Editor’s note: Ahead of the November 2 election, the Times-Republican sent out questionnaires to all of the declared candidates in the city council, mayoral and school board races. We will print responses from one candidate per day in the city council and school board races this week in alphabetical order.
In the city council race, Mike Ladehoff of the First Ward is the only incumbent seeking re-election. Dex Walker is running uncontested in the Third Ward after incumbent Mike Gowdy did not turn in paperwork to seek re-election, and four candidates– Mark Eaton, Barry Kell, Jeff Schneider and Dean Stucky– are vying for two at-large seats after incumbents Bill Martin and Gary Thompson opted not to seek re-election.
Hometown: I grew up on the family farm Northeast of Beaman, and have called Marshalltown home for the past 42 years.
Profession: I work on the shop floor at Emerson Process Management as a member of the grit blast team.
Education: Graduate of BCL in 1978 and have taken several trade classes at MCC.
Family: I have been married to my wife Kim for 40 years and have 2 children Brett and Lexi.
Experience: I have served on several volunteer positions in our local schools and have been appointed to several city positions over the past 20 years. I also served on the Marshalltown City Council for 6 years from 1995 — 2001 in the At — Large position.
1. What do you feel are the top two most important issues Marshalltown will be facing during your term as a city councilor? How do you plan to address those issues? First, we need to finish up the clean up and removal of abandoned buildings in Marshalltown due to the tornado and derecho damages. The City has been doing a very good job so far. We do have a ways to go, but you can see the progress that has been made. I do need to include that general clean up in Ward One is very important to me. Sticking to our plan and staying aggressive with clean up is the key.
The major projects happening in Ward One such as Main Street/State Street, Edgewood Drive project and the 3rd Avenue corridor project will transform Ward One for the next 50 years. Much of my time the next 4 years will be spent helping these projects move forward and be completed.
I believe in being a team player, I plan on continuing to work with the residents of Ward One, as well as the first ward businesses, my fellow council members and City Staff to help overcome any hurdles that may pop up. Clear communication of coming changes and the positive impact they will have is very important to me.
2. The city has supported a diverse set of projects this year, such as funding the launch of MPACT. It also agreed to continue making payments toward the Fisher Community Building. What are your thoughts on the city spending on projects involving private entities and nonprofits? The City needs to stay aggressive with public/private projects and with non profit groups as a way to stretch Marshalltown dollars and improve the City of Marshalltown. Marshalltown is very lucky to have hundreds of people who are willing to take their own time, energy and talents to try to make Marshalltown a better place to work, live and play. All projects must prove their worth and fit into the overall vision that the City Council has set. At the end of the day, the City Council has the final say.
3. Marshalltown is still rebounding from two natural disasters and a global pandemic. What will the city council need to do to assure Marshalltown positions itself for the best possible outcome? The City Council must continue to communicate to the residents the future plans and goals and listen to residents concerns on upcoming changes. The Marshalltown residents have done a terrific job of overcoming so many obstacles the past 4 years. We are finally beginning to see the results of their hard work. But we have to stick to our plans to finish it up.
4. Marshalltown has a goal of increasing its population and is supporting several development projects to increase housing. What type of housing (single/multi-family, low/medium income) should the city be focusing on to spark population growth? Every housing study that I have seen supports increasing all levels of housing. From modest apartments and start up homes to top end estates. We do need to ensure that the most modest living spaces are clean and safe, and that housing projects are well planned out throughout our community. The new Main Street living is a type of housing that was not available in the past and offers a new type of housing for many people.
5. Why do you think voters should support your candidacy for city council? I feel that my experience, work ethic, and easy to approach personality fits in well with Ward One. Just like Ward One residents, I am blue collar (UAW) with a positive, can do attitude. I consider it an honor to serve the residents of Ward One and enjoy doing so.