Huisinga, Knudsen view for MP Ward 4 council seat
Editor’s note: This is the second and final part of a two-part series profiling candidates in contested races in Henry County municipalities for tomorrow’s city council and mayoral elections. Today, The News profiles the two aspirants for the Mt. Pleasant City Council’s Ward 4 seat. Currently, Stan Curtis is the Ward 4 councilman but is retiring from the council. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. tomorrow and voting is at Cottrell Gymnasium.
Generally, a retirement from a political body leads to a contested race for the vacancy. Longtime Mt. Pleasant Ward 4 Councilman Stan Curtis will be retiring from the council Dec. 31 and that announcement paved the way for newcomers Alan D. Husinga and Brant Knudsen to file nomination papers for the four-year term.
Mt. Pleasant Mayor Steven K. Brimhall, Councilman-at-large Terry McWilliams and Ward 2 Councilwoman Debra J. Savage are running unopposed for terms. The mayoral term is two years and council terms are four years.
The News sent questionnaires to Husinga and Knudsen regarding their candidacy and their responses follow.
Alan D. Huisinga
Husinga, 68, retired from president and COO of EMC National Life Company in 2009 and relocated to Mt. Pleasant, hometown of his wife Melida (Shepp) Huisinga, upon retirement.
He is an Army veteran and worked in the insurance industry from 39 years. Huisinga graduated from Upper Iowa University with a degree in business administration.
Since coming to Mt. Pleasant, he has been involved in community affairs. He and his wife are members of First United Methodist Church, the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance, Mt. Pleasant Golf and County Club and Mt. Pleasant Rec Center.
Huisinga currently serves as volunteer development officer for the Old Threshers Foundation, member of the 110 Club, member of Midwest Central Railroad, volunteer for school tours at Old Threshers and a reunion exhibitor in the tractor area since 1996. He is a Healthy Henry County Communities Board of Director and serves on the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance’s Tourism Committee and the City of Mt. Pleasant Community Development Committee.
He and his wife have one daughter and one grandson.
What prompted you to run for city council and what can you offer the electorate? “Serving on various community committees during these past 40 years has given me the opportunity to meet and interact with many citizens along with city leaders. I have always wanted to run for an elected position, but felt I didn’t have the quality time it would require during my career. But now that I have retired and have become familiar with the people of Mt. Pleasant, I feel now is the time to serve.
“Mt. Pleasant is a great place to live, and I want the opportunity to be part of its future development. I can offer my 40 years of business experience, my experience of living in three different communities, the ability to see the big picture and the ability to work as a team player who is capable of offering an independent point of view.”
What are the major strengths of Mt. Pleasant? “One of Mt. Pleasant’s major strengths is its strong infrastructure — medical facilities, schools, law enforcement, fire protection, library, recreation center, aquatic center and park system — all of which are attractive for young families to retired citizens and enhance the quality of life for everyone. It also has an effective economic development program, strong leadership in city government and knowledgeable, experienced city employees.”
What are the major concerns facing Mt. Pleasant? “One of the concerns for the future is continued growth of population, retention of current businesses and development of new business which brings good paying jobs to the community.”
A native of Mt. Pleasant and graduate of Mt. Pleasant Community High School, Knudsen, 26, is media director of the Faith Christian Outreach Center and part owner of Insights Tactical.
He is a member of the Mt. Pleasant Noon Rotary Club. Knudsen and his wife, Bethany, are expecting their first child.
What prompted you to run for city council and what can you offer the electorate? “I was asked to run. I was told that no one was running in Ward 4 and decided I can represent the people of Ward 4 well. I also believe I can offer the people of Ward 4 and the city someone who will take time to listen. I want to grow business in Mt. Pleasant and continue to make Mt. Pleasant a place where young and old can enjoy living.”
What are the major strengths of Mt. Pleasant? “Mt. Pleasant is great. We have a fantastic hospital, great police and fire department. Our school system is second to none. Mt. Pleasant offers other things for both young and old such as the Rec Center, fabulous parks, walking/biking trails and a golf course. Something else that is wonderful for Mt. Pleasant is Iowa Wesleyan College.”
What are the major concerns facing Mt. Pleasant? None listed.