Through email, snail mail, phone calls and Facebook, we have reached out to the candidates running for Maxwell City Council to take part in our question-and-answer piece. Maxwell has four men running for two seats on the council. Incumbent Michael Gustafson will face newcomers Alex Golly, Jon Klein and Charles Robertson. Taking part in our questions were Klein and Golly.


Jon Klein


Age: 46


Occupation: Home preservation specialist at Wells Fargo (Jordan Creek). I help people who are trying to save their homes from foreclosure.


Number of years you’ve lived here? 4


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


I was appointed to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and board of adjustment back in February 2017. Since then I started attending all the city council meetings to get to know the issues impacting Maxwell. When one of the members of the council resigned a few months ago, the mayor and some of the members of the current council encouraged me to run for the open seat.


Have you ever served on city council here before?


No.


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


Incumbent Michael Gustafson and I are the only two of the four city council candidates who regularly attended the meetings this year. As a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and board of adjustment, I participated in meetings about the potential for growth here in Maxwell. Before moving back to Iowa five years ago, I worked for the largest state agency in Kentucky, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, for almost 10 years and learned a lot about federal assistance and regulatory programs and how they can help (and hurt) businesses, schools and individuals. In my current position, I’ve learned a lot about the kind of financial problems that result in foreclosed or abandoned homes that depress property values, and some of the programs available to help people with those problems. I’m also a licensed attorney.


In summary, I am familiar with the issues facing the city and am prepared with a base of knowledge, skills and experience to step in and continue the progress of the current city council.


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


1) We need to maintain and build on the community support for our school. Rural communities with schools tend to have better business communities and more vibrant neighborhoods. Rural communities without schools tend to lose businesses and population. I am definitely in favor of having a strong school here in Maxwell. 2) There are a lot of people who are interested in moving to Maxwell, but haven’t because there isn’t enough available housing to satisfy the demand. I have heard this from both city officials and friends. Maxwell is in the process of updating our Urban Revitalization Plan and our Urban Renewal Plan, so we will be ready to attract and work with developers interested in building here. I support Mayor Gast’s strategy of planning for growth so we can intelligently attract more people to our community, expand our tax base and fund our school.


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?


In a word, yes. The current city council comes prepared for meetings, handles the city’s business and discusses the concerns (big or small) of residents at each meeting. I think we could improve the accessibility of city council meetings by recording them and making the recordings available online. Overall, the city council does a great job within the available budget.


Who are the members of your family?


Wife, Jule Klein; son Daniel Klein; daughter Elizabeth Klein; stepdaughter Sydney Palek; stepson Sawyer Palek.


Alex R. Golly


Age: 25 years old


Occupation: Equipment operator at Story County secondary roads


Number of years you’ve lived here? 25 years


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


I am running for the City Council in Maxwell because I believe it is important to bring fresh new ideas to the table in order to help the community grow.


Have you ever served on City Council here before?


I have never served on the council before.


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


The top issues our community faces are town growth and how to promote it. Not only focusing on the town as a whole, but also working with the school board to see about joint efforts for growth.


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


I have nothing bad to say about our current City Council. I feel as a citizen of Maxwell and someone who wants to see the town grow, I can do more to help being on City Council. Having lived in the area for 25 years has allowed me to see some of the advantages of living in a small town and some of the disadvantages. I’m hoping by running for City Council I can help with finding solutions for the disadvantages, while making our amazing little town even better for everyone!


Who are the members of your family?


Mother, Nancy Pritchard of Maxwell; father, Paul Golly of Norwalk and sister Ashley Golly of Mason City