Incumbents face challenges in New London, Salem and Winfield
Editor’s note: This is a first part of a two-part series profiling candidates in contested races in Henry County municipalities. Today, The News profiles candidates from New London, Salem and Winfield. The two candidates for the City of Mt. Pleasant Ward 4 council vacancy will be profiled in Monday’s News.
Henry County voters will be going to the polls Tuesday (Nov. 5) to elect city government officials.
In addition to Mt. Pleasant, there are contested races in New London, Salem and Winfield. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Recently, The News sent questionnaires to candidates in contested races in the aforementioned communities. Following are the responses from the candidates who returned questionnaires.
Five candidates are vying for three four-year terms on the New London City Council. Dan Berner, the lone incumbent, is joined on the ballot by Greg Malott, Laurie McBeth, Frank A. Staley and Michael Westerbeck.
Malott is owner of The Guitar Farm in New London. The 58-year-old first time candidate for elective office is married with three children and seven grandchildren.
What prompted you to run for city council and what can you offer the electorate? “I was prompted to become actively involved in (the) city council position as I saw a need for a Main Street businessman to be part of the city’s decision-making process.
“I have an extensive amount of experience in leadership, managing a multi-million-dollar business and have served as a member of the United Way, as well as supporting and running local fund-raising efforts.”
What are the major strengths of your community? “The City of New London is a well-established community that provides a safe and comfortable small-town environment and still able to maintain a school district for its citizens.”
What are the major concerns facing your community? “The major concern I see in our town is to be able to sustain a reasonable cost to live here. As with many small towns, the need to create a larger tax base to offset the rising costs of maintaining infrastructure, rising utilities and proving public safety is paramount.
“If the city can attract more people to live in New London and increase its population along with drawing more commerce and commercial opportunities, it would accomplish both keeping tax rates low and the cost to live in New London competitive to cities where more amenities are available to its citizens.”
Frank A. Staley
Staley formerly served on the council for six years and has lived in the community for 51 years.
What prompted you to run for city council and what can you offer the electorate? “I have decided to run again because being semi-retired, I have more time to devote to issues to improve the City of New London.
“My goals would be to focus on improving the city in all aspects and to evaluate present procedures and goals to find the best ways to save the city money and use our resources the best way.
“My long-term goals would be to find ways to better the city in order to attract more people in our community, both to live and have more business opportunities, which in turn, would increase employment.”
Staley said he wanted to push the council to explore ways to enrich the lives of members of the community. As a long-term resident and local business owner in New London, he said he has been very involved in the community through local service organizations and knows the problems, issues and challenges that impact the city’s future.
The candidate also said his past service on the council aids him in understanding the workings of local government.
Michael A. Westerbeck
Westerbeck, 67, has had 28 years of past experience on the city council. A retired carpenter and home builder, he and his wife, Joyce, have five children and eight grandchildren.
What prompted you to run for city council and what can you offer the electorate? “…The need to have the council become a working team and to get projects done from start to finish.”
What are the major strengths of your community? “We have many different businesses that are serving our community, such as banks, lawyers day care, school churches, mechanic’s repair shops, care center, police and fire department just to name a few. We have a friendly community and a great place to raise a family. We also have windmill, electrical generated (power) to keep us out of the dark.”
What are the major concerns facing your community? “My major concerns are budgeting, infrastructure, taxes land development and street repairs just to name a few. I’d also like to have our beautification committee active again.”
Salem residents have both a contested mayoral race and council seats. Mayor Linda Ward, completing her first term in office, is facing the mayor she followed — Dan Patterson — for a four year term.
Four candidates, including two incumbents, are running for the two four-year council terms expiring. Gary H. Tedrow and Warren Barton are the council incumbents and are being challenged by Jeremy Hunold and John Wagner.
Gary H. Tedrow
Tedrow, 70, is retired tool and die maker. He and his wife, Linda, have two sons and seven grandchildren.
What prompted you to run for council and what can you offer the electorate? “The citizens need to have a say in the way money is spent. I want to see the city streets and fire department the support it needs to maintain top quality of service to the public.”
What are the major strengths of your community? “People of the community are hard working and when there is someone in need of help, the community pulls together to help one another.”
What are the major concerns facing your community? None listed.
Four candidates including three incumbents are vying for the three open seats on the Winfield City Council. Ryan J. Kenneberg, Ryan Rees and Jan Walter are running for another four-year term and being challenged by Kathy K. Nelson.
Kathy K. Nelson
Nelson, 34, is self-employed and also works at The Welcome Inn. She and her husband, Dustin, have five children. She is a volunteer and member of the Girls Scouts Camp L-Keeta volunteer for the past seven years.
What prompted you to run for city council and what can you offer the electorate? “The idea of me running for a seat was brought up in some conversations I had with fellow community people. I can offer fresh ideas, honesty and hard work.”
What are the major strengths of your community? “Some of our strengths would consist of community volunteers who participate in our local committees’ fund-raisers. Other strengths are the people of the community who dedicate their time to improve Winfield as a town.”
What are the major concerns facing your community? “A major concern I see Winfield facing would be the restoration of old buildings or the demolition of the buildings.”
Walter, 69, is a retired city clerk in Winfield. She has served three years on the council. She and her husband, Norman, have four children and eight grandchildren. She is an active member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and a Hospice volunteer.
What prompted you to run for city council and what can you offer the electorate? “I was first approached to fill a vacancy for one year and then ran for the position at the next election to fill the two remaining years of that term. I feel I have the background (31 years as a City of Winfield employee and 23 years as clerk), an understanding of city finances, budgeting, utilities and HR requirements.”
What are the major strengths of your community? “The willingness of the different entities of our community to collaborate for the overall good of Winfield. A lot of positive things have been happening, and I believe I can help to make that continue in the future.”
What are the major concerns facing your community? None listed.