Monona mayoral and council candidates state their case at forum




By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor



Monona mayoral candidates Nathan Trappe, Michael Newton, Barbara (Bries) Collins and Jym Montgomery, along with council candidates John Elledge and Jason Schubert, fielded audience questions at a candidate forum held at the Monona Community Center last night.


Economic and business development and increased cooperation between city entities, as well as citizens, were some of the topics discussed.


One question the candidates fielded asked what accomplishments they would like to see within the next five years:


Barbara (Bries) Collins—

· more money and a balanced budget

· Monona moving forward

· happy people

· new businesses


Jym Montgomery—

· Monona growing and its citizens working together

· curbs and gutters up to par

· bring businesses to town that will be devoted to Monona

· get more people involved

· a fully-staffed medical clinic throughout the whole week


Michael Newton—

· previously-mandated sidewalk repairs actually carried through

· cut city curbs down

· enforce the curfew, especially during the summer

· no more meth labs

· have a police department everyone is proud of


Nathan Trappe—

· no partially-painted dwellings

· pave the gravel road by the bus barn

· replace sidewalks more quickly

· get brighter lights downtown

· bring in more businesses, especially a successful restaurant

· get some properties cleaned up and don’t leave projects undone


Jason Schubert—

· have the pool run itself

· bring in businesses and have a growing industrial park

· street improvements


John Elledge—

· take care of roads and streets

· bring industry and business to town

· have community events where people can see “who we are and what we’re about”


Each candidate also gave a short statement about why citizens should vote for them:


Barbara (Bries) Collins—

“I’ve lived here all my life and have been a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader and have been active in my church. I try to be at community events and I want to continue to be there for people...But without working together, we’re not going anywhere. There are lots of issues, but I see a bright future and I want to be part of it.”


Jym Montgomery—

“I will be in the business and residential districts. I will be visible. I will be around. Working on the city’s image would do so much. I want the community to be all-inclusive where people can feel free to say what they want without repercussions. I know we can do it if we pull together, attend council meetings and talk to elected officials.”


Michael Newton—

“I wish there were some seniors here tonight who will get to vote for the first time because it’s their future too...I think we need to not be so negative about other ethnicities. We’re going to be living next door to them, so we need to be welcoming to those people. We also need to stop being divided and pull together and stop playing one department against another. If we didn’t have them, we wouldn’t be here. That would go a long way to pulling people together...I’ve also been a Scout leader, and, if you’ve ever worked with youth, it’s one of the hardest things to do. So, if I can deal with youth, I can deal with adults.”


Nathan Trappe—

“I’m not much of a politician, but I do know how to work and take chances. But it can’t be done alone. Every meeting should look like this. We need to get more volunteers. It takes hard work and it takes a boss. I won’t worry about what people will say. I’ll do it for the betterment of the community...If the city is going to enforce things, we also need to get ours up to par and do it right the first time...I don’t have time, but I will make time. It’s not about time, but the will and knowledge to make Monona grow. I will take that risk.”


John Elledge—

“I am approachable, despite my looks. Honesty—I’m honest to a fault and sometimes I step on toes. Respect—I have respect for people. Understanding—I take time to see the big picture. Caring. Fairness—sometimes when you are, not everyone thinks you are...I will do this with desire and enthusiasm and faith in the community and everyone. I will stay positive and have tolerance. I’m not asking for your vote or putting up signs. If you know me, you know what I’m about.”


Jason Schubert—

“I’m open-minded. I have no personal agenda. I’m open to what you have to say. The city council is the nucleus of the community and I want to be a part of that.”


To view the entire forum, check out Channel 4 on NEIT Digital Television and Channel 37 on NEIT Basic Cable at the following times: Friday, Nov. 1 at 11:40 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 4 at 11:40 a.m. and 5 p.m.



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