Herald Journal - Voters' Guide '08

Seven file for positions in Dassel

Seven people have filed for positions on the Dassel City Council.

Two have filed for mayor – incumbent Ava Flachmeyer and newcomer Mike Scanlon.

For council, the following people have filed – incumbents Wayne Medcraft and Bob Lalone, as well as Alesia Warner, Neil Bonde Sr., and Jack Adams.

Ava Flachmeyer

Why are you running for office?

To guide the different projects that are started to completion in a fiscally responsible way. I do truly enjoy being the mayor and representing the citizens of Dassel.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

First: Infrastructure.Many areas of the city needs replacing to improve efficiency. Much of our infrastructure is antiquated and built when the city was young and can no longer handle the increase in usage due to increase of population and demands of the modern world. A portion of the system is set to be replaced with the addition of the water tower and is included in the PFA loan. Further funding is available, but needs further investigation. Due to doing our homework and crunching numbers, our PFA loan came in at a very low interest rate.

Second: Lighting. We have areas that need improved lighting for the safety of the residents. We need to be creative in financing so not to hurt the taxpayers.

Why should you be elected?

I have been Mayor for the last four yearsand will apply the experience I have to lead us through the tough economic times that are facing the nation and the cities.

Mike Scanlon

Why are you running for office?

Dassel lacks strong leadership. I can supply tht leadership.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

First issue: Growth and development of Dassel businesses – Form a new committe with business owners who do not live within the Dassel city limits, and work closely with the Dassel Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce.

Second issue: More parks and playgrounds – Work with the park board committee and raise funds through land development.

Why should you be elected?

I am a good leader. I am up to the challenges that face Dassel, and I want to be a part of meeting those challenges.

Wayne Medcraft

Why are you running for office?

In May 2008, I was chosen by the Dassel City Council to fill a vacant seat on the council from a list of four or five possible candidates.

At that time, I stated in the Enterprise Dispatch my vision – “To make Dassel a more pleasant place to live, to attract more industry and commercial services, to provide more employment, and keep taxes down. To provide more recreational opportunites for all Dassel citizens. To make Dassel a destination city for fun, recreation, and commercial services.”

With the council’s support and cooperation, I have been successful in completing some of my vision statement, specifically:

We have just finished installing “new” period lighting on Atlantic Avenue. This is the first phase of revitalizing this important commercial street. The new lights are attractive, brighter, use less electricity, and will encourage shopping or eating in the early morning or evening hours at current or new businesses.

At our first meeting in October, the council will be considering my proposal to move the former street lights from Atlantic Avenue to key commercial intersections on Parker Avenue (Highway 12), to make the roadway safer and improve vision at night of Dassel businesses and side streets.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

Dassel needs to attract more industry and commercial services to increase the tax base and reduce the taxation on homeowners. The council has made significant progress in this area with improved commercial lighting (see above), and I was pleased to second the vote for the new water tower. This investmen in the infrastructure of Dassel will ensure a reliable source of water pressure for all Dassel homes and for new industry. Furthermore, it will project a positive image of a progressive community and save taxpayers substantial money for the many needed repairs on the old water tower.

Dassel needs to market itself better to attract more tourism dollars. Tourists from nearby resorts, or those attending meetings, weddings, trade shows, and other get-togethers in the area buy products and services from all of our local stores and businesses. Tourism and business meeting dollars help keep our downtown vital and help it grow, which increases jobs and reduces the tax burden on homeowners.

It is for this important reason that Bob Wilde and I made and seconded the motions to add the new community room to the Dassel Historical Society building. This new addition will allow Dassel to attract more, and much larger, groups who will spend additional dollars in town. Also, most of the construction money for the addition will employ local contractors and suppliers.

Why should you be elected?

I have demonstrated by my vision statement and voting record on the city council that I am a progressive thinking person, one who is trying to improve the business climate in Dassel to increase jobs and reduce taxation on homeowners.

I am currently on the council and am involved in many of the complex issues facing the city. I don’t need “on-the-job-training,” as someone who is new would.

I have many years of local government and business experience and understand the complex problems facing our community.

I am semi-retired and give many hours of service to the city, besides my time on the city council.

I am dedicated to making Dassel a better place to live for all its citizens.

Bob Lalone

Why are you running for office?

I want to be an active participant in efforts to improve the quality of life for Dassel residents. Also, to help provide guidance moving forward with the city’s comprehensive plan.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

The number one issue would be to revitalize the downtown area. An overall vision needs to be created in how this should happen. Key points in the process would be upgrading the infrastructure (i.e. lighting, sidewalks, and street improvements), then providing an access to funds and programs for new and existing businesses.

Another issue that keeps haunting Dassel has been the lack of automation within the Meeker County assessor’s office. The process of tracking, delivering, and adjusting the property tax is very archaic. This needs to be modernized. A consorted effort by the cities in the county lobbying for more funding and resources to be directed to this cause will help alleviate discrepancies in our tax methods.

Why should you be elected?

As an incumbent, continue providing oversight on the city’s budget and infrastructure projects. I also want to benefit the community by utilizing my educational and practical experiences as a councilmember.

Alesia Warner

Why are you running for office?

My name is Alesia Warner. I live in Dassel with my husband, Jesse, and our four children. I grew up just northwest of Dassel, and have lived in town for almost 12 years. I love this community, its people, and what it has to offer. I have decided to run for Dassel City Council to become an active member of our community, and to assist in making necessary decisions of our pressing needs.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

I feel that there is a need for increased street lighting throughout the city, and sidewalks added along the edges of Breeds Park. I feel it would be beneficial to all members of our community, bringing safety and security.

Why should you be elected?

As a city council member, I’ll bring my dedication to the continuation of our town’s positive values, and to hear the voices of our community. I am eager to learn more of the status of our local government and look forward to researching projects and topics as they arise, to make an educated decision on any impact it would bring to our community.

Neil Bonde Sr.

Why are you running for office?

I was approached by several people, asking me to run for city council – that’s when I decided to run.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

We need more industry, as well as businesses on main street. If we can create jobs in town, it will better the community.

Why should you be elected?

I feel like it’s time for a change. I would like to help with making Dassel a better place to live.

Jack Adams

Why are you running for office?

Because I think it’s time to change the way the City of Dassel spends money.

What do you think are two major issues at this time, and what do you propose to do about them?

Unwise spending by the city. If a project is not budgeted, it should not be done unless it is a necessity to keep the city functional.

The cost of water and sewer. Sewer usage should change monthly, just like water usage does.

Why should you be elected?

If the citizens of Dassel are satisfied with the way the city is being run, don’t vote for me. If they are unsatisfied, they should vote for me, and I will try to make a change on how money is spent and how residents are billed.