The importance of Ford’s plant in Claycomo is emphasized by the mayor of a small town nearby who says the issue is more than Ford jobs; it’s about the future of his town.

About three times more people work at the Ford Plant in Claycomo than live in the village of Claycomo itself. Next door is the community of Pleasant Valley, population about 5600 Pleasant Valley Mayor David Slater tells state lawmakers it is critical they pass the so-called Ford bill to keep Ford in full production at the plant.. He says the stakes are high for his little town. “If the Ford plant leaves, I’ve got a hundred empty homes…That would just wreck us. I’ve got businesses along 69 Highway and they tell me those small business people say three-fourths their business (comes from) Ford plant employees. That’s gone.”

Slater would like his town to offer Ford some financial incentives to stay at full production. But his town’s budget is only $1.5 million.

Slater says he has friends that will have to move. He says some of his friends will lose their businesses. Slater says losing 3,000 jobs at the Ford plant won’t just have a ripple effect on his town. It will have a tidal wave effect.

The Ford tax incentive bill has run into a hostile Senate committee chairman who wants to kill it. Senate leaders say they’ll work on a way to get around him.

testimony from KC councilwoman Deb Herman & P.V. mayor David Slater 12:49 mp3