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

Darwin Mayor

Two people have filed for the position of mayor in Darwin; Mike Diederich and Josh Johnson.

Mike Diederich

Why are you running for this particular office?

I have been a part of Darwin’s community for a long time, and want to give back. I see a lot of potential in Darwin, but businesses are closing, rather than expanding. I would like to help turn the trend by becoming mayor.

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

1. I would work on the street issues in Darwin. By unifying the road system, our community would become stronger. The Rice Circle, for example, could have a road that connects directly to Darwin, so they don’t have have to take the highway into town.

2. I would also ensure that prior projects, such as the sewer and water projects, are held to appropriate schedules. These projects have been on the city’s agenda for several years without a lot of action. I would make sure there is more emphasis on city projects, rather than beautification projects.

Why should you be elected?

I have been a part of the community for 45 years. During that time, I’ve worked at the local gas station, Rier Sod, Kino’s Corner, and owned my own roofing company. I have set traps at the Rod and Gun Club, was president of the Men’s Club, and sat on the Lutheran church council board. Plus, I’ve helped out numerous people by mowing lawns and shoveling sidewalks. I am fiscally responsible, honest, and willing to work with all people.

Josh Johnson

Why are you running for this particular office?

I was encouraged by several members of the community to run, after Mayor Cervin decided he would not seek re-election. After careful consideration and prayer, I felt it was the right time for me to serve the city in this capacity.

I want to ensure the city has leadership that will be active, available, and fiscally disciplined for the residents of Darwin.

I strongly believe it is important to serve your community, and see this as another opportunity to give back.

Also, and perhaps most importantly, my wife gave me her permission.

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

An aging water/sewer system has the current council exploring options to replace or improve these utilities.

Mandates, prevailing wage laws, and excessive environmental regulation make these improvements cost much more than they should. I have been attending council meetings and have seen the initial proposals, which highlight the grant and loan options available.

I will continue to explore those options, as well as search for any other available, and weigh the actual need versus the financial obligation it will impose on the users.

A second important issue in the coming years may be local government aid (LGA). Excessive state spending and the depressed economy has severely strained the state’s budget and created the possibility that LGA to cities will be drastically cut.

Many small cities, such as Darwin, depend on LGA for a portion of their operating budget. I want to ensure the city continues to remain fiscally conservative in our spending habits, in preparation for a decrease in LGA, so as to not burden the city’s residents with large property tax increases.

Why should you be elected?

As mayor, I will continue to keep the interests of the residents in mind. I will be open to the residents about the issues and available to hear their opinions.

I will also actively lobby state officials, on behalf of residents, letting them know the impact their mandates and excessive regulations have on cities such as ours and the cost burdens that are incurred from them.

My family has long-standing ties to the city of Darwin, and I have tried to remain active in the community. I have worked at the Farmers State Bank of Darwin since graduating from St. Cloud State in 2001. I am a current member and past president of the Darwin Lions, and have served as a council member at All Saints Lutheran for the past five years.

The community has been good to my family and by serving in this role, I hope I can continue to give back, in gratitude for that.

© Herald Journal Publishing, Inc.