On November 5th, Muscatine residents will go to the polls to vote for the mayor and several city council members. Discover Muscatine sent a survey to each candidate, and printed their answers below verbatim. Discover Muscatine does not endorse any candidate.
Diana Broderson (Mayor, incumbent, unopposed)
- Why did you decide to run for Mayor? I am now finishing my second term as Mayor. My objective is to empower and advocate for the people of Muscatine ensuring that everyone is valued and has a seat at the table. As Mayor, I pledge to continue moving Muscatine forward in the right direction by promoting the people’s goals.
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now? Elected Officials need to keep the focus on the people. It is critical that they listen, inform, and involve them in community decisions and goals. Making people the priority provides the best chance for Muscatine to thrive and be the City where we all want to live and work and raise our families.
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? I will listen to the people by continuing to keep the lines of communication open by hosting events like Coffee with the Mayor and the Our City Show creating a forum for sharing information. I will continue to pursue diversity on policy-making Boards and Commissions valuing all opinions and ideas.
Peggy S. Gordon (Council Ward Three, unopposed)
- Why did you decide to run for City Council? I wanted to continue to serve the city and represent the needs of the residents. We have many opportunities and challenges ahead of us and I would like to ensure that the residents have input into the decision making,
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now? Initially I think communication it critical. We have many wants and needs and the city council should help try make decisions to balance what needs to be done so we can continue to improve our quality of life, maintain a safe community, and stay financially responsible.
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? I would like to schedule open meetings between residents of the 3rd Ward and myself, similar to the ones held by the 4th Ward and the Mayor. The city has increased it communication to the residents but we need to encourage more involvement in those communications and in open discussions.
- Why did you decide to run for City Council? I have always thought of myself as community minded. I have volunteered for many causes over the years. These include Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for Muscatine County, Crime Stoppers Coordinator, and worked with VFW to raise money for impoverished disabled Veterans. I enjoy serving my Community.
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now? One of the most pressing issues in the 5th ward is Fire and EMS response times. Current response times for fire, rescue and emergency services exceed required safety guide lines by as much as three times the National recommended standards.
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? Regarding EMS, I would open dialog with other Council Members to address these safety deficiencies using the recent published report generated by International Association of Fire Fighters specifically for The City of Muscatine. Working together as a group the City Council can address this concern.
- Why did you decide to run for City Council? Local politics is interesting. I have always voted and I think it would be a challenge personally to run for a public office, be elected, and represent the people who voted for me as well as those who did not. I intend to do my best to serve the 5th Ward and everyone in Muscatine.
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now? Riverfront development and Corridor Revitalization are crucial issues. I want to be part of making the best choices for these projects! When I visit with voters the vast majority have common concerns, keep taxes in check, fix pot holes, clean up the junky properties and splash pads!
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? Preparation, an open mind and a commitment to listen is my focus as a member of the Muscatine City Council. Our community deserves quality infrastructure so business can thrive and citizens/families can prosper. Julie and I are proud to call Muscatine our home. [email protected]
Kerry Denison(Council at-Large)
- Why did you decide to run for City Council? I believe I can bring unity to City Hall. We have much to do that requires great communication and cooperation for us to be successful. I believe with my experience, my ‘can do’ attitude, and with the relationships I have built, I can foster such unity.
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now? To the average taxpayer the three S’s are always the most important; Streets, Safety, and Sewers (flooding). This is where they want to be able to see their tax dollars at work. We also have housing issues that need to be addressed.
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? I would like to see the street budget raised significantly. I believe we have the means to do so without raising taxes. I would also evaluate staffing in our emergency services. As for housing, I would like to see Mayor/Council start a housing task force to assist in finding creative solutions.
DeWayne M. Hopkins (Council At-Large)
- Why did you decide to run for City Council? Two reasons: One, I have a sincere interest in seeing current and future projects completed with the interests of the Muscatine citizens in mind and two, the city council has somehow gotten highly partisan and I’d like to see it return to a non-partisan body.
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now?Moving Muscatine forward with the improvement projects already in motion and projects tentatively scheduled for the near future. We need to improve our image by marketing our special sights and sounds.
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? By assisting my fellow council members in making prudent and wise decisions regarding tax dollar expenditures and other decisions specific to the operation of day to day living in our community.
Larry Murray (Council At-Large)
- Why did you decide to run for City Council? First reason is to show my kids that anyone can run and give back. It’s doesn’t matter what you do or how elite some one is. Second reason to give Muscatine residents a person that is like them. Average person that’s hard working and humble towards his town.
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now? I feel there is two issues that is important. First is getting the citizens trust back with their city and working together as one. Second I feel public safety never gets brought up and there are some issues with staffing.
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? Try my best to include everyone by explaining to them how & why things are done, and keeping open lines of communication so that the trust that’s broken can start to be repaired. I would also make sure our city is safe and protected by exploring all options to adequately staff it’s departments.
Daniel Salazar (Council At-Large)
- Why did you decide to run for City Council? I see it as my responsibility to run for office and make a difference in the community. Muscatine has a diverse community and I want to make sure that we are representing everyone. I also want to inspire and empower others, especially the youth, to get more involved in the community.
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now? The most important issue is the health of the community.We are not a healthy community when residents of the south end of town have no access to fresh healthy food, when we have pollution pouring into our air and water, and when there is a lack of mental health resources for members of the community
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? I would work with the other council members, businesses, and community organizations alike to make smart and bold investments in the future while pushing that we allocate the time to care for our citizens now especially when it comes to these issues involving the health of our community.
Dennis Froelich (Council Ward One, unopposed)
- Why did you decide to run for City Council? After 40 years of living in Muscatine, I feel that I should give back to the community for all that it has given my family and myself. I feel that every person in Ward 1 should have a voice in the decisions that affect Muscatine. My job as a councilman is to reflect that voice.
- What is the most important issue facing the City of Muscatine now? In order to maintain the quality of life in our city, we must maintain solid budgets, fair tax rates and have fiscal responsibility. After talking with many of the voters in Ward 1, I found taxes, public safety, city street potholes, and jobs to be the major issues.
- If elected, how will you address the issue you identified? Keeping an open mind to new and inventive methods to solve these problems along with listening to all ideas, presenting them to the council and city officials is a good start. We should also examine how we spend our tax dollars, making sure we get the most from them. Finally, we as a Council should be looking to attract new businesses so we can help reduce the tax burden on our citizens.