Herald Journal - Voters' Guide '08

Five file for positions in Waverly

Five candidates have filed for positions on the Waverly City Council.

Ken Antil filed for mayor (he is serving he council currently). For Waverly council – incumbent Gary Olson re-filed, along with newcomers Keith Harris, Connie Holmes, and Charlie Brown.

The mayor position, served by Ken Hausladen is up. Council seats served by Gary Olson and Deb Hausladen are also up.

Ken Antil

Why are you running for office?

I am running for mayor because I believe that I can make a difference in the way the City of Waverly is being run, and hopefully get more citizens involved in city government.

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

I feel the number one issue has to be the state of the city’s finances. We have to cut even more of the spending than we did last year, and still have a viable outlook for 2009.

Issue number two is to try and hold down the taxes and work closely with the city’s financial planners to achieve that goal.

Why should you be elected?

I believe that having lived in Waverly all of my life has given me the ability to see what has to be done to keep Waverly “The Best Kept Secret in the State,” as far as a small town atmosphere with good resources (people). I also believe that I have the ability to work well with people and to get the job done.

Gary Olson

Why are you running for office?

To bring unity back into our city government.

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

Taxes are a major concern for residents of Waverly.

With the loss of financial aid from state and federal, we need to control spending within city government.

Why should you be elected?

Being a longtime resident of Waverly and current council member, I feel I can help city government until economy improves.

Keith Harris

Why are you running for office?

I want to help ensure the city is financially secure and fiscally responsible.

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

City finances: I will work with the mayor and council members to get the city back on track financially, and ensure there is a surplus for capital projects.

Animal control: Work with residents on how we can achieve a common ground and co-exist with each other’s pets.

Why should you be elected?

I believe that listening and decision-making are learned skills. With more than 20 years of working in the same business, my experience as a volunteer fire fighter, along with 14 years of marriage and three children, I have developed those vital skills and will use them to properly represent our community.

Connie Holmes

Why are you running for office?

Waverly is a small city with a proud history, friendly people, and quiet living. However, it is struggling with problems created by the current economic downturn and housing crisis.

I decided to run for council because I want to use my business and economic experience to help solve our problems and ensure that our city meets its great potential. I believe that I can work effectively with others on the council, city staff, commissions, and (most importantly) our residents and businesses to bring new approaches to addressing our financial and other issues.

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

Take better charge of our finances. Quite simply, Waverly’s expenses are greater than Waverly’s income. Due to spending in the early 2000s, the city had no general fund to fall back on to meet any new or unexpected expenses.

To bridge the money gap, the council has proposed yet another increase in the property tax levy for 2009. But, even this may not be enough, and I do not believe our residents can afford more taxes and more fees.

In 2009 the council must work to assure that the tax levy and property owners’ actual taxes do not increase, but are held level or even reduced. How? First tackle the expense side of the ledger by changing the budgeting process.

The council – in open meetings – needs to conduct a zero-based review of every program or expense and ask hard questions – is this necessary and, if yes, can it be done more efficiently with less cost?

A program or an expense is not OK just because it was done last year. New programs or new initiatives may take priority over old. This entire process will take a lot of time and effort, but it is the best way to get expenses under control.

We must make hard choices and prioritize spending. We also need to apply for any grants that would help expand programs without raising taxes.

Increase the tax base. Secondly, we must tackle the income side of the ledger.

We have to increase the tax base so that city income goes up while taxes paid by a homeowner or business are lowered. This is not an easy task with a quick solution.

We have to attract new residents and new businesses that offer local jobs. But, to do that we have to spruce up our developments, get rid of weeds and half built houses, and make Waverly a more attractive place to live.

The council needs to make a concerted effort to hold developers responsible for unattended areas, and if those developers cannot be found, explore innovative ways to tackle the problem ourselves. An example might be a summer program to hire Waverly teens that want work.

The council should develop a program to market Waverly to new business and small industry, while fully supporting our current business.

Why should you be elected?

I will bring new ideas to the table. Meeting these challenges requires fresh ideas and new approaches which, as a relatively new resident with extensive business and policy experience, I can contribute to council deliberations.

I have experience in finding workable solutions to hard problems. My business and economics education plus 32 years experience as an industry association executive and economist have prepared me well to deal with Waverly’s fiscal problems.

I have made a career of developing and selling new ideas, and finding workable compromises among diverse industries. These skills will be of value to the council, our citizens, and our businesses, as we tackle the financial issues that face all of us.

I want to expand service to the City of Waverly. I am a member of Waverly’s Planning and Zoning Commission and was recently elected president of the Waverly Economic Development Authority (EDA).

Just this year, EDA has conducted a survey to identify community issues and needs, has begun to develop a Waverly business directory, will lead a council/multi-commission/citizen effort to prepare a long-range development plan for Waverly. I will continue to assist this effort as a member of the council.

I will work for Waverly – on a full time basis – and I will communicate. I have worked all my life in full time and challenging positions. Now, I am retired and prepared to work full time for our relatively new home – Waverly.

If elected, I will be available by phone and e-mail to provide information to our residents. I will devote whatever time is necessary to advance our city council goals, solve our problems, and promote our city.

Charlie Brown

Why are you running for office?

Personally, I believe in public service. Since we (my wife, Tracy, and daughter, Charese) moved to Waverly four years ago, we have been very active in many areas – PIE, Waverly Boosters, Laker Pride, and local church groups. I see this as another chance to help the community we chose to raise our family in.

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

The two major issues facing the city of Waverly are money and money. I propose to keep a very close eye on the city budget – limiting spending to true necessities.

Why should you be elected?

I promise to do what I think is best for the residences of the city of Waverly.