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Trust and transparency headline the issues for newly declared mayoral candidate Jenny Cudd, who entered the race this past week with a campaign kick-off at Brew Street Bakery in Midland.

Cudd, the owner of Becky’s Flower Shop, spoke about the issues that motivated her decision to run and summarized each issue with her campaign slogan, “Midland Deserves Better.”

“Every time I hear we need to increase taxes, even with the record sales and property tax revenue, I think, ‘Midland deserves better,’” Cudd stated in her campaign speech.

In addition, Cudd pointed out that during Mayor Morales’ tenure, property taxes have increased over 30 percent.

Cudd also blasted the current city council’s “Priority Midland” initiative, saying, “Every time I hear we need to write a $4 million check to bring an outside consultant in to tell us what our priorities should be, or that we should gift $7.5 million to Midland Park Mall, I think, ‘Midland deserves better.’”

Priority Midland is a project under the Midland Economic Development Corporation, where outside consultants are hired to develop a strategic investing plan for the area. The two main consultants include the McChrystal Group, headed by retired General Stanley McChrystal, and the Perryman Group, headed by Dr. Ray Perryman. McChrystal recently gained national media attention in his retirement by heavily criticizing President Donald Trump and endorsing stronger federal gun control measures.

Midland taxpayers will be paying McChrystal’s group around $2 million.

Cudd also cited the number of police and firefighter vacancies as a problem and mentioned the high cost of living as a cause behind their inability to stay.

Incumbent Jerry Morales was first elected to Midland City Council in 2008 before becoming mayor in 2013. Morales, a local restaurant owner, announced his intent to run for re-election this past March.

The two will face off in the upcoming November election.