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Candidates Q&A Corrections and Additions


Fri, Oct 26th, 2012
Posted in All Government

Kingsland School Board

Gwen Howard

Why are you running for office?

Promoting public education, especially at Kingsland, and communication to the people of the school district that support the education of their youth is essential for a school district to remain strong. After being approached by area residents to consider running, my decision to run for the Kingsland School Board was based on my concerns of issues communicated to me not only from individuals within our district, but from outside our school district. Being a former graduate, teacher, and parent of children of this district, I want Kingsland to be pursued by others for their education instead of one being avoided.

What are your top three priorities you will focus on if you get elected?

1. Communication is the basis by which people feel informed and this is one of the biggest goals that I feel that is needed between the Kingsland School Board and the communities which comprise this school district.

2. Cooperatively building trust in decision making among all the key members of the school district; administration, parents, school board members, tax payers, students, and teachers to make Kingsland an educationally superior school that attracts children from other districts.

3. Collaboration in working with all the members of the school district; administration, parents, school board members, tax payers, students, and teachers to resolve the issue of our community’s children open enrolling to other districts. Kingsland has a lot to offer for educating our youth in today’s technological society and I feel that there has not been enough investigation into the reasons our enrollment has declined in servicing our community youth.

Peterson City Council

Dick Lee

Why are you running for office?

I am running for office because of the demand from a large number of people that called or stopped in and encouraging me. They were all pretty familiar with me because I had been mayor for 25 years prior to my retirement three years ago.

What are your top three priorities you wil focus on if you are elected?

See that all things are done in order, and that we respond to what the residents want to try to take care of their requests as soon as possible, and just make sure that as a city council keep all of our residents in the uppermost of our minds in the decision making we have to do as a council.

Mabel City Council

Laura St. Mary

Why are you running for office?

I am running for Mabel City Council to learn more about and be part of the decisions made for the town.

What are your top three priorities you will focus on if you are elected?

My priorities will be to network with neighboring communities who share some of the same concerns as Mabel. To bring in some new ideas- promoting what Mabel has to offer and what it can build on while still maintaining a quality standard of living. When I moved to Mabel in 1994, I invested in this town, both financially and civically, and I want to protect that investment for years to come.

Brian Street

Why are you running for office?

As a former, long term, city council member I see a need to address issues that were of concern, and still are concerns to the City of Mabel. With my years on the City Council, the last three of those also as Acting Mayor, I have the experience necessary to ensure that those and all concerns of the community’s citizens are looked into and addressed.

What are your top three priorities you will focus on if you are elected?

We need to bring business to Mabel. One of the most important would be a Grocery Store so our citizens do not have to travel out of town for basic needs. Second, along with a Grocery Store is revitalizing our Main Street and bringing other business opportunities here. This would create new jobs, help increase the tax base and also increase property values in town. There is also a need to address issues with the City’s infrastructure, such as one of our water towers and some of the older sewer mains in town.

Rushford City Council

Dave Colbenson

Why are you running for office?

I grew up in Rushford, and I love the community. I have traveled the world, so I am not naive to how things go. I would like to lay down roots in the community and I think the best way is to get involved. I think I’m the youngest candidate; I’m 34 years old. I might have different views or an open mind. I may not know everything about politics, but I’m willing to learn to help the community.

What are your top three priorities you will focus on if you are elected?

The first would be the educational situation with Rushford wanting to build a $15 million school, and how it would affect us. Another is tourism ideas, and also helping with existing businesses. We’ve got to get everybody to help each other out, make sure we’re all on the same page. We need to focus on the community instead of going outwards.

The following answers were placed under the Kingsland School Board section when they are Lanesboro School Board candidates.

Lanesboro School Board

Christine Troendle

Why are you running for office?

I am a graduate of Lanesboro High School, and feel I was well prepared for my subsequent education at the University of Minnesota. Life brought me back to Lanesboro and, currently, my three children attend every level of the school- elementary, junior high, and senior high. Through many levels of involvement- ECFE, Math Wizards, 4-H, and Sunday School to name a few- enhancing the development of the children of our community has become very important to me. School board appears to be a natural step of increased participation to help guide the systems that grow our children.

What are your top three priorities you will focus on if you get elected?

#1 - Communication. I recently saw a business goal stated as “Communication is Leadership.” I like that. I have seen that when communication is strong, things thrive. This means administration to staff, school to parents, teachers to students, and vice versa.

#2 - Accountability. I am interested to learn more about the responsibilities of every level, and then working to ensure that these responsibilities are being carried out. Review of accountability structures is needed to ensure that the things that need to be done are actually being done.

#3- Excellence. I believe in working to a standard of excellence. “Getting by” isn’t good enough. Excellence should be the goal of students, staff, and administration. Keeping up with the world and our society is a continual process. There is no place to rest when excellence is the goal, especially when the work is so important.

Sarah Pieper

Why are you running for office?

I have lived in Lanesboro for 19 years and have three children that attend the Lanesboro School. This year my oldest is attending high school. I was the director of the Lanesboro Daycare for four years working right in the school; this gave me the opportunity to get to know many staff and see how the school runs from an inside perspective. As a parent and business member in our community, I want to be involved in helping our school district continue to maintain the high standards we have set and improve in any areas we see a need.

What are your top three priorities you will focus on if you get elected?

I don’t have specific priorities that I plan to focus on; I would deal with issues as they arise during my term as a school board member. I would get involved in committees to review any issues that we feel need improvement. I would be accessible to all families to help resolve any issues that were brought to me or to the board. If I had to list any personal priorities, I would like to see our school continue to grow in technology resources, to have our bullying policy and Second Step Training reviewed to see if it is an effective tool, and to assess our college prep options for high school students to make sure they have the opportunities available to prepare them for secondary education after they graduate.

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