1. Why are you running for office at this time?
2. What skills and strengths do you bring to the council and city? What should people know about you and your qualifications for this office?
3. What makes you most proud of your city?
4. What do you feel are the top three challenges for the city today, and how would you suggest resolving them?
5. What do you believe should be top spending priorities for the city’s limited funds?
COUNCIL (2 four-year terms) with 4 candidates: Cindy Stelten,
Megan Kiffmeyer (incumbent), Aaron Dahlinger (incumbent), and
Cindy Stelten (council)
1. I have a strong desire to serve again. I loved it in the past as a council woman, then mayor. I’m willing to put myself out there again to better serve this community that I love.
2. I have had a long, fulfilling 45-year career (not over yet) in licensed daycare. I have served this community in many capacities, including 28 years in the Fire & Rescue Department. One of the many wonders of my life and a bunch of us started the Rescue squad in 1985. I’m currently an American Heart Association CPR/First Aid instructor. I was on the council for 1 term, and mayor for 2 terms. I was in the Jaycees, PTA, and 20 years in an investment club. I feel I’ve been a “life learner” so I love to read. I’m also a big proponent of the new library.
3. I love our community and all it has to offer. Our park is amazing with a natural trout stream, the Lions shelter, walking paths, and the famous endangered Blandin turtle. I also love our rich history and the many wonderful people who came before us, and individuals who gave so much. I love that a wonderful historical society (with Mary Johnson, who has passed) gave such rich love to our city hall and saving it.
4. a. Growth, to be a visible business community. We need to keep our small town from shrinking. I’m not sure of a solution, but I’m willing to research.
b. Taxes. I think everyone in the current city government has done a fair job on this, and it always can be improved with new eyes and new business growth.
c. Transparency. We should be very clear on the city’s function and let the business of our city and always keep people clearly and respectfully informed. Always willing to find solutions.
5. I really have a strong desire to see this wonderful new library come to town. Such a wonderful bunch of people and organizations fundraising for this. Also, in the past, I’ve felt strongly about keeping our infrastructure up or it costs so much if it’s let go. Making it affordable to live and have business come to town.
Megan Kiffmeyer (council)
1. I enjoy being involved in the community. City council has given me the opportunity to work with residents and business owners. It’s interesting learning hands-on how government works.
2. I’ve served on council for almost 2 1/2 years now, so I bring some experience. My education and work background is in finance, which has been handy when we look at budgets. I’m part of a few community groups, the Friends of the library and Chamber of Commerce. Having connections to a variety of people gives me a chance to find out how others feel the city is doing and what could be improved.
3. There are some truly incredible things that happen in our community. The small-town feel connects people to get things done when needs be (library fundraising and supporting people who have been dealt challenging situations). We have our own school district and grocery store, which might not sound like a big deal but there are other cities not far from us that are not as lucky to have these things in their own backyards.
4. a. Growth, both for business and homes. We should find out how other communities have found success and see if the same measures could be applied here. There could be grants or programs available to help offset any costs, which would need to be researched.
b. Keeping up with technology. The younger generations are on social media, and the city should also try to reach them. It could be used to pass information to residents and promote the city. Along with that, internal records and systems need to be kept current as technology changes. We’ve discussed improvements but have not set funds aside to make them, but it should be looked at as a priority.
4. Taxes/Budget. There are many things the city could change or offer, but not without added expense. It’s a challenge to decide what matters the most and is needed while still keeping taxes affordable for residents.
5. Maintaining infrastructure, re-evaluate long-term planning by updating the comp plan.
Aaron Dahlinger (council)
1. I chose to run for my current position as a council member to continue working for the citizens and business owners in the City of Kimball to keep moving towards a positive future for everyone.
2. One of the greatest strengths I bring to the council and the city is my loyalty to public service. I am approaching the end of my fourth year as an elected official as a council member, and I will also be approaching my tenth year of service as a loyal member of Kimball Area Fire and Rescue. The majority of my years on KFD I have served as an officer in a Captains role which is selected by a majority of fellow fire department members (subject to council approval.) I feel my greatest strength is serving the people, and in my position as a council member I feel that’s the most important skill/strength a person can obtain. As an elected official we are here for the people, with their best interests in mind and holding true to a common core belief that I was raised to believe in, that is treat others as you want to be treated.
3. What makes me most proud of Kimball is our pride and loyalty. Kimball is not just a place on the map, it’s more, it’s unique because of the citizens and businesses. I feel the citizens and business that comprise Kimball truly want to have pride and loyalty in their town, each person who lives here wants to feel that this is their town, as they should. Seeing their pride and loyalty and potential of their town makes me proud of Kimball. We’re all here for the same reason, we Love Kimball and only want the best for our community. And that makes me proud to be a fellow community member, council member, Fire Fighter.
4. My top 3 challenges for the city today:
a. Community involvement: being on the council is a thankless job no doubt, but it also comes with its fair share of criticism. Criticism after the fact of a decision the council has made usually in protest to the decision and most of the times is directed towards us with anger and aggression. A resolve to that would be to get involved. If you have concerns come to us with your thoughts, but be sure to come to us with a positive and optimistic outlook. We’re all adults, we should be able to communicate as adults. The Council is an approachable entity that will listen to anyone about anything.
b. Business development: we often hear we don’t have enough businesses in town. I don’t have a resolution for that issue at this time. But do know it’s a challenging topic. Every time I am asked this question I meet it with a question itself. That is what Business would you like to see come into Kimball? knowing the negative repercussion to this topic which is what current business do we bring competition. Do we bring in another bank? Gas station? Flower shop? News paper? Butcher shop? Bar/restaurant? This is a real concerning challenge don’t get me wrong, but as the council this is a challenge we’re faced with in the city. Another question to go along with this Challenge is, are we patronizing our current businesses as much as we should be? we want more but are we supporting our current?
c. Bringing more Families into our community: There’s a concern the city isn’t doing anything to bring more families into our community. My suggestion of resolving the issue is to unite all entities. The primary concern the city charges a WAC/SAC fee for new structures to be built in our developments as the primary reason houses aren’t being built I feel isn’t the core issue. It takes more than the city to do their part. I feel we need a unity of all parties pointing in the right direction to prosper the development of the housing concern in Kimball. The City being receptive to plans, developers marketing their sites, an affordable mortgage, a banker willing to give mortgages within our city, all moving parts that play a key factor in resolving this concern.
5. I feel top spending priority for the city should absolutely be public safety. We pride ourselves on the safety of our City, thanks to the Police Department and Fire and Rescue. Employee wages are also top spending priority, we rely on our employees to help maintain a smooth operation of day to day functions within the city. Their happiness is a top priority to me. Currently there’s a few projects that are taking priority in budget spending, 83rd Ave, 135th Ave and the Library. The two roads the city is in a partnership with the township that need priority in getting fixed. The Library project is important to our city as a need for it was very high, helping the city’s budget towards the new library facility the Kimball Library Building Task Force and Friends of the Library (comprised of numerous volunteers) have helped to raise funds with hopes to obtain a matching grant to help fund this project. A huge thanks should go to them.
In closing I’d like to wish my opponents the best of luck in this year’s election. We need not forget we are here for the citizens and businesses, for the greater good with an optimistic mentality towards the future.
Kyle Christensen (council)
1. I want to serve this great community. I raised my four children here and now have four grandchildren in this community. Kimball has been very good to me and my family over the years; and I want to give back to the place that has contributed so positively to my family and me. Kimball is a place with much potential, and so much to offer. I look forward to the opportunity to serve and give back to help our community continue to grow.
2. I am not a politician. I started out as a carpenter who worked his way up through the business, and am now with the MN Dept of Labor and Industry. I have learned a lot, have had many experiences, and much growth along the way. My background, people skills, and business strengths will help positively contribute to our community’s leadership. Over the years I have worked with many different people, cities and communities in planning, zoning, development and construction. I look forward to using these skills sets as an asset serving our people. I am honest, hard-working, and feel my common sense, fiscally responsible approach will help contribute to many opportunities for growth in our community.
3. That’s an easy one: the people. This community is full of great people of all ages and backgrounds. I look forward to the opportunity to get to know even more of them, and to serve them as a city council member. We have an excellent school system, vibrant business community, and lots of great groups and social organizations working to contribute positively to make our community even better.
4. Budget, maintaining and growing our infrastructure, and development are challenges facing us here in Kimball. Resolving them happens with a common sense approach to team work, listening to all voices, and sound fiscal management.
5. The important thing here is to do what’s best for the people, school, businesses and organizations. This will happen by taking the time to meet with others, listen to their needs and follow through on what the community deems most important. When it comes to spending priorities, it’s about being transparent, having conversations, looking at the data, and involving community to come up with top priorities that make the most sense to help us grow and continue to be a great place to live.