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Durham City Council candidates sound off

Staff writer

Hoch Publishing Company, owner of the Marion County Record¸ Hillsboro Star-Journal, and Peabody Gazette-Bulletin, asked all candidates in Marion County to respond to questions regarding the reason they are seeking election or re-election.

Durham City Council candidates Gary Unruh and Tom Harmon declined to respond.

Durham Mayor Candidate

Michael Sorensen

1) Why do you want to be elected to office?

Sorensen: “To continue serving our community and help build the future foundation of our town.”

2) Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the current administration? Why?

Sorensen: “I am very satisfied with the current administration. Mayor Crothers has given 12-plus years to this community as mayor and has left a good example for us all.”

3) What is your background and/or qualifications for office?

Sorensen: “I have been on the council for the past six to seven years. I feel this gives me the ability to carry-on with the city’s business.”

4) What are your goals for the city? How do you plan to accomplish them?

Sorensen: “My goals would be to keep the city moving forward and continue with our long-range budgeting goals we currently are looking at.”

5) What is the most important issue facing the city? Why?

Sorensen: “I feel the most important issues facing us are the rising costs of repairs. We need to continue future long-term planning and goal setting to meet our major repairs that come along every five to 10 years.”

6) Tell us about yourself — career, family, residence, etc.

Sorensen: “We have lived in Marion County for the past 17 years. My wife, Sharon, and I have been married for 27 years. We have three grown children and two grandchildren. I currently am a supervisor at Solomon Corporation, where I have been for the past nine years. We look forward to being a part of this community for many years to come.”

Durham City Council (Five Positions)

Verlin Sommerfeld

1) Why do you want to be re-elected to office?

Sommerfeld: “I want to help the city be the best that it can be. We need to keep moving forward with our city services and not let everything become outdated.”

2) Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the current administration? Why?

Sommerfeld: “I think they are doing a good job of keeping up with the times. They are providing people with services we need like water, sewer, and good streets.”

3) What is your background and/or qualifications for office?

Sommerfeld: “I moved to this area in 1964, then into town in 1976. I have been a certified sewer operator and certified water operator since 1993. I have been on the city council since 1987, so I know a little about how a city should be run.”

4) What are your goals for the city? How do you plan to accomplish them?

Sommerfeld: “To provide the best water, sewer, and streets that we can. To try to make it a place people will want to live.”

5) What is the most important issue facing the city? Why?

Sommerfeld: “The hardest issue to keep-up with are the regulations for the water department. The government keeps changing them. Keeping the streets in good shape also is an ongoing problem because of the high cost. The budget is always a challenge.”

6) Tell us about yourself — career, family, residence, etc.

Sommerfeld: “I was raised in the country. I worked as a farm hand for 30 years, then land maintenance for 18 years. Now I am semiretired for three and one-half years. I was a fireman for 44 years and fire chief for six years. I am married and have four married children and 12 grandchildren.”

Last modified March 12, 2009

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