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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
November 3, 2016     Tri-County News
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November 3, 2016

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........ ............ PAGE 13 November 3, 2016 By Iean Doran Matua, Editor With only about 20 people in the audience, it's fair to say that most of our readers- as well as vot- ers in the area - did not meet the candidates nor hear their answers to prepared questions. Video was recorded (of all but one session), and is still being uploaded to YouTube. We'll sup- ply a link to the videos through the Tri-County News Facebook page. Meanwhile, here is a summary of what happened Thursday eve- ning, Oct. 27. ' The event was sponsored by the Kimball Area Chamber of Commerce. Leo Wirth served as master of ceremonies, andd Donita Knaus was the time-keeper. NOTE: Candidate question- nairs were sent to local city and school board candidates. Their responses were printed in last week's Tri-County News. We have extra copies in the office if you'd like one. Congressional District 6: Rep- resentatives from both incum- bent Cgmn. Tom Emmer and chal- lenger David Snyder were the first to speak. They actually agreed on some things, like returning control of school funding to local jurisdic- .tions, and the fact that their race has been very civil. Emmer's representative (his chief of staff) said that ad agencies are great at making people look bad, and that we should take all of their ads with a grain of salt. Snyder's representative is his campaign manager; he's been doing campaigns for 30 years. He says negative ads work because no one pays attention. He laments the fact that more people vote on American Idol than vote in a gen- eral election. "There's something very wrong," he said. State Senate and Represen- tatives: Jeff Howe and Anne Buckvold (House 13A), Michelle Fischbach and Michael Willemsen (Senate 13), and Dean Urdahl House 18A) all took the stage. Buckvold is challenging incum- bent Howe. She lives in St. Joseph and describes herself as a mom passionate and serious about unit- ing people. She likes to jump in and research things, make phone calls, and ask questions. Howe favors returning indus- trial arts to schools, and seeks tax relief for veterans and farmers. Constituent services - helping the people in his district- are the most fulfilling part of his job. Fischbach has been in office for about 20 years. Ag is a hugely important industry in Stearns County. We need to trust and respect them as businessmen. We should stop overregulation and instead partner with farmers. Willemsen is a wholistic health therapist who describes himself as a "tax-and-spend liberal." He wants to strengthen the middle class, keep money local, and make funding equitable for education. He believes we should focus on preventive medicine. Urdahl reminded the audience that there have been worse elec- tion years than this one. (He was a history teacher for 35 years, and has written eight historical books, so he should know.) City of Kimball: Tammy Konz, Megan Kiffmeyer, and Sheryl Carlson were city candidates at the forum. Kiffmeyer's goals for the city are a capital improvement plan, replace city hall (with an addi- tional building), and the library. Maintaining the infrastructure we have is important, and we need to look to the future as well. "This is a great place to live and have my family," she says. Carlson's goals for the city are updating water/sewer, and enlarg- ing the library. A safe community is important to her. She served two years on the council and is run- ning now because she is impressed with the mayor (Konz) and wants to be a part of her team. Konz wants to finish the cur- rent renovation project, get back to joint meetings with the schools, and enlarge the library (possi- bly giving the city hall building to the Historical Society). She also pushes for crosswalks in town, and safe routes to school. She believes that Kimball is on the verge of some growth. "Kimball is great," she said. "We all pull together and help each other. I'm so proud of this town." There is one council seat for which no one has filed. Write-ins will be accepted for this position. Kimball School Board: Four candidates are running for three seats on the Kimball School Board. Kafla Davis and Jeff Lerum seek the join the board, and incum- bents Tim Zipoy and Heather Hooper seek to stay on the board. Lerum has lived here for 20 years. His focus is industrial arts and taking advantage of the oppor- tunity to make Kimball a mag- net school for agriculture. He will be an advocate for industrial pro- grams that have been neglected. He suggests that welding could be taught in an art sculpture class, an example of an alternative way to learn and incorporate industrial arts in the curriculum. Davis has lived here 17 years, and owned a daycare here. She's wanted to be on the school board for a long time and believes now is the time. Because the building additions failed in the last elec- tion, we need to focus on issues. She sees some areas of struggles, like local residents not being hired or recruited for teaching jobs. We need to invest in the people in our community, she says. She would hope to be remembered as a school board member as an advocate for our children, and an understand- ing and compassionate person. "Kimball is a great school," she said. "We are a family." She also hopes to learn a lot if elected to the school board. Zipoy has lived in Kimball more than 40 years; all three of his kids have come up through the schools. His wife Susan is a teacher. He hopes his tenure on the school board will be remembered that he showed the pride, shared the pride, grew the pride. He believes that any student can follow their dream. Hooper (whose responses were read by Marilyn Wirth as Hooper had a work meeting out of town) moved here seven years ago and has two sons in school. She believes we should ask different questions, and learn from other districts. The district needs high expectations and accountability to retain staff and students. She will continue to fight for a positive fund balance, and to grow the stu- dent population. Orbeck still running for Kimball mayor Hi, I'm Duwayne Orbeck, I've decided to run for the mayor's position. A lot of local people have asked me to do so. I've been a member of your community for more than 50 years and have seen what has been happening and I think it is time for new leadership. I've also served on the city council for eight years, and so I understand how the system works. I've worked with some very fine people who were employed by the city. As many of you know I've been ill this fall. I'm not going any place any time soon though. Because of some treatments I received on the day of the "meet the candidates forum," my doctors advised me not to attend. I apologize for that. I know that a lot of people probably had questions they would like to have answered and weren't able to do so. With that I will leave you my cell phone so that any questions or concerns you might have can be addressed. My number is (320) 298-2376. I'm available almost any time. As your new mayor, some of the issues I'd like to address, would be to bring in new businesses and people to our community. This would help our tax situation as well as our schools and local businesses. We have not seen any new growth here since 2008. I can't think of any new businesses that have come into our communiy. There have been expansions, but not anything new, other than Donita Knaus is working on a health club. Thank goodness for people like her who are willing to extend themselves and take a chance on something new. When I look at our surrounding communities, our competition, I do see growth happening. We probably have the best location for almost any business tio be in. We just need to help them get a start. I know some have wanted to start here, but were turned away once they saw the enormous costs associated with their coming here. We need to find a way. I think we can. There are too many regulations and rules to allow it to work for them. I would want to work with business owners and individuals wanting to come to our community and allow the system to work for them, not against them. Be sure to vote. I hope I can count on your wisdom and knowledge to vote wisely. Duwayne Orbeck District R_.R ublican