Spring Grove City Council Candidate, Rachel Olerud
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:33 AM
Six candidates are seeking two positions on the Spring Grove City Council. Incumbents Steve Kemp and Rachel Storlie face challengers Nancy Nelson, Rachel Olerud, Dave Peterson and Roger Taylor. They all responded to the questionnaire from the Spring Grove Herald. Below are their responses listed in alphabetical order. Each response was limited to 150 words.
Rachel Olerud, age: 61 -
1.) Please tell us about yourself and why you are running for office?
I have lived in Spring Grove for most of my life. I love our small town and community. I grew up on a farm, and I am aware of how important the farming community is to our town. I have worked at various jobs over the years, some in accounting, and I have an accounting degree in small business management.
I am concerned about our town, and I think the council should have people elected that will listen to what citizens of our town want. We elect council members to make correct decisions for us and our town. I do not believe that is what the current council is doing.
2.) The Main Street project has seen its share of controversy. Do you agree with the current council's proposal of improvements? Tell readers why or why not and what changes you would make.
I do not agree with all the changes the council is planning to do. I think narrowing the street and doing six bumpouts is not only outrageous but also hazardous. We live in a farming community, and they need to be able to drive their equipment through Main Street without fearing for their safety or the safety of others.
I think the council has to be concerned about how increasing property taxes and utilities will affect the people living here. We had a big tax increase last year, and most cannot afford another. We are still in a recession, and money is tight. If people do not have the money for these increases, where will they find it?
3.) How do you feel the city has done the last year on transparency and is there any room for improvement?
I do not feel the council has been transparent regarding the street project and what they plan to do. Most citizens of Spring Grove are begging them not to spend all this money, at least not now. I do not understand why no one is listening.
4.) Do you feel that the city needs to look at reducing its current budget, and if so, what areas would you look at cutting?
The council has to understand that if the street project goes through as planned, they will need to make major budget cuts. I feel we have some great amenities to Spring Grove without all the cement flowerpots, fences, colored sidewalks, benches, etc. that the council is proposing to do. Do not stop funding the library, helping with the festivals, cut EDA or cut the police force? I do not want to do any of these things.
We all love the pool; my grandchildren love the pool! But the pool has to be paid for. This project is going to cost at least twice as much as the pool. The pool went over budget to the tune of thousands of dollars. What will the end cost of the Main Street project really be?
5.) Tell us why you feel you are the best candidate to serve on the council.
Having grown up in this community, I care deeply for this town and the people that live here. I think people's voices need to be heard. I will do everything I can do to serve the people of this town with integrity and honesty.
6.) If elected, what are the top three issues you want to see addressed in the next four years?
To cut the budget and not increase taxes or utilities. If it is not too late, to cut back on the street project. Make city hall more efficient and cost effective.