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

Loretto Mayor

Kent Koch has filed for the position of mayor in Loretto, and Tom Van Beusekom is running as a write-in candidate.

Kent Koch

Why are you running for mayor of Loretto?

I am running for mayor of Loretto because it is something that interests me, and I believe I can help make Loretto a better place.

I have lived in town for 22 years, and have seven years experience working for the city in the parks department.

I am looking forward to becoming more involved with the decisions that are made to enhance this great community.

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

The first major issue is a compost pile available to residents. With the city’s old compost site recently closing, it is a high priority to find another site. I believe that the compost site should be on city property. It should not be somewhere where the city has to pay rent or make residents travel outside of town to unload compost.

The second major issue is to continue to beautify Loretto. Especially with the new bike path through town, it looks a lot more clean and inviting.

We need to make sure that Loretto is welcoming for residents and also visitors. This will also help local businesses and potential real estate opportunities here.

Why should you be elected?

I should be elected because of my knowledge of the community and my passion to make it better.

I want to make sure we can keep the small-town feeling in Loretto, and that the council can continue to serve the community in a positive way.

I am looking forward to the election and I would appreciate your vote Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Tom Van Beusekom

Why are you running a write-in campaign for mayor?

First of all, I was out of town during the filing period and was unable to come in to file in person.

Secondly, I’ve since been approached by a number of people asking me to come forward and serve again as Loretto’s mayor.

I care deeply about my town. I’m a lifelong Loretto resident, with a significant background in community service and municipal government. I previously served 18 years on the city council, with the last 10 years of that as mayor.

I believe the city council needs a new sense of direction. We need new blood at city hall. Over the years, they have fallen into bad habits. Seemingly simple issues that should be handled expediently get bogged down for months. Decisions that should be made by the council are referred down to staff, and little gets accomplished between monthly meetings.

I think the council needs new leadership to guide them through the difficult times we’re in. We need to return to the basics, with the council making the decisions they were elected to make, rather than relying on hired consultants, attorneys, and planners to make the decisions for them.

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

The first major issue is the future of our sewage treatment plant. There appears to be increasing pressure for Loretto to be forced to connect to the Regional Wastewater Interceptor. This comes with huge cost implications. Potential costs could reach thousands of dollars per residential unit.

Keeping our treatment plant viable, while we continue to research our options is critical. Inter-agency and inter-city cooperation is essential to making the right decisions in this regard. Leadership and experience in dealing with these agencies are critical.

Secondly, insuring that our other city infrastructure is in good repair and being properly maintained would be a priority. I’ve seen our streets, in particular, being neglected in favor of other improvements.

All city departments should be scrutinized for efficiency and cost savings. Improvements must be prioritized and planned for. I would insist on capital improvement funds for all city departments, thereby keeping the shock of costly unforeseen improvements and/or repairs to a minimum.

Why should you be elected?

I believe I bring experience and leadership to the position. I have used the term “leadership” several times in my answers. This is primarily because that is what I’ve seen as lacking at city hall.

If you provide a sense of direction at city hall and let people know of your expectations, I believe things will begin to fall into place.

We need to restore accountability at all levels of government. By accountability, I mean more than just in city departments; I mean accountability to our constituents and taxpayers.

I have the experience in dealing with various government agencies that will be necessary to guide us through some uncharted waters. As a five-term former mayor, I think I’ve proven that I can provide the type of leadership needed to see us through these tough times.

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