The Nov. 7 elections are quickly approaching and many McPherson County residents are ready to vote for their favorite candidates for mayor.
This year, municipal elections have moved to the fall in hopes of improving voter turn out. The 2017 election cycle is the first to have fall municipal elections.
Municipal elections include candidates for city, school and community college districts. Here’s a look at candidates running for mayor in contested races this year in McPherson County:
Community role: Mayor of McPherson for nine years.
If elected, what issue will you focus on? “First, infrastructure. It is important that we continue to improve streets, solve the storm sewer problems and improve the sanitary sewer system. If we don’t stay up with infrastructure, we will create a much bigger issue. Second, there seems to be a concern over the size of the commission. I don’t have a closed mind to it; if I am selected, early in the term I will get everyone together and we will take a look at our options.”
Community role: Selzer Backhoe Service.
If elected, what issue will you focus on? “I would like to keep focusing on street repairs, we have a good program going there and I’d like to continue. I’d like to see us go from a two commissioner board to four. It would level the playing field and get more people involved in the decisions the city makes. We’re one of very few with three. A lot of other people feel the same way I do in that with four, we’d have a more fair representation of the city as a whole.”
Community role: Current mayor for the last 9 years, served on Moundridge City Council for 27 years.
If elected, what issue will you focus on? “Mostly I want to keep track of the final phases of our infrastructure upgrades. This involves our wastewater system that we’ve been kind of forced to get into, and finishing up our new electrical system to put the whole city on the same system. Part of the city is on an old system and it’s been really tough to keep it rolling because a lot of the parts on the old system are no longer available. We’ve been working on that for 3 to 4 years.
I also want to encourage new business start ups and expanding our current businesses, and encourage our citizens to shop at our local businesses.
Community role: serves on city council for 2 years this term, off two years and four years on council
If elected, what issue will you focus on? “We’re doing a lot of work on infrastructure here, with the new water tower and water treatment facility. With all of that, we’ve had to raise rates. I know we need to continually upgrade the infrastructure, but we also need to maintain the mill levy we’re at now. I know that’s tough, there are some cases where you need to raise rates, but the last three years we’ve had to do a lot of infrastructure work so hopefully we can balance that with keeping rates responsible.
Community role: served three years on the Moundridge City Council, four years on the Sullivan City Council, and served on an economic development committee in Dickinson County.
If elected, what issue will you focus on? “I want to focus on our amenities, like our library, pool and Moundridge Recreation Commission. There’s several things the city is doing like putting in new sewers and electrical system that are just basic city needs, but I think we need amenities to draw people to town for a tax base. Young families with children always help and they look for things like that. I’d also like to keep housing stock we have up to date and add more housing to moundridge. When I was on the council, we lobbied in Topeka and got 30 homes built in town, so I’d like to have at least that many more. I’d also like to keep the jobs we have here while bringing new ones to town.
John R.D. “Rusty” Young
Community role: served as mayor for three years and on the city council for six years.
If elected, what issue will you focus on? “I plan to focus on the growth of Marquette.”
Ronald D. Miller
Community role: city council for 5 years
If elected, what issue will you focus on? “I would like to be able to research for more grants that could help the city out. We need to find some both federal and state that could help out the city with infrastructure and other issues around town. Our streets mainly, but we’re over 100 years old so things like plumbing and water lines will definitely need work. It would be good to get on it now and start working in certain areas and go from there. I’d also like to listen to the families and individuals of Marquette in what they’d like to happen.”
Only one candidate is running in the Lindsborg and Inman elections: Becky Anderson in Lindsborg and James Toews in Inman. Mayors in Canton, Galva and Windom are not up for election this year.