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Three seekings seats on Lanesboro council
By Melissa Vander Plas
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 10:38 AM
Three Lanesboro citizens are seeking election to the city council in next Tuesday's election. Incumbents Ceil Allen, at left, and Thomas Dybing, center, are being challenged by Tom Smith.
Candidates for election answered four questions sent to them by the Republican-Leader. Their answers are printed after the number corresponding with the following questions.
1. What has motivated you to file for this office? If you are an incumbent, please note how many years you have served and why you wish to continue.
2. Name one characteristic you have that has enabled or would enable you to be a valuable member of this office. Please explain.
3. In these difficult economic times, how would you prioritize the needs for the city?
4. Is there an upcoming issue that you feel needs to be addressed by the city?
Residents in Lanesboro will find three candidates for city council on their ballots next Tuesday. Incumbents Ceil Allen and Thomas Dybing are seeking reelection and Tom Smith has thrown his hat into the ring as well. The candidates have shared their priorities and qualifications for their offices by answering the questions sent to them by the Republican-Leader.
Ceil Allen is retired from United Airlines where she served as a labor relations representative. She is currently employed part-time at Lanesboro Local Marketplace.
1. I care about Lanesboro. It's given me much and being a city council member is one way I can give back. I'm a one-term Lanesboro City Council member incumbent. I have a background of community service. Lanesboro officially established a Chamber of Commerce and the current director was hired while I was the board president. While president of the Lanesboro Art Council Board, a merger with the Cornucopia Art Center occurred. As city council liaison to the library, the current librarian was hired and the library was renovated resulting in increased library use. I'm a past secretary of the Friends of the Library board and have enjoyed being part of the Lanesboro Community Theater since its inception. It would be a privilege to continue to serve on the city council as a representative of the people of Lanesboro.
2. After many years of dealing with labor/management issues at United Airlines, I can be a problem-solver in a fair and equitable manner. Supervising others taught me the importance of good leadership. My experience as a small business co-owner gave me an attitude to act - "do it" - "try it" - "fix it". I realize the need to create good relationships with others by listening and being receptive to new or different ideas.
3. These are difficult economic times. Local governments can no longer expect programs or revenue from the state. Community sustainability, my number one priority, involves many and requires community commitment. We need to be considering long-range consequences of short-term decisions. We need to make reasonable plans and decisions with benefits that can be sustained, result in economic growth and public safety and satisfaction. To ensure community sustainability, it is important to develop a collaborative working relationship with all stakeholders such as school, Chamber of Commerce, civic and local businesses/organizations and others.
4. The city is currently addressing important issues. Three things important to me are the repair of our historic dam; assessing possible economic and safety impact of sand mining on our town; resolving other infrastructure issues. I'm a strong believer in community involvement, problem solving and commitment. Our library renovation project demonstrates how residents lend support and work together when the need arises.
Thomas Dybing is the Houston County assessor. He is married to Carol and they have three children, Aaron, Andrea and Jarod.
1. I always felt if one has the chance to serve, you embrace the opportunity. I have enjoyed serving on the Lanesboro City Council for two terms and would welcome the opportunity to serve another term, if elected.
2. My position as county assessor for Houston County provides insight to the property tax system. My experience in this position helped when we were giving testimony before the tax committee at the Minnesota Legislature for Lanesboro's local sales tax option.
3. We need to schedule repairs when needed in order to keep property tax on a level plain. We need to try and grow our tax base because new properties are welcome additions to our community and also share in the cost of government services.
4. The water system issue with radium showing up, repair of the dam and repair of our residential streets. Also finding businesses to occupy the vacant lots and the grocery store building.
Tom Smith is a retired member of the community, married to Carolyn Smith and father to Kim, Susie, Lori and John.
1. A life-long interest in politics and government. I have the time to be involved and wish to give the citizens of Lanesboro a voice in their local government. My prior experience in administration and working for government agencies, along with being a Lanesboro homeowner for 36 years and former business owner gives me the experience needed to represent all groups of Lanesboro citizens.
2. Common sense. I feel I am able to listen to all sides of an issue and use common sense to resolve it. I feel the voice and opinion of all the people should be taken into consideration on issues of spending our tax dollars that will do the most good for the people of Lanesboro.
3. The budget needs to be looked at closely and research all the projects currently on the table to see if some may need to be delayed for a time to prevent our taxes from rising. We must keep in mind what is in the best interest of Lanesboro's people and not spend to just spend. Our infrastructure must be maintained and economic development pursued to attract business and homeowners to locate and move to Lanesboro to broaden our tax base. We, as a city, must attract people to live, work, play and educate their children in our excellent school system.
4. The issue of safe city wells, streets and the dam restoration project are some important issues that need to be addressed in a clear and financially responsible manner.
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