Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Tammy Konz - Incumbent Mayor Occupation: Bus driver Family: My husband Dan and I have been happily married for 32 years. We have six children - four daughters and two sons. Our daughter Christina and her husband Kent have blessed us with two granddaughters, Ashlee and Elizabeth. Kelly and her husband Carl have blessed us with two granddaughters, Lauren and Morgan. James and his wife Darcy have blessed us with two granddaughters, Marissa and McKenna. Our other two daughters are Emily and Amanda, and son Brian is our youngest. We really love our granddaughters! 1) What do you consider are your most important contributions to the city of Kimball so far? My personal contributions would be my and my family's commitment to this community. I am part of a team, so any contributions have been done as a group effort. I am very proud of the many things we have done together as a council. 2) What more do you feel you can do for the city? My work has only begun! 3) What do you feel are the greatest challenges for the city of Kimball today? Lack of funding, fixing our roads, working on our water and sewer. 4) What possible solutions do you see for these challenges? Continue to be pro-active in promoting Kimball, so we are able to be looked at and not over for funding or business opportunities. ********** Chris Jansky - Incumbent council member Did not answer the questions. ********** Eric Loewen - Incumbent council member Occupation: Analyst Family: Wife - Amanda, Daughter - Olivia age 4, Son - Beau age 2 1) What do you consider are your most important contributions to the city of Kimball so far? I don't like to think in individual contributions, but what the council has done together. Three of the most important things we have done are: 1. Work on establishing a Comprehensive Plan, which is near completion. This is going to give us the framework to plan for Kimball's future growth. 2. Purchase a new accounting system which will give the council better information on our fiscal inputs and outputs. We have some definite future needs and this system will allow us to have a clear picture of our fiscal position. 3. Taking steps to improve our fiscal strength by consolidating a couple of bond issues into one. This will save the taxpayers significant money over the term of the bond. 4. Become active. By that I mean that the city is becoming much more proactive than reactive: a. We meet at least twice a year with Maine Prairie Township to discuss mutual issues. We have our county commissioner and our local state legislators at this meeting as well. b. We invite our state legislators to our regular council meetings (and they attend). We do this so we can discuss Kimball issues and concerns. c. We took an active role in the recent Stearns County Comprehensive plan to ensure that changes were made that were beneficial to the city. Council members attended multiple meetings, wrote letters and we had members of the county planning commission attend a council meeting to hear our concerns. d. Become members of the Stearns County League of
Municipalities. We actually hosted a meeting to introduce people to Kimball. e. We are partnering with the Stearns County Soil and Water District and the Clearwater River Watershed District to work on stormwater runoff issues in Kimball. f. We issued a City Newsletter to let residents know what's going on in the city and to keep them abreast of important dates and the like. The goal of this is to further Kimball interests and to let people know that Kimball is no longer going to be silent. We will partner with other entities and groups as necessary to advance the city's goals. 2) What more do you feel you can do for the city? My personal goal for my first two years was to get a Comprehensive Plan for the city. I have a few goals for the next four years: 1. Develop clear and concise fiscal reporting. While the city has a better understanding of our fiscal picture than we did two years ago, we have significant future considerations that will require good planning and the clear and concise reports will enable us to plan accordingly. 2. Analyze our professional service providers. We currently contract for our engineering, legal, criminal prosecutions and auditing. The city needs to audit each of these services to ensure that the City is being well served by them. We need to ensure that we do not become complacent in our professional relationships. 3. Enhance our communication with city residents. We've launched the city newsletter, but more is needed. I would like to pursue a city billboard like Kimball used to have but near the intersection of highways 15 and 55. I would also like to launch an e-mail service that e-mails residents (who sign up for it) important dates, ordinance changes, FYIs and the like. 4. Develop an infrastructure improvement plan. 3) What do you feel are the greatest challenges for the city of Kimball today? Kimball is facing several significant challenges I'll identify two: 1. Infrastructure. Just drive around town and you see the streets and sidewalks that require attention. What you don't see are the pipes under the street that also require attention. The trick is how to pay for them? We are carrying a hefty bond load currently, but there is no denying the need. 2. Lack of industrial and commercial base. The city of Kimball has only so many acres and many of them are taken up by tax exempt organizations. Growth in this area will help shift the tax burden from residential and bring jobs to Kimball 4) What possible solutions do you see for these challenges? Infrastructure (much of this would be in the Infrastructure Improvement Plan) 1. Indentify and prioritize the needs. 2. Indentify potential funding sources, i.e. grants, earmarks, special legislation or whatever. We need to go after these sources hard. 3. Create a timetable or schedule of improvements. 4. Determine how we assess the project, i.e. affected parcels or city wide (the affected parcels would still bear the preponderance of the burden). The most important thing will be to develop the plan of attack and to stick with it as much as possible. The lack of industrial and commercial base needs to be addressed and this is one of the reasons the council initiated the comprehensive plan. It gives us the framework needed to plan for future growth in these areas, it helps identify what types and where in the city. But that alone doesn't bring growth. Some possible solutions are: 1. Creating an economic development authority. 2. Create more TIF districts or the like for interested parties. 3. Actively approach other businesses in other municipalities and see what it would take to get them to move to Kimball. 4. Focus on selling Kimball's location on two major highways, railroad and proximity to St. Cloud and the Twin Cities.