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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
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May 30, 2018     Walsh County Press
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::Page 6 THE WALSH COUNTY PRESS WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2018 Photos: Submitted Above: (L to R) Ward 1 candidates: Jason Lindell, Dennis Kubat, Dwight Byron. Ward 2 candidates: Joe Miller, Jeff Dahlen. Q: What would you consider the top three areas of Park River in need of improvement? A: 1) Lack of economic diversity. Too much of our lo- cal economy is directly tied to commodity prices. We need business that will complement our way of life and add val- ue to our community, yet not depend solely on an economy 'that fluctuates so wildly. Hats off to all the farmers reading this, thanks for all the risk you take so we can eat! 2) Lack of an economic development plan for Main Street. I don't think this needs much explaining, there is a lot of work to be done! 3) Letting go of"what used to be" and deciding where we to go from here. Many of the old ideas for Main Street don't work any longer. Just as Sears & Roebuck changed the retail world 150 years ago, on-line retail sales have changed it to- day. All the grumbling in the world won't change it back. Our leadership needs to accept this to move Park River forward. Q: Park River is advertised as being a progressive town. What are some of your ideas to continue that trend of being a forward thinking community? A: To continue to be progressive, Park River needs to look not only with-in it's city limits for answers, but also at how we fit into the 'Rendezvous Region as it is being developed into a national tourism area; and how we fit into the country :as a whole. We also need to develop relationships with the Uni- versities in the Red River Valley, it can be beneficial to both parties. Park River needs to realize its current worth, and it's potential. We have a great community, I don't want us to sell my children to be able to come back to this "town with a heart" that is still thriving with a great school system and business that continue to excel. I am an honest and hardworking man who strives to make things better for those around me. If you vote for me I will do my best to support this town and our com- munity. Thank you for your support and I would appreciate your vote. Ward 1 - Dwight Byron Q: Why do you want to serve on the City Council? Dis- cuss your prior experience working with civic, community or governmental organizations. A: I would like to continue to represent the people of Ward 1 and all residents of Park River. I think it is important to keep Park River an affordable place to live while at the same time providing services and updating infrastructure. I have served on the Park River City Council for 20 years, Park Riv- er Employee Relations Committee, past President of the City Council, member of the Park River Bible Camp Endowment Fund committee, and City of ParkRiver and Walsh Rural Wa- ter Joint Power Board Q: What do you see as being Park River's three biggest as- sets? A: Park River's strongest assets are our People, People, People, People! The comerstone of a thriving community is built on community members who live, work and volunteer here. We are blessed with a great hospital, eye care and den- offices, nursing home, city staff, school, fire department, I think our city could be more competitive with our utili- ties and taxes. We should examine how we rank with our sur- rounding neighbors and like communities in other parts of the nation or even Canada. Q: Park River is advertised as being a progressive town. What are some of your ideas to continue that trend of being a forward-thinking community? A: I am not sure we are a progressive community, but I think we are heading in that direction. We need to make sure we are open for all businesses to set up shop. We need to set real goals that include all organizations, boards and near-by communities on an annual basis. Going back to the previous question, I would say an ex- amination of competitiveness needs to be done. If we are go- ing to be progressive we need not be at par with our neigh- bor, instead we need to exceed them in every metric. Q: One of the govemor's main campaigns is the Main Street Initiative. How should Park River look to revitalize its main street? A: I think the Governor's Main Street Initiative is about new ideas and new strategies. Quite frankly, it is not a road map to success, it's an idea generator. That is why I propose we have an annual summit of organizations in the greater Park River community to map out strategies and ideas, by doing this we can build collaboration and avoid overlap and stress. ourselves short, ambulance, golf course, parks, and new housing opportuni- From the volunteers needed at the Fourth of July, to the Fair, '; ties. to the needs of the Ambulance crew, we could hopefully find greater fundraising strategies and better methods of doing Q: One of the govemor's main campaigns is the Main Street Q: What would you consider the top three areas of Park things. Let's help each other. Initiative. How should Park River look to revitalize its main River in need of improvement? We can also use the opportunity to discuss tools available street? A: The top three areas thatI see need improvemenl are up- through the state and federal government, such as tax incen- < A: Park River is in the perfect position to creatively fill dating our water and sewer lines, improving our streets .and tives, loans, and grants. - ', its Main Street. Specifically, we need to attract arts, artisans, beyondinfrastrycture, we need to contmue to work on a .Uractmg The main thing is we must say "yes" to those willing to try. .iand cottage industry. Our main street will never have a cloth- ousmesses ann iamnles to Keep our community growing ann thriving -jng store again, Grand Forks can barely keep them open; but " " Q: What would you like voters to know about you as they we have space for an independent designer/manufacturer that n r e i " go to the polls? i sells both locally and nationally via intemet. We will never tT: rarK raver is aovemseo as oel g a p ogr ss ve town -, - 1 . ,- . -, A: MOW ma~ L Wnl.WOrK narQ anQ rake mejoo serious- have a furnmtre store again, but we have room for a furniture w nat are some olyour ineas to continue mat trenn oloemg 1 I am ot a" "' t ' " " ^ " " ti I ianaker.Thev ry*tl- ingt athaskilledretailcansav66urhaain aforwardthinkingC0mmunity9: * S - n n ar ,stam tinr- 9 lV ons. am a property owner both on Mam Street and I have a home m :street. Park River is no longer isolated, it is as close as any- A: To continue our trend ofb'eing a forward thinking com- ' where else on the web. We need to look to a new generation munity we need to find ways to attract new businesses, fam- Park River. My wife, Ashleigh, is a Chiropractor and we have entrepreneurs who want to be part of a community, have great quality of life, and an opportunity to chase a dream. We have room for dreams here, and we need to let others know. Q: What would you like voters to know about you as they -.'go to the polls? -'- A: I have spent the last 15 years cross-crossing the state -'-trying to find out what is working in other rural communities what will work here. I have been to cheese makers, pas- ta producers, and flour mills; on oil drilling derricks and frack- ing platforms; I have traveled across ND, the US, and over- ,zseas to gain greater knowledge and insight to help find ways to stem population loss and revitalize rural ND. I would ap- reciate the opportunity to put .mY training and experience to 'work for the people of Park River. "; Ward 1 - Dennis Kubat ;, Q: Why do you want to serve on the City Council? Dis- cuss your prior experience working with civic, community or governmental organizations ,- A: Some of the reasons why I would like to serve on the : city council are to help make affordable housing more fea- i sible, to promote growth of our city. I would like to increase : safety awareness for children in our neighborhoods, especially : around the parks and pool areas. I have worked for Polar Com- : munications for 19 years, served on the volunteer fire de- Lpartment for 23+ years, volunteer coach for pop warner foot- ball, assist with various things at Our Saviour's Lutheran ;'Church, and active on a bowling league for 20+ years. Q: What do you see as being Park River's three biggest as- sets? A: The city has several health care facilities to accon modate our citizen's needs such as First Care Health Center and the Good Samaritan Society. Our school system is one of the best in the area, we have students coming from other communi- ties. The City of Park River has a prompt city crews especially when dealing with snow removal and power outages. Q: What would you consider the top three areas of Park River in need of improvement? A: I think that affordable housing is important for allow- ing Park River to grow. A community center that would of- fer year-round entertainment or a place for people to get to- gether. I would like to see continued improvement of our city streets. Q: Park River is advertised as being a progressive town. What are some of your ideas to continue that trend of being a forward thinking community? A: I would like to see the youth of our town encouraged to stay and work locally, making it beneficial to do so while encouraging support to local businesses. Offer job opportu- nities such as job shadowing or on the job training for high school students while they are still living in the area, so they have an idea of what they want to do and may return to the area after college. Q: One of the govemor's main campaigns is the Main Street Initiative. How should Park River look to revitalize its main street? A: We could offer low interest financing for businesses that would like to open on Main Street, or temporarily reduce rent for new businesses to come to town. Q: What would you like votersto know about you as they go to the polls? A: As a man who was bom and raised in Park River I want ilies and continue to work on the plans for the new sports com- plex. Q: One of the govemor's main campaigns is the Main Street Initiative. How should Park River look to revitalize its main street? A: We need to utilize the Governor's Main Street Initia- tive by accessing grant funffmg available to help establish new businesses on Main Street. It is very important for the vital- ity of our downtown to both attract new businesses and pre- serve our established businesses'. Q: What would you like voters to know about you as they go to the polls? A: I would like voters to know that I am rurming as a write- in candidate for Ward 1 due to missing the deadline to have my name placed on the ballot. I have been on the council for 20 years, have served on various committees, and have the time and experience to represent the residents of Park River. I would greatly appreciate your vote in the upcoming elec- tion. Ward 2 - Joe Miller Q: Why do you want to serve on the City Council? Dis- cuss your prior experience working with civic, community or governmental organizations A: I believe my previous work experience in the legisla- ture, my knowledge of taxation policy, budgets, and overall government processes will be an asset to the City Council. I served 8 years in North Dakota Senate. I was Chairman of the agriculture committee and Vice-Chairman of the Tax- ation committee. We need to establish long-term infrasttucmre budgets and plans. These plans should include road mainte- nance and replacement, water infrastructure, city beautifica- tion, and sidewalks. Planning now for the next ten, twenty and thirty years will keep costs down and ensure repair and replacement happen in a timely manner. Planning will allow us to take advantage of federal and state dollars requiring a local match that may suddenly become available. Q: What do you see as being Park River's three biggest as- sets? A: Park River is a beautiful city. I hear it all the time from visitors. We need to credit those that do the work to make it that way. We also need to continue to take steps that enhance our aesthetics, such as clearing vacant buildings and lots. There is a strong network of volunteers. From the community club, Knights of Columbus, Fire Department, and American Le- gion, we have a community willing to help. The greater Park River area is an asset. Being a farmer that spends most of my time outside of the city, I see the impact of people from Fordville, Lankin, Pisek, Edinburgh, Adams, and surrounffmg communities in Park River. Not only are they an economic component, but they consider this town part of their home just as much as we do. Q: What would you consider the top three areas of Park River in need of improvement? A: Long term planning and budgeting needs to happen and also needs to be realistic. Sometimes plans are too lofty and some are extremely short sided. Development should focus current demand and not overly speculative. Overbuilding costs! I believe our government needs to be cognizant of how in- formation gets to the people and better communicate large de- cisions that may need more community input well in advance. Transparency and openness are not just an ideal, it is the law. We need to be sure that we are meeting the requirements of the law and not just the spirit. two daughters, Eisleigh (3) and Rosaleigh (not quite 1). I farm near Fordville, where I raise wheat, corn, black edible beans, canola, barley, and soybeans. Ward 2 - Jeff Dahlen Q: Why do you want to serve on the city council? A" I have lived in our community for more than 20 years and now living in town and learning of our rules, taxes and our city budgets I would like to contribute my time and ex- perience. I have served the community for more than 20 years on the Park River Volunteer Fire Dept. starting as a fire fight- er then rescue captain then Asst. Chief then Chief. In these positions I assisted on many grant writings and managed the community Aid to firefighter's grant that updated all the ra- dios for first responders in Walsh County and updated the dis- patch council for the county. Q: What doyou see as being Park River's three biggest assets? A: 1. The amount of services that our city provides for the community for a town the size of park River is amazing. For example the hospital, eye clinic, ambulance, veterinarian serv- ices, dentists, and school system just to name a few. 2. The people of our town. I tell people all the time when I moved my family here 20 years ago that I have never regretted mov- ing to RR. 3. The draw our city seems to have as a retirement community. In my job as District Rep. for Montana Dakota Utilities I see a lot of people that return to this town and area to retire. Q: What would you consider the top three areas of Park River in need of improvement? A: 1. Property taxes. This seems to be an issue at every city council meeting. Whether it is complaints or abatements. This is one issue I would like to learn a lot more about and to see how it is handled and how we compare to other com- munities. 2. Budgets. From the biggest piece of equipment to the smallest we need to have replacement costs and budg- ets in place. 3. Ordinances. We seem to have either old or out- dated or just not enforced ordinances on the books that need review, replaced or eliminated. Q: The next two questions on Park River being a pro- gressive towl? and the govemor's Main Street Initiative to me have the same answer. A: Any Business consultant will tell you if you want cus- tomers be on the highway. With that said I believe that to keep Main Street alive we need a draw to our main street. So for me the question is what can we do to create this draw? I hon- estly do not have an answer to this put I'm willing to listen to any suggestions anyone has. Q: What would you like the voters to know about you as they go to the polls? A: I have lived worked and volunteered in our commu- nity for more than 20 years and would like the opportunity to serve on the city council and if elected would like to hear from anyone with any suggestion that pertains to our city. City elections will be determined during the June 12 pri- mary. Cotmty and statewide elections will be determhied in November. Walsh County offers one polling place at the Walsh County Courthouse in Grafton on June 12 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Absentee ballots may be filed up until that date. SENIOR SAVVY 2-2-2.--:?2 2-~L; ~ Club memberships can also gar- ner you a wide variety of travel bar- gains. AARP, for example has dozens of travel discounts available on hotels, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages - see AARPad- vantages.com. Annual AARP mem- bership fees are $16 or less if you join for multiple years. Or, if you don't agree with AARP, there are alternative or- ganizations you can join like the Seniors Coalition or the American Seniors Association that offer dis- counts on hotels and rental cars. Types of Discounts Here's an abbreviated rundown of some of the different travel dis- counts you can expect to find. Transportation: For airline trav- el, Southwest has fully refundable senior fares to passengers 65 and older, and British Airways offers AARP members $65 offeconomy travel and $200 off business club travel. American, United and Delta also offer senior fares in certain markets but are extremely limited. For traveling by train, Amtrak provides a 10 percent discount to travelers 65-plus, and a 10percent discount to passengers over age 60 on cross-border services operated jointly by Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada. Greyhound bus lines also offers a 5 percent discount to passengers 62 and older. And most car rental companies offer 10 to 25 percent discounts to customers who belong to membership organizations like AARP or AAA. Hotels: Many U.S. hotels offer senior discounts (at varying ages) usually ranging between 5 and 15 percent off. For example, Mar- riott offers a 15 percent discount to travelers 62 and older at over 4,000 locations worldwide. And Wynd- ham hotel group offers 60-plus guests best available rate discounts. Restaurants: Some restaurant chains offer senior discounts, rang- ing from free drinks, to senior menus, to discounts off your total order. National chains that offer these deals include Burger King, Chit i ,s, Chick-fil-A,k. Dunkita Donuts, Golden Corral, IHOP and Wendy's. Offers can vary by loca- tion. Cruses: Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise lines offer dis- count rates-to cruisers 55 and over. Entertainment and Attractions: Most movie theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums, public golf cours- es and even ski slopes provide re- duced admission to seniors over 60 or 65. If you're 62-plus, you're also eligible for the "Senior Pass," which provides a lifetime entry to 2,000 national parks and recre- ation sites. You can obtain this pass in person at one of the feder- al recreation sites for $80, or online for $90 at Store.usgs.gov/senior- pass. To look for other travel discounts on the go, download the Sciddy app at Sciddy.com. This app lets you search for senior discounts and can send you alerts when you're at an establishment that offers them. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Sen- ior, RO. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or vis- it SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book. WALSH COUNTY h ADVERTISING DEADLINE: THURSDAY AT NOON PHONE (701)284-6333 ,FAX (701)284-6091 WCPRESS@POLARCOMM,COM