Years in Webster City: 33
Occupation: Corporate Business Development Manager for Ramco Innovations
Previous offices: Civil Service Commission
Why are you running for City Council?
I am running to ensure the right questions are asked, more investigation is done, and community input is taken before decisions are made. The people of Webster City are who the council works for. The Council should proactively seek feedback and input on a regular basis from the community. I also want to see the Council start treating small business with far more respect. In addition to these changes, the Council needs to become more diverse in their make-up. I feel I am a great fit for the council in the fact that I am a young professional who is dedicated to our community and my family. My mission is to represent you to my fullest abilities, to keep a constant line of communication open between us and always take time to hear your feedback and input.
What qualifications do you bring to the job?
I sit on the Civil Services Commission for Webster City. I am the chairman of the Ramco Product Evaluation Committee, and I sit on the Association of High Tech Distributors Membership Committee. I have 33 years of Webster City experiences and heritage I bring with me to the council. I am a coach and volunteer within the community and seek out opportunities to serve.
I am the Corporate Business Development Manager for my employer. My role is to bring awareness of services and products to our clients, grow sales, and be a promotional representative at events and networking opportunities. My career experience translates well to city government. I will bring awareness of Webster City to potential employers and employees, grow our community's offerings, and represent our town on a professional level.
What is Webster City's greatest asset?
There are great businesses and historical charm within our community but without a doubt our greatest asset is our people. Whether it is having a ten minute conversation at the coffee shop with a friend or waving to a jogger while walking my dog, the people of this community are kind, warm, and welcoming. During my campaign I have had the honor of listening to people reminisce why they love Webster City and what they believe needs to change to better our town. This has been my favorite part of the campaign process. I am blessed to belong to such a great community. The people of Webster City are why my fiance and I want to be a part of this community forever. I strive to give back by representing and protecting their interests to my fullest on the City Council.
What are the top three challenges facing the community in the next few years? How would you address them?
Utility Rates: I intend on investigating rates of other communities and rates offered by other providers. This information needs to be brought to the bargaining table with our current supplier. One thing I would not negotiate on is out-sourcing our line department.
Shrinking population/lack of employment: Webster City needs to think five to ten years down the road at all times. I believe our population will continue to decline if we do not grow our amenities and job base. We need to retain our current citizens and constantly be attracting new members of our community.
Small business loss: It is always a sad day when our favorite restaurant or service provider close their doors. These are our neighbors, friends, and fellow community members. City Council needs to re-evaluate policy that makes operating a small business in Webster City difficult. City government needs to support and protect small business.
What should the City's role be in economic development?
The City should focus their efforts on making Webster City as appealing to employers as possible. They should also focus on making the town and community appealing to employees. Employers will not come if there is not a strong potential employee base. I feel the Counsel has spent too much time and money "whale hunting". They have unsuccessfully tried to bring large employers into the community and have spent a lot of our money doing so. I believe that we need to diversify the types of jobs we are trying to attract as well as look into attracting new residents to our town by growing our amenities as a community.
What would you do to keep utility rates in line?
Webster City cannot be the only community facing this issue. We need to reach out to similar towns dealing with the same challenges and compare notes. We can learn from other's successes and mistakes so that we can find a solution as soon as possible. We should also partner with other communities to demand lower rates from the supplier as a group. Webster City is not on an island; let's connect with our neighboring communities and work together. Webster City has a top notch Line Department that we need to make sure we protect while working on a better rate. I do not support outsourcing the Line Department's duties.
If elected, what is the first thing you would like to get done and how would you accomplish this?
I am a firm believer in transparent government and the first thing I would do is require the City Manager to explain not only the option he recommends on an issue but at least two other alternative options he has deeply investigated to the Council. I do not feel as though the Council is given multiple options or that the people are always given the full story and this must to stop. The City Manager is there to fulfill the tasks asked of him/her by the council and the council is there to represent the people. The City Manager and the council do not need to spoon feed us information on a need-to-know basis.
How important is collaboration and compromise for a city council member?
Collaboration and compromise is important as a Council member, so is representation of the wants and needs of the people and being able to understand someone else's position on an issue. I believe a council member should do their homework, talk to the people, and come prepared to defend their stance on an issue. They should also be willing to allow the opposition to have their stance be heard. After weighing out the pros and cons they should vote based on their beliefs and what is best for the people of Webster City. The council should disagree on issues when needed and open the floor to discussion. Opposition and discussions are healthy for growth and new ideas.
Give us your vision for the future of Webster City.
I believe Webster City's future can go one of two directions. If we as a community elect diverse and unsolicited council members then the entire community will be properly represented. The people of Webster City will have a true voice in their future. I see the community coming together with positive momentum and giving back to Webster City. If we allow certain candidates that are working with current council members to get elected and stack the deck then our community will stay on its current course. Most of the people I have visited with during my campaign are unhappy with this course and want change. I am running to offer true change and true representation to the people. No group has asked me to run or aided my campaign. I look forward to an undivided community working together to give Webster City the future it deserves.