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City council candidates poised to serve community

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Diane Graber

Office sought: City Council, At-Large

Occupation: Retired College (Minnesota West Community and Technical College). I am currently a part-time sociology faculty for the same college. Education: Doctorate in Education and Masters in Human Service Administration.

What qualifications do you feel you have for the office you seek? I have spent much of my life in some type of public service. Early I was a social worker for the elderly and then later as a juvenile probation officer. I spent years in many phases of education as a faculty member, an administrator in student services and academic services. During the years of full-time employment, I have served on many community boards and committees including those involving youth and adults. Volunteer work has been a way of life. I have worked with diverse populations and a wide range of age groups. I have depth in understanding the needs and hopes of all age groups as I have had experience professionally and personally with all.

I have been in business with my husband when we lived in Iowa, I have worked with state governments and understand the complexities of decision making in serving the public. I also understand the need to represent and advocate for those who do not always have a voice in representing themselves. Most importantly, I hope that I can work as a valuable team member within the Worthington City Council in problem solving as well as reaching the strategic goals for the city.

What is your top priority in city government? My top priority is to help in setting and achieving goals that serve the people of Worthington as a whole and doing so in an efficient fiscal manner through positive relationships with other city council members and community partnerships.

Explain ideas you have to achieve your top priority: I believe the current council has made enormous strides in the growth of public facilities and expanding public service. The additions of the YMCA, Event Center, Fire Hall and others have contributed not only to the attractiveness of Worthington but the quality of life. There remain challenges -- the current interest in a larger outdoor pool, the sense that some citizens do not believe they are heard as clearly as others and addressing the growth and changes in our population are examples of those challenges. I believe that broader involvement and more extensive conversations with Worthington citizens are imperative to continue service to the community.

What do you hope to see accomplished in the city during your term, should you be elected? I would like to see more retail options. I would also like to hear that more groups and individuals feel they are represented.

Scott Nelson

Hi, my name is Scott Nelson. My wife, Peggy, and I live at 727 Lake Court here in Worthington. I'm the Engineering Manager at Bedford Technology, and Peggy works for Sanford Health in Human Resources. I'm running for a second term as your City Councilman, in Ward Two, and would appreciate your support.

I've spent my entire career working in the private sector, and I know what it takes to start and grow a business. My top priorities include helping Worthington businesses grow every way possible. We need to complete the industrial park, located on Highway 59 North, and continue to create incentives for local business to grow whenever possible.

Many local businesses have expanded or started on land formerly owned by the city, with the city assisting with infrastructure costs. Completion of the industrial park also includes realignment of County Ditch 12 and digging several water retention ponds. These ponds have the added benefit of alleviating some of the flooding issues the city encounters during large rain events.

Other issues to address include the water quality in Lake Okabena and housing issues in Worthington. I'm in support of a housing project, to house at least 200 students, near the Minnesota West campus. We can attract more students to Minnesota West if they can find adequate housing. More students also equates to more quality teaching positions at the college. Also, we need to continue to work with our legislators to secure Worthington's share of state grant funds whenever possible.

Thank you for your support.

Rod Sankey

Office sought: City Council Ward 1

Occupation: U.S. Postal Service (part-time); Radio Works (part-time)

Qualifications: I have worked in management positions at many companies, worked for offices; the aircraft industry over 15 years, ending as a manufacturing engineer; served as Commander of the Worthington Veteran of Foreign War for nine years; presently in my ninth year with the Airport Advisory Board; and have an associate degree in business management from Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington.

Top Priority: My top priority in city government is to set up a Housing Authority that will include every type of contractor needed to complete the building of housing, Realtors to sell the homes and bankers to finance the loans. Worthington is growing, and more housing is need now.

Attracting new business: This is always a challenge, but with good housing and a solid workforce, more businesses will come to Worthington. In turn, we will keep our young graduates to stay in Worthington.

Sport Center: Making Worthington a sport center in southwest Minnesota. If we have adequate facilities for sport activities and tournaments, this will bring more people to Worthington, which is always good for businesses.