Seven contenders battle for three seats on Marquette City Council

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

With the Nov. 5 election fast approaching, the city of Marquette looks to have a highly-contested race, as seven people are running for three council positions. Voters will choose between Tracy Melver and Rinda Ferguson, who are both incumbents, as well as Robert Hamann, Galen McShane, Cindy Sharp Halvorson, Todd Kann and John Ries.

 

At the request of the North Iowa Times, each candidate answered three questions about their decision to run, as well as what they hope to accomplish.

 

Tracy Melver, Council Incumbent—

Q: Why are you running for re-election?

A: “To continue to keep the town moving forward and to keep property taxes low.”

 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish or work toward if you are re-elected?

A: “I want to work on continuing to get funding for senior housing. When you get elected, you think things will move quickly, but it goes at a snail’s pace.

 

“I also want to work on bringing more viable businesses to Marquette and getting more things for young people.”

 

Q: What do you want voters to know about you as a person and/or an elected official when they head to the polls?

A: “I look at the issues as what’s best for the whole town, not what’s best for a few individuals.”

 

 

Rinda Ferguson, Council Incumbent—

Q: Why are you running for re-election?

A: “I would like to see a continued effort to build on the progress made in creating a great place to live and play, while also ensuring we are sustainable into the future. I have also thoroughly enjoyed working with a great group of forward thinking individuals.”

 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish or work toward if you are re-elected?

A: “Main Street revitalization—visit with experts about possible incentives to create a strong business district. With our non-traditional business district design, I feel we need to encourage more ‘cottage or house themed’ businesses on North Street, similar to how Barr House Antiques incorporated a home and business or how Trickling Waters Retreat converted a garage into a bed and breakfast rental space.

 

“Senior housing—in an area that would give easy access to all their needs.

 

“Roundhouse Park—further development to include a nature playground with over 26 seasonal campsites, creating revenue stream for sustainability.

 

“Complete the paving of all streets within our community and investigate a community trail system.

 

“First time home buyers program—work with UERPC to investigate possible implementation of this program.”

 

Q: What should voters know about you as a person and/or an elected official when they head to the polls?

A: “I have been a resident of the community of Marquette for 48 years. I have served on the comprehensive planning committee, zoning board, Bluffland Ordinance committee and was appointed to the council to fill a vacancy and elected to the council in 2009. I have had a very enjoyable and rewarding first term and, if elected, I am looking forward to serving our community for a second term.”

 

 

Todd Kann, Council Candidate—

Q: Why are you running for Marquette City Council?

A: “I’m trying to get rid of the corrupt council. They’re not listening to the citizens. They have their own private agenda. They’re focusing on one business and that’s the casino. That’s why they built the new hotel. It’s not a coincidence all the council members have a connection to the casino.”

 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish or work toward if you are elected?

A: “I want to work with the businesses and bring business to town, not chase it away. I want to work with citizens and have them participate in large expenditures. I would get their opinion and ask about things, not do stuff behind their backs.”

 

Q: What should voters know about you as a person and/or  an elected official when they head to the polls?

A: “I will listen to them and vote in their best interests.”

 

 

Robert Hamann, Council Candidate—

Q: Why did you decide to run for Marquette City Council?

A: “I wanted to get involved in the political part of the city.” (He was the fire chief for 28 years and spent many years with the MarMac Rescue Squad and Clayton County Law Enforcement.)

 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish or work toward if you are elected?

A: “I want to see the two cities get along, to work better together. It would be good to have meetings together to work out problems and see what the problems even are.

 

“I also want to work on tourism and get more businesses interested in coming to Marquette.”

 

Q: What should voters know about you as a person and/or an elected official when they head to the polls?

A: “I’m a lifetime resident of Marquette. I grew up here and I’ve seen the changes. I’ve always worked to do the best I could to have the city benefit. I’ll do what’s best for the city, not me or one or two people.”

 

 

John Ries, Council Candidate—

Q: Why did you decide to run for Marquette City Council?

A: “There are only a few businesses in town and I would like to see more.”

 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish or work toward if you are elected?

A: “I would like to see a comprehensive, long-term plan for the downtown and the whole town. I would like to make Marquette more business friendly. There’s been a lot of change, but it’s not good.

 

“I would also like to see a long-term financial plan to make sure that Marquette is financially sound for the future.”

 

Q: What should voters know about you as a person and/or an elected official when they head to the polls?

A: “If people have an issue, they can come to the council and city hall and they’ll be treated politely and with respect. I was mayor for eight years, so I know what it takes.”

 

 

Cindy Sharp Halvorson, Council Candidate—

Q: Why did you decide to run for Marquette City Council?

A: “The reason I decided to run for city council is decisions were made that are going to affect the citizens and business owners of Marquette. The present city council never asked any of the citizens if we felt it was in our best interest on some of the huge investments that have been made.  I strongly feel when decisions like these are made, the citizens and business owners should have a say. One of my other concerns is we need to get a grasp on spending.”

 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish or work toward if you are elected?

A: “One of my concerns is there is no alternative route off the bench. In case of an emergency, there has to be another escape route.

 

“I would also like to propose to let the citizens and businesses have more of a say on huge decisions that affect the taxpayers of Marquette. There has to be more communication with the citizens and businesses—actually listen to them and their concerns before decisions are made.”

 

Q: What should voters know about you as a person and/or an elected official when they head to the polls?

A: “I’ve lived in this area my entire life. I know a lot of the people and they know me. I want them to know that I will put their needs and concerns first.”

 

 

Galen McShane, Council Candidate—

Q: Why did you decide to run for Marquette City Council?

A: “I enjoy working for the town and people. Ever since I haven’t been on the council, people have asked me to run again.”

 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish or work toward if you are elected?

A: “I want to make sure we are properly spending and working on projects. In the past, they’ve talked about different park projects and a trail, but I don’t think anything has really happened with that. I just want to get involved and make the city better for my kids who are growing up here.”

 

Q: What should voters know about you as a person and/or an elected official when they head to the polls?

A: “I’m honest and fair and I don’t spend foolishly. In my regular work, I do a lot of large projects, so I’m familiar with that area.”

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)