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Candidates discuss city, schools

Goessel City Council candidates Dallas Boese, Anton Epp, Robert A. McCourry, Joel Ratzlaff, Rollin Schmidt, Jerry Stika, and James W. Wiens were asked to answer questions about their desire to serve on the council.

Following are the reponses from Ratzlaff, Schmidt, Stika, and Wiens. The other candidates did not submit information.

Goessel City Council candidates

Joel Ratzlaff

Q: Why do you want to be elected?

Ratzlaff: I want to serve on the Goessel City Council because I think there’s a need for new ideas, new energy, and someone to help plot new courses of action to benefit the city. I also think people want new choices at election time.

Q: Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the current administration?

Ratzlaff: I’m somewhat dissatisfied with the current council in Goessel because I think they are reactive to current issues instead of proactive. They seem to be satisfied to wait and react to things such as the current road conditions around Goessel.

Q: What is your background or what are your qualifications for office?

Ratzlaff: I have been a city employee for various cities in Kansas for most of my life. I’ve also worked with different mayors and city councils so I’ve seen firsthand some of the mistakes they made and some of the good things they did. I plan to base my votes and actions on the successes I’ve seen.

Q: What are your goals for the city? How do you plan to accomplish them?

Ratzlaff: We need growth, both in population and new businesses interested in coming to Goessel. To accomplish that I intend to vote on matters that will benefit our city, and I also want to encourage discussion on such topics.

Q: What is the most important issue for the city? Why?

Ratzlaff: The road conditions around Goessel connecting us to other cities and places of employment for people are the most important issues right now. Some of the asphalt roads have been turned back to gravel and this will greatly affect commerce and growth for Goessel. They need to be repaired and turned back to asphalt in a timely manner.

Q: Other information?

Ratzlaff: My wife, Sheila, and I were born and raised in McPherson and attended schools there. Sheila works at Bethesda Home and has been there for 10 years. We have two children, Bryce and Nanci. We also have two grandchildren, Derek and Kelli. We have lived in Goessel a little more than 11 years now.

Rollin Schmidt

Q: Why do you want to be elected?

Schmidt: Hopefully to have the opportunity to give back to a community that has given to me. Goessel has been a big part of my childhood, high school years, and most of my adult working life, as well as my home for the past 16 years.

Q: Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the current administration?

Schmidt: Satisfied. I believe each councilperson has made decisions based on what they feel is best for the city, and that’s all that can be asked.

Q: What is your background or what are your qualifications for office?

Schmidt: I have worked for county government for 26 years; 11 years working closely with the county commission. I was employed by the City of Goessel for four years, spent six years on the board of directors for the state weed directors association and have been on the Central Kansas Regional Solid Waste Board for 10 years. I believe those experiences together with having been a Goessel resident for 16 years will bode well in a council position.

Q: What are your goals for the city? How do you plan to accomplish them?

Schmidt: Sustainability, meaning the ability to provide continued and expected services in a declining atmosphere without financial overburden on residents. Also, possible growth. I think both can be accomplished if the council, city employees, and residents all work together.

Q: What is the most important issue for the city? Why?

Schmidt: Again, sustainability. Goessel has incredible schools, a super retirement village, and exceptional residents. The infrastructure of the city needs to parallel those.

Q: Other information?

Schmidt: I work for Marion County, my wife, Brenda works for Memorial Home in Moundridge. I enjoy music, flying, collecting coins, and sleeping.

Jerry Stika

Q: Why do you want to be elected?

Stika: I would like to be able to help improve the city and make it a nicer place to live and see it grow.

Q: Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the current administration?

Stika: I think the current council does a good job, but there is some areas that need improvement, such as streets and growth of the city.

Q: What is your background or what are your qualifications for office?

Stika: As far as politics, I do not have a lot of experience. But I do have lower management experience at AGCO Corporation where I am currently employed.

Q: What are your goals for the city? How do you plan to accomplish them?

Stika: My goals for the city of Goessel are to help improve the city in many different areas. My hope is to make Goessel a place people and businesses move to and make the city grow.

Q: What is the most important issue for the city? Why?

Stika: I feel the city streets are aging and need improvements to give the city a better presentation to help bring businesses and families to Goessel to help it grow.

Q: Other information?

Stika: I was born and raised in Marion. My wife, Kay, and I moved to Goessel in 1991 and we have two children — Christopher, 21, and Chelsea, 13. I have been employed at AGCO Corporation since 1988 and my wife has been employed at Bethesda Home since 1990.

James W. Wiens

Q: Why do you want to be re-elected?

Wiens: To stay informed as to what goes on and what problems the city faces and hopefully find solutions that benefit the city and residents.

Q: What is your background or what are your qualifications for office?

Wiens: Have been on the city council for 20-plus years.

Q: What are your goals for the city? How do you plan to accomplish them?

Wiens: To have families and children move in to keep our school system going. Main Street needs paving — big expense.

Q: Other information?

Wiens: I work for Harvey County — married 27 years. Wife retired in 2010. Have two stepchildren, three step-grandchildren, four step-great-grandchildren. Belong to Classic Car Club and ATHS Truck Club. Am on Fire Department in Goessel. Enjoy reading. Old engines and square dancing. Belong to two engine clubs. Am on museum board.

Last modified March 23, 2011

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