Incumbent Alice Brown is being challenged by Kegan May be on the election ballot, Tuesday, April 2.
The County Post East recently sent a list of five questions to each of the candidates. The questions pertained to issues involving the city of Manawa. The questions and their answers are listed below.
Tell us about your background and why you are interested in running for office?
Brown: I like to say that I represent the working population in the city of Manawa because I live and work in Manawa. I also enjoy public service work such as being on the library board, the municipal court board, the recycle board and look forward to assisting people in the community. I feel that I have served the city for several years now and have learned much in the process. I also am a master gardener and look out to keep Manawa looking nice. I also am very pleased of the appearance of the Triangle Park and volunteer for the annual flowers and decorations that you see there every summer.
May: I am a 24 year old, who graduated from LWHS in 2007. I am a food service professional, who has learned that the future generations are very important. In 2011, I was motivated by the political climate to start becoming more active in the government. This has lead to a realization that, as a whole, our political system does not work the way that most people would like it to.
I believe that as an elected representative; you represent your constituents. To me, this means that my opinion is no more or less important than the opinion of a person who I represent with the exact opposite opinion as me. This belief drives me to actively seek out the opinion of my constituents. If the majority of the people that I represent believe the opposite of what I believe, the direction of my constituents is the direction I would go with.
What areas of the city budget do you think should be looked at when considering future budget reductions?
Brown: The budget process as a whole requires several meeting and has been a huge learning experience for me. Not only does it involve the city but we work with the state, county, and school districts to present a total picture to the community. The hard part is making a working budget that moves the city forward and is fair to the taxpayer. Working with the state budget cuts has been difficult but the council and employees seem to work together to put out a good workable budget.
May: In order to adjust any budget, regardless of if it is a personal, city, county, state, or national budget, nothing can be taken off of the table. To fluidly resolve any budget issue, many items are going to need to be adjusted. No single item can be viewed as more important than the others. This is the only way to fairly adjust a budget.
In what ways do you think the municipality could collaborate with neighboring municipalities to effectively share resources and services?
Brown: We already work together in sharing costs of the dam, summer recreation program, the recycle center, municipal court, etc. All of thee have helped us work together for the good of the taxpayer.
May: Regarding the sharing of resources and services with neighboring municipalities, we would first need open communication with these neighbors. This communication would lead to an understanding of what is needed and what is available. Once that is established, we would be able to effectively and fairly share our available resources and services.
What types of incentives, if any, would you support to either assist current businesses and residents, or attract potential new businesses and residents to the city?
Brown: We as the council try to work together with various city organizations such as the chamber. I like the new Manawa Marketplace at the Triangle. If we can’t help we try to find other organizations or areas to assist such as the program through CAP Services at Stevens Point that helps individual people such as elderly or low income apply for programs to assist in replacement for furnaces, siding, windows, etc. to their properties. I think Manawa is a very pretty, well kept community and I also know that several properties have been sold and new people are arriving. A big draw seems to be the school district. I also think we are very fortunate to have the huge industry base that we do in Manawa.
May: In my opinion, to attract new businesses or residences or to support existing ones, we must start with honesty. If we expect to draw new businesses and residents to Manawa, we must honestly inform them about the benefits of a small town. One of the biggest, but not the only one, being the sense of community with the entire town. Growing up here I found that there is this amazing sense of safety that is encouraged because everyone knows enough about everyone else. The exact same benefits that something new would find in this town are the reasons that people should stay.
Why should people elect you?
Brown: I guess I am just an average, hard working middle class person that thinks like most people do.
May: I feel that I should be elected because I am not going to hold my opinion above that of the people who I represent. I will do all I can within my ability to ask my constituents their opinion on every subject as they arise. I respect my opponent very much and I do not believe that this community has a bad option.