the city.
“Communication is lacking, at least in Ward Three, about what is going on with the city,” Schrader said. “Communication is the biggest key to understand the issues.”
Schrader works as a manager at Licari Auto Body Supply, Inc. in Rolla, Missouri. He makes the commute from Manchester to Rolla daily, but Manchester is his permanent residence.
"I grew up in this area my whole life, my whole family lives around here. My kids go to school here. It is my home, and it will be for a long time," he said.
In 2010, Schrader filed for bankruptcy. He tells Patch that now he looks at the situation as a learning experience, and it is something he talks openly about.
“It wasn’t something that I wanted to do, we tried everything we possibly could,” Schrader said. “I haven’t been trying to hide it in any way shape or form. It happened.”
Schrader said that experience taught him to live within his means, something he thinks is important for a city government, too.
“Do not live beyond your means whether you are an individual or a municipality,” Schrader said. “You have a certain amount of revenue, so you use that. My wife and I have done a lot of changing in the last few years.”
Schrader said he has and will question all the expenditures of the city so the does not deal with future issues like it's seeing with the $600,000 worth of repairs to the Manchester Aquatic Center.
“There is no reason for it,” Schrader said.
Schrader, however, said the city is in a good financial standing. He said he hopes more businesses and residents will relocate to Manchester and not pay attention to the negativity coming from the board of aldermen at the moment.
“I plan on bringing dignity back to the board and respect back to the citizens of Manchester,” Schrader said. “I plan on listening and addressing all of the citizen’s concerns in a timely manner. The good in this city has definitively not been shown in the media.”