Jeanette Baymler vs Toby Pierce and Gillette Kempf for Wadena City Council
Wadena City Council
Relevant education and experience:
I have been on the Wadena City Council for 12 years.
1. Wadena survived a devastating tornado on June 17. What would you like to see done from here to rebuild the city (please give specifics):
I know that we will have a better city than before. Because of the tornado we have a clean slate to rebuild public buildings. As in all towns, buildings have been built as needed and there wasn't the option to plan that we have now. The Minnesota Design Team will be in Wadena this month to help us plan wisely as we rebuild.
2. It looks increasingly likely that city governments will continue to be squeezed by lower Local Government Aid from the state. If that turns out to be correct, would you rather raise property taxes, cut spending, or a combination of both. Please give concrete examples of how you'd prefer to deal with this problem.
I am afraid it will have to be a combination of both. Raising taxes is painful for all of us. But there are certain expenses that we just can't control. One of these is fuel -- both for the city trucks and heating buildings. Another is union contracts.
Things that are possible to do are to delay capital purchases. But just like anyone else if we don't keep the buildings up or don't trade in vehicles finally it costs more. So we will have to balance these things.
3. What should the city be prepared to do to help people and businesses who have been displaced by the tornado remain in town?
There is a committee that is working with long term relief. It is made of several people working with Community Action Council and the ministerial organization. They have a plan in place to distribute funds donated by the public directly to people affected by the tornado.
4. Aside from tornado relief and budget challenges, what is one other initiative you'd like to push for if elected Nov. 2?
The infrastructure in Wadena is very old. The north side of town has been rebuilt. The plans are in place to rebuild the southeast part of town in 2011/2012. I am hoping that we will be able to do this following our plan. Then in a few more years rebuild the southwest. I am hoping that the city will be able to follow this as planned.