Herald Journal - Voters' Guide 2010
Herald Journal / Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch / Delano Herald Journal

Waverly City Council

Four people have filed for a position on the Waverly City Council; Ken Antil, Ben Duske, Lee Hall, and Keith Harris.

Ken Antil

Why are you running for office?

Because Waverly has been going in the right direction for the past six years, and should be back in the black as far as the general fund this year. This was done by budget cuts and watching the spending. I want to make sure this continues.

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

1. The budget. If I am elected, I will continue to watch the budget and spending.

2. Taxes and utilities. Bring in new business for lower taxes, and try to lower the rates.

Why should you be elected?

Because, as a council member for six years and as mayor for two years, I think I have proven myself. I have been committed to see the money was spent wisely. I also want to see the area I grew up in prosper.

Ben Duske

Why are you running for office?

The reason I am running for office is because I believe it is my civic duty to serve my community. I have thought about running for office in the past and decided it wasn’t my time, but I know now is the right time for me to do it.

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

The major issues that I believe affect our community are mostly financial. I think there is something that could be done about the people living in our community that cannot afford to stay in their houses, whether it be the water bill is too high or the property taxes are too high. There are a number of reasons for this.

I do not have all of the answers, or maybe even some of the answers, but what I will do is make a very conscious effort to do the best job that I am able to do.

There is a large industrial park located behind the bank that has no business in it. If there was even one business there, that would increase our tax base and take a little load off of everyone’s shoulders.

Another issue is, when a project gets started, it needs to be completed, instead of starting something, leaving it half way done, and there being no follow-through or completion on the issue. This is something that needs to be addressed and is a great concern of mine.

Why should you be elected?

I should be elected because I grew up in this community and I want to see this community remain strong. I have three small children and want them to grow up here, as well.

Waverly is a very strong community. I know this because I have been on the Waverly Fire Department for eight years and have interacted with numerous people in the community.

I also believe there is great potential for this city. We have some good businesses in town and I would like to see more.

Lee Hall

Why are you running for office?

I am running for the office of Waverly City Council because I believe I can add value to the council as the city is faced with various social and fiscal issues.

I believe that the lack of business management in government at all levels needs to change, and given the chance, I would attempt to add some of those principles to the decision-making process.

I am aware government office holds different requirements and has regulations that are different from business, but the basic principles and concepts in operating a business can be referenced as the city makes its fiscal choices.

If elected I am only one of five individuals serving Waverly, but I will ensure all avenues are brought forth in decision-making processes, to ensure we choose the best possible solution.

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

The two major issues faced by Waverly council and its citizens are the constant increases of utility costs (specifically water and sewer), and the dwindling number of residents.

1. The utility cost has increased consistently over the six years I have lived in Waverly. It is time to find a way to reduce those costs and ensure the interest of the citizens is regarded when increases are made.

We have a contract that was agreed upon several years ago that allows Montrose to do whatever they like to Waverly.

I would continue the efforts our current council is pursuing legally and ethically in order to find methods to reduce those costs and improve our relationship with Montrose.

Another opportunity I would like to pursue to assist in reducing the cost of operating the city of Waverly, which will impact the utility cost, is to review opportunities to increase the profits of the municipal liquor store and attached bar. There is substantial opportunity, in my opinion, to create profit in the municipal liquor store; beyond monthly reports of positive or negative progress given by the manager, the council has a responsibility to help evolve and improve the budget and cost of the operations to maximize profits. The liquor store is an enterprise that is owned by the city and can increase the bottom line of the city. This is an area where my business and technology background can play a key role in improving the cost of living in Waverly as it relates to operating cost.

2. The dwindling population in Waverly is also an issue that I believe affects, and is affected by, the cost of living in Waverly. The city must find a way to reduce the cost of living.

The cost for water and sewer is far above the cost in other surrounding communities (not all), to include those closer to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul areas.

In the current economy, and even before the downturn, people pay attention to those costs as part of their budget and weigh those facts when deciding to move into a given community. Why drive 30 to 45 minutes to Waverly, pay higher taxes and utility costs, when you can move to Buffalo, St Bonifacius, or Lester Prairie and pay lower taxes and utility costs, as well as have a reduced commute? Albeit slow, those communities are still experiencing small growth, but Waverly has not.

The council will need to explore methods in which to get the word out about our great community to draw businesses and citizens to the community. If we can add business to the community, that will lead to increased population and revenue to the city.

There are foreclosed houses all around Waverly that need to be filled in order to encourage new building and growth in the community. There are advertising campaigns coming about from other communities, attempting to promote the Highway 12 corridor. There are word-of-mouth and other opportunities that need to be explored, and I hope to be able to add value to those decisions as a council member.

Like a good business, we want to grow as a community, and we have to find ways to make that happen without increased cost to current residents, but making it financially appealing to potential residents. This is another area I believe I can bring value to the discussion.

My goal will be to help entice people and business to come to Waverly through collaboration with the council members. It will be important to focus on reducing the cost of living in Waverly, where the council has control, in order to make these ideas happen.

My goal will be to work with all the council members to conduct and make the best decisions regarding these types of ideas. I can’t promise that all these ideas, as I see it, will happen, as the overall decision depends on four other people. But I can promise I will raise these issues, create discussion and collaboration, and with sound knowledge and data, I will help the council to act in the best interest of the citizens of Waverly.

Why should you be elected?

I believe I should be elected because of the value I can bring to the Waverly City Council. I have a variety of experience from the US Army, working in the trenches, working in the corporate environment, and completing educational goals in the business/technology field.

I am a husband, a father, and an individual with financial responsibilities that require constant adjustment of my personal budget in order to try and reduce my cost of living.

I believe all those aspects can be transferred to the responsibilities and decision-making processes faced by the city council.

I am not a politician, I am not rich, and I am not in this for a paycheck. I am in this to attempt to improve the overall quality of life experienced by the citizens of Waverly, as I have been one for the past six years.

I can’t afford the continued increases, and I know most of us are in the same situation. I don’t want to just complain about it; I want to try and help improve the situation. I am just one voice, but I will be a vocal voice in the process of making decisions if I am elected to the Waverly City Council.

Keith Harris

Why are you running for office?

To serve the citizens of our great community, and help make our city a safe, secure place people want to raise their children in, which appeals to all ages.

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

1. City finances. Continue to find ways we can reduce waste, and get the city’s general fund back in the positive.

2. City growth. Work with the council and the necessary personnel to promote our city, and attract new business, so we can continue to fill the empty lots throughout the city of Waverly.

Why should you be elected?

After serving for nearly two years on the current council and helping reduce the city’s debt, I believe I can continue to serve the community by completing the upcoming challenges that lay ahead for our city.

Also, in my experience as a volunteer firefighter, along with 15 years of marriage, three children, and hosting two Russian exchange students, I have developed skills that will help me properly represent our community.

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