Five men have entered the race for three positions on the Huxley City Council this year. Incumbents Kevin Deaton and David Kuhn are facing competition from Greg Mulder, Rick Peterson and Joe Schierbrock to earn the seats. Each candidate provided answers to the Tri-County Times’ questions.


Kevin Deaton


Age: 51


Occupation: Sales


Number of years you’ve lived here? 28 years (plus six years prior)


Have you ever served on City Council here before?


I have proudly served for a single four-year term.


Why are you running again for the City Council in your community?


I am running for another term because I would like to continue to help the city of Huxley continue to grow in a manageable manner and to make certain that all citizens are treated the same.


Also, as a member of the budget committee, I would like to keep us on-track with spending wisely for the benefit of all of our citizens, not just some.


What experiences/qualifications are you able to bring to the City Council?


Having served as fire chief for over eight total years, I believe I have a good grasp on city finances; however, after trying to make a difference from that position for many years, I decided the only way to truly make changes was to serve on the City Council.


I have tried to stop wasteful spending while continuing manageable growth and I believe my voting record will reflect that. I also have a good understanding of the challenges that face our department heads.


In your opinion, what are the top two issues facing your community, and where do you stand on these issues?


Spending and debt are my greatest concerns.


I found that the debt for our community seemed very high for our size, and, with help from other council members, administration and input from the public, we have tried to reduce that amount without drastically altering the lives of our citizens. We have also worked very hard to control spending in order to bring that debt down while attempting to allow our department heads what they need in order to keep the city running.


In your opinion, has the current City Council/leadership been doing a good job for your town?


I believe they have done a good job. Even though they may not always get things right in the eyes of some, they have tried, for the most part, to make decisions based on what is best for ALL Huxley residents.


And why do you say that?


The proof is in the growth! While some may not always like the decisions made by this council, one need not look far to see the actual growth of our community to see that those decisions are working.


What do you think your city could be doing better?


Communicating with our citizens.


I wish we could find a way to get more people from the community to attend council meetings and become better informed. Sometimes we hear feedback that is totally inaccurate simply due to folks not having the full story or basing their opinions solely on gossip!


Who are the members of your family? My wife Robin, son Jesse and daughter Heather


Greg Mulder


Occupation: Civil Engineer


Number of years you’ve lived here? 12


Why are you running for the City Council in your community?


Huxley is a great community and I want to be involved with its future success.


Have you ever served on City Council here before?


I have not served on a city council before.


What experiences/qualifications are you able to bring to the City Council?


Having spent 20 years as an engineer, project manager and holding several leadership roles with state government, I believe I can bring those positive experiences with me to help the community. I have years of experience with effective communication that will help me listen to the concerns of the people and the experience move these important issues forward towards the betterment of our community.


In your opinion, what are the top two issues facing your community, and where do you stand on these issues?


We have a very nice community already, which makes it easy continue to build on the previous successes. Huxley has seen great residential growth in the 12 years I have lived here; it seems that we could use some growth in the industrial and commercial areas to help support this community and possibly lower the tax burdens of the residents.


In your opinion, has the current City Council/leadership been doing a good job for your town? And why do you say that? What do you think your city could be doing better?


The current council and leaders certainly bring a valuable perspective and sense of pride to their current roles. There has been a great growth of residential population in the past 10 years. Now I believe it is time to slightly shift that focus towards the commercial and industrial areas. There already has been positive movement in this area with the addition of the Fareway store and recent announcement of additional businesses to the industrial park.


Who are the members of your family?


My wife and I have 2 sons that are Ballard students.


Joe Schierbrock


Age: 30


Occupation: Surgical aide in operating room at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames


Number of years you’ve lived here? 4.5


Why are you running for the City Council in your community?


I want to get more involved in the community. I want to get the community more involved in the events that happen in town and see those events grow, such as Prairie Fest. I would also like to bring more restaurants/establishments to town to give the people more options to choose from and have them be places that people sit and talk, and also someplace you can go out with friends or family and relax and have a good time and socialize. I want the people to stay in town and enjoy what we have and also bring people in to enjoy it. Huxley is a great town to live in — I want it to be a better place for people to visit. The population of Huxley is growing at a rapid pace, but the town itself is not and I would like that to change. I want to bring a fresh set of eyes to the town with different ideas from different perspectives.


Have you ever served on City Council here before?


No I have not, but in four years I would like to say yes to this question.


What experiences/qualifications are you able to bring to the City Council?


I come from a small town in SE Iowa, and I would like to take the success that it has had as a town that is smaller than Huxley and bring it here and make Huxley just as successful. I feel my outside view could be very beneficial to the town.


In your opinion, what are the top two issues facing your community, and where do you stand on these issues?


Huxley is too much of a bedroom community and not a place that people come to do things, and I feel that needs to change. Not that bedroom community is bad or anything, it just wouldn’t hurt if it was a little less bedroom and a little more interactive. I feel Huxley would really benefit from this change. I kind of covered a lot of this in the first question, so I don’t want to repeat myself.


In your opinion, has the current City Council/leadership been doing a good job for your town? And why do you say that? What do you think your city could be doing better?


They have been doing a great job! If it were not for them, I don’t feel that we would have the growth that we have already. I feel though a fresh set of eyes and a different viewpoint is all we need to get us to where we need to be, and I believe that is what I can bring. The one thing that they could do better is get the people more active in what is going on.


Who are the members of your family?


Wife, Ashley; son Scottie, 5; daughter Stella, 2 and dog, Daisy


My family and I love living in Huxley, and that is why we established our roots here and have no plans of leaving.


Huxley City Council Candidate


David Kuhn


Age: 40


Occupation: Associate building official for the city of Urbandale


Number of years you’ve lived here: 16


If you are an incumbent, why are you running for City Council again?


Finding ways to serve and give back to the community is very important to me. I feel my background and experience is well suited to help shape the city’s goals, while addressing the community’s needs. I’ve never been one to just sit back and complain about things. I would rather invest the time and energy to try to affect positive change instead. Serving on city council is not a responsibility I take lightly and I certainly recognize the impact our decisions have on individuals, families and businesses.


How many years have you served on City Council so far?


6


What experiences/qualifications are you able to bring to the City Council?


I believe my experience serving the city in a number of capacities has given me an in-depth knowledge of the community. Prior to serving on the City Council for six years, I served on the Planning and Zoning Board for six years. I also currently serve on two State boards, having been appointed by the governor. Having served on many committees, I have found effective ways in which to communicate, as well as stay focused on the goals of the group. I have also gained significant experience by working for a large municipality. Huxley faces many of the same challenges larger communities do, just on a different scale. I have been able to translate this knowledge to help Huxley overcome challenges.


In your opinion, what are the top two issues facing your community, and where do you stand on these issues?


Attracting businesses to town is a high priority. This has been a challenge, but remains a goal I am committed to. After many years of hard work serving on the economic development committee, we have started to see the benefits with businesses such as: Fareway, Ditch Witch, South Story Bank and Trust, Vision Bank, Iowa Irrigation, Mr. Storage, Innovative Technology and Continental Manufacturing Chemist, all investing in Huxley. Partnering with the Ames Economic Development Commission has served the city well by providing additional resources and expertise. There are additional companies we are currently working with in an effort to provide additional jobs and services for Huxley residents. Property tax rates are by far the topic I most often hear concerns about. Being able to work through budget-related issues in a way that does not increase property taxes has always been a top priority. I have voted against tax increases in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.


In your opinion, has the current City Council/leadership been doing a good job for your town? And why do you say that? What do you think your city could be doing better?


I believe our current council has been doing a good job, given the constraints we have been operating with. Previous councils committed the city to significant debt obligations. Managing these obligations without raising taxes has required city staff to work extremely hard and forced the council to carefully prioritize how to spend available funds. While our work has generally been positive, there is always room for improvement. Transparency is one area I have attempted to get the council to improve. I understand not everyone has time in their schedule to attend council meetings, yet they want to stay informed. I was in favor of a proposal to broadcast City Council meetings. Unfortunately the measure did not pass, but I will continue to find ways for the council’s actions to be transparent. Overall, my goal is to make sure residents are informed about the issues and their voices are heard.


Who are the members of your family?


Wife Amanda, and daughter Allison (8)


Rick Peterson


Age: 38


Occupation: Self-employed


Number of years you’ve lived here? 15 yrs


Why are you running for the city council in your community?


I am running for city council for a number of reasons. I have lived in Huxley for the past 15 years and have witnessed it grow tremendously. As with all communities that experience this much growth, there have been growing pains. I am fortunate with my job that I work in and with different communities and have been exposed to how they have managed their growth. I feel like I can provide some helpful insight into how, we as a community, grow in the future. Also, as a long-time resident of Huxley, I would like to become involved with our city’s leadership and engage with other citizens to improve our city.


Have you ever served on city council here before?


No


What experiences/qualifications are you able to bring to the city council?


As a self-employed individual, I feel that I can bring a different perspective to city government.


In your opinion, what are the top two issues facing your community, and where do you stand on these issues?


I feel that responsible growth is our most pressing issue. How we plan for and execute city growth in the future is paramount to being able to provide the level of service our citizens expect.


The second major issue is taxes. As everyone who lives in Huxley knows, it is expensive to own a home in this community. Although taxes are an integral part of providing services, I believe the city could and should look for efficiencies wherever it can. I also believe that we need to be forward-thinking about expanding our tax base and attracting more businesses to our community.


In your opinion, has the current city council/leadership been doing a good job for your town? And why do you say that? What do you think your city could be doing better?


I think our leaders have worked extremely hard to put Huxley on a path for growth; there is still more to do however. I would like the opportunity to serve the citizens of Huxley as we navigate the future of our community.


Who are the members of your family?


Wife, Alison Peterson; sons Gunnar (12) and Aksel, (8)