Stuart Grote

Age: 38

Occupation: Petroleum transport driver for KwikTrip

Family: Married to Tiffany, we have three girls, Molly is a 6th grader at Union Middle School and twins Hannah and Haylee are in First Grade at La Porte City Elementary School

Education: Born and raised in La Porte City

Community Involvement: I have a passion about some of La Porte City’s amenities so during my free time over the past 4 years I have volunteered my assistance with the ice rink. Also, this past summer I assisted the city with maintaining the Lions ballfields and grounds along with recruiting the help of my three daughters to help at the ice rink and ballfields so I can pass along a strong work ethic and pride of making a difference within their community.

Why are you running for office?

The reason I’m running for City Council is I truly care about our community and the direction it will be taking in the future. I’m not apprehensive to ask questions about what’s needed to keep La Porte City on a positive growth plan. I will work with the community members, council and city leaders to make sure that we continue to work on fixing the streets, sidewalks and the revitalization of our downtown Main Street. Our ballfields, parks and recreation areas need to be more of a priority when in comes to maintenance of these facilities. We need to start taking care of our current amenities instead of building new to replace it. I also believe that we are in a stagnant population growth due to the lack of plausible new construction. We must work together to find a solution for a future housing addition in order to keep new/families coming to the area and help our community thrive. Without growth I fear that the local public safety, schools and amenities will suffer the consequences. I’m also concerned with our tax dollars being spent on what’s justly needed versus what is not. The people of La Porte City need an advocate to bring their questions and concerns to the Council, and I believe I can fulfill this position. Again, I’m not afraid to voice your and my concerns to the council to help La Porte City fulfill a positive growth pattern.

 

Sarah Logan

Age: 38

Occupation: Manager for Casey’s General Store

Family: Married to Heath Logan, four children ages 19, 17, 5, 3

Education: I graduated from Union. I also have a diploma for early childhood education from Hawkeye Community College. I have successfully completed an Urban Potential Seminar.
Community Involvement: I help with donations through Casey’s to multiple events and organizations.

Why are you running for office?

I would love to be more involved in the community. I didn’t realize how much information myself and the citizens of this town are missing out on. We need a voice. I’m sure there is a lot more citizens than just me who want to help our city succeed. I want to help open up communication. See our small businesses thrive and our Main Street full again. I do not know all the answers or the options. I’m unsure fully of the task I am taking on, but I promise to give 100% and do my best to help our city be a place you would love to raise your children and grow old in.

What are your goals/priorities for the next four years as they relate to city government?

Some of my goals are to make La Porte a place you would want to start your business. Discuss and create options of how to make living in La Porte more affordable for the middle class. So they can afford to start their children in a great education system and a great small town! I also want to work on the housing issues and declining school enrollment. I would like to help recruiting to fill the Economic Development Committee.

Citing the safety hazards of La Porte City sidewalks in a state of disrepair, what is your response to citizens who feel “laziness has stepped in on the city’s side to not enforce the public to fix the issue?”

It would be beneficial to enforce the sidewalk safety hazard policy. Unfortunately, I have seen the side where, for the landowner, it isn’t an option to come up with the money. I’ve met multiple families that have the option to either feed their children or fix their sidewalk. Its not easy to come up with the extra money. I would like to see a community effort. Let’s work together and help the people who are elderly on fixed income, the single mothers, the citizens just trying to get by from week to week. We need to come together helping our neighbors. Is there a way the city can help reduce cost like a sliding scale on the cement? Can we share materials? If it was your son/daughter, mother/father, or grandparent wouldn’t you help?

 

Gary Murphy

Age: 48

Occupation: Machine Operator

Family: Married with one son & one daughter

Education: Born and raised in Waterloo. Attended Hawkeye Community College for Accounting (did not finish)

Community Involvement: Moved to La Porte City in spring of 1998, involved with different aspects of Sacred Heart Church in La Porte City.

Why are you running for office?

I want to get/be a little more informed of what is happening around town and what could be coming to town in the future.

What are your goals/priorities for the next four years as they relate to city government?

New businesses, streets, Parks & Recreation areas. Possible new alternative energy savings, such as solar fields and to help find possible grants for these. Find out if we are in debt from any loans or bonds and try to get them paid off a little sooner than later.

Citing the safety hazards of La Porte City sidewalks in a state of disrepair, what is your response to citizens who feel “laziness has stepped in on the city’s side to not enforce the public to fix the issue?”

I agree with this. I had to replace a section of my sidewalk because of this. There are a lot of sidewalks that could be replaced around town. I also think that the sidewalks, steps on Main Street uptown need to be replaced to set the example that the City is playing by its own rules and regulations.

 

Brent Sadler

Age: 36

Occupation: John Deere

Family: Wife Mary, three children: Gracie, Andrew and Chloe

Why are you running for office?

I am seeking reelection for City Council to help further the progress the city has made over the past several years. The city has made great strides in not only trimming the budget, but spending that money wisely on several improvements and upgrades throughout our community. While it is easy to point fingers and cast blame for issues that have not yet been addressed, it is important to be aware of the many completed projects and gains the City has made. A few of these projects include the Main Street façade program, the new Public Works building, phase 1 of the Wolf Creek Rehabilitation project, improvements to the aquatic center, resurfacing of the tennis courts, the Bishop Ave. project, repair work on several of our streets and the purchase of a new fire truck. From our Public Works/Public Safety departments to our Library/Museum boards, there are several people throughout our community that contribute to making La Porte City a great place to live.  I would encourage the community to applaud and thank the many volunteers, boards, committees and departments for their hard work and dedication in making all of these projects possible.  

What are your goals/priorities for the next four years as they relate to city government?

With all the completed projects I listed above, there are still PLENTY of opportunities for our community to build on. In the next four years, I believe we need to focus on these projects, but not be limited to, the continuing repairs to our city streets, completion of phase 2 of the Wolf Creek Rehabilitation project, make improvements to our recreational league ball diamonds, have a solution to our Cedar Valley Nature Trail bridge and a complete restructure of our Main Street. Although, these are large projects to take on, there have been several conversations and preliminary plans put in place. I ask for the community’s support on November 7th to allow me to continue seeing these projects through. This past year, the City Council and Mayor Neil had the privilege to sit down with the School Board and focus on a La Porte City “needs assessment.” I want to thank the School Board for agreeing to meet with us.  The conversation that took place reassured that we are all focused on similar goals and stressed some of the challenges that we are currently facing. With a joint effort from our volunteers, boards, committees and departments, there is no doubt in my mind that we will overcome these challenges and continue to prosper as a great Community.

Citing the safety hazards of La Porte City sidewalks in a state of disrepair, what is your response to citizens who feel “laziness has stepped in on the city’s side to not enforce the public to fix the issue?”

One of the challenges we face within our City are the many needed repairs, not only to our streets, but to our sidewalks. Judging by the responses that the Progress Review received, this seems to be a hot topic.  The question is: What is your response to citizens who feel “laziness has stepped in on the City’s side to not enforce the public to fix the issue?” The City has several ordinances that pertain to the “upkeep” of our properties. These ordinances are put in place for these reasons: to keep our community safe, to give a “Welcoming/Inviting tone” to our community, and to increase the overall value of La Porte City. I am going to quote a couple phrases out of Chapter 6 in the book: 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, by Doug Griffins and Kelly Clemmer. I would HIGHLY suggest everyone to visit our local library (Hawkins Memorial Library) and check out this book. It is a great read! This chapter reads as follows: “In reality, we were told, not to judge a book by its cover because what the cover shows is not necessarily indicative of the contents. That is completely true. What is also true is that people most often do judge books by their covers.” “People judge most everything by their first impression of the item’s outward appearance.” I find this all so true, especially when it comes to small communities. While driving through town, I notice homes that are not being maintained, lawns that are not being mowed, trees/shrubs that are not being trimmed, junk vehicles sitting around in yards, and sidewalks that are falling apart. For someone who is considering La Porte City as a place to live and a place to invest for their future, these images will play a HUGE part into where they decide to relocate. If a town looks as if it is “dying,” people will not want to invest their money into that community. By no means, am I pointing fingers but it is important that we all fully understand why these ordinances are in place and why they must be followed. Are we all doing our part in keeping our Community attractive to that potential outside revenue? With this being said, do I agree that we as a City Council do not always follow through with enforcing these ordinances? Yes, absolutely! Currently, when the City receives a complaint, the complaint is investigated and followed up on. If there is a violation of our local ordinance, a letter is sent out to the property owner with a clear understanding of the violation and a deadline as to when they need to have their property within compliance. I cannot speak on behalf of the entire Council, but in my opinion, we are all on the same page with this issue and agree that we need to do a better job enforcing the ordinances we have in place.

 

Tim Smith

Age: 35

Occupation: Police Lieutenant-Cedar Falls Police (12yrs)

Family: Wife Erin, three children: Taylen, Tucker and Terek

Education: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. I have worked 16 years in Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS).

Community Involvement: I worked full-time with the La Porte City Police Department for three years and several years as part-time. I was a volunteer for several years with La Porte City Fire Rescue and a volunteer assistant football coach for Union High School for six years.

Why are you running for office?

I have always had an interest in local government. With 16 years of experience in Public Safety I have dealt with budgeting and have gained an understanding of the importance of spending. We must always evaluate our needs –vs- wants in our decision making. My #1 priority is to ensure the City Council is doing what is best for our community and the citizens. As a taxpayer of La Porte City for several years, I feel it is important that our tax dollars are truly going to towards improvements. I personally am a progressive thinker and I enjoy analyzing options to better serve and to make our community safer, stronger, and more desirable for our citizens, visitors and those considering relocating. I am a strong supporter of our local police and fire departments who work so diligently to provide outstanding service to La Porte City. Our family is actively involved with activities in town and I understand their importance to our community. Our school system strives for excellence here at Union and our family enjoys supporting our athletics. I would consider it an honor to be a City Council member and serve the citizens of La Porte City.

What are your goals/priorities for the next four years as they relate to city government?

My main goal is to evaluate what we are doing for the citizens of La Porte City. I have several things that are extremely important to me and things I have thought of as a resident of LaPorte City. Those goals/priorities are in no particular order. Important items are: (1) Taxes-how are these collected, managed and spent. Are our tax dollars being used for necessities? Tax payers drive local government and those dollars should be spent on necessities for LaPorte City. (2) Safety-Police/Fire services and the ability to protect and serve. We, as citizens shouldn’t have to worry about police/fire/ems coverage. We should be assured that we are safe and that these Public Safety Services will be available when we need them. I will make a commitment to ensure everyone that I will strive to maintain staffing levels to keep La Porte City safe. (3) Infrastructure-Community improvements through maintenance, expansions, new businesses and development. We need to take care of the infrastructure in our community to keep people visiting and make raising a family in La Porte City appealing to others. Our citizens and the city need to maintain their properties as well. (4) General Costs-Is water, electric, and gas affordable for our Citizens and is it attractive for others to consider residing in LaPorte City. These goals are important to me and the citizens deserve this service.

Citing the safety hazards of La Porte City sidewalks in a state of disrepair, what is your response to citizens who feel “laziness has stepped in on the city’s side to not enforce the public to fix the issue?”

Our family is extremely active and we spend a lot of time around town. I agree with the frustrated citizens that some sidewalks around town are in rough shape and need replaced. This, in my opinion, has not been enforced or evaluated for quite some time. I personally feel that it would be extremely difficult or unfair to enforce these issues from a city standpoint for a couple of reasons. First, I feel there are issues that should be addressed by city staff and improvements can be made around the city as well. Second, the city should be setting the higher standards on this and setting the direction of improvements around town before taking any enforcement action against the citizens. I believe the city along with the citizens can do better. Like everything, our local government is working for the citizens and we need to work together for positive results.