Current mayor Brian Street and former mayor James Westby are seeking election to Mabel’s leadership role on Tuesday.
Street is married to Jeanne and works in the retail industry. He was a former city council member for nine years before becoming mayor in 2012.
Westby and his wife, Brenda, have children Shannon, Clare and Carl. He is a business agent for Local Union 669. His community involvement includes being the Past Commander V.F.W Post 5769 as well as an All State Commander, Past Commander Post 299 Legion. He was a member of the Mabel Fire Department for 20 years and served 14 years as chief. He has served as president of Mabel First Lutheran Church and a member of the Mabel Business Association. He served eight years on the city council and 14 years as mayor of Mabel.
The candidates each answered a set of questions designed to provide voters with an insight to their qualifications and priorities for being the mayor of Mabel. Their responses are listed in alphabetical order.
1. What has motivated you to file for this office?
Street: I believe that I have done a very good job as mayor and would like to continue in that capacity and help the city as it goes forward. I would also like to see completed the projects that were started this past year and that will not be finished until next summer. This includes the street projects and fixing/updating our sewer system and water system. Even though not all citizens will be getting new water or sewer mains, we are in the process of updating the water meters in all residences which will allow for more accurate usage readings as well as more efficient use of time doing the readings, allowing more time for our city personnel to dedicate towards more pressing matters.
Westby: I had a lot of people approach me on the street and calling me to ask me to run. That’s what motivated me.
2. Name one characteristic you have that has enabled or would enable you to be a valuable member of this office. Please explain.
Street: My ability to listen and consider all sides of an issue and then make the best decision for the betterment of the city and its citizens.
Westby: Past experience and the people that work for the city.
3. In these difficult economic times, how would you prioritize the needs for the city?
Street: First, we need to complete the projects that are currently in progress. Then we need to be looking at what we can do to keep existing businesses and also bring new businesses to our town. We are still working on getting a grocery store back in town. Unfortunately, this is not something that happens quickly. We have a committee of concerned citizens that have been meeting and working on this issue, as well at the EDA committee, and they are continuing with their work to help make this happen. Also, with the purchase and clearing of several derelict buildings on Main Street this opens up needed space for new businesses to come in and put in a structure that would best serve them.
Westby: To keep up with the infrastructure while trying to keep the taxes down.
4. Is there an upcoming issue that you feel needs to be addressed by the city?
Street: Again, the main issue that I see, now that we are getting our infrastructure where it needs to be, is to bring new businesses to town, doing what we need to keep existing businesses and also attracting new families to our city. All of this will help with such things as raising property values and make Mabel an even better place to live.
Westby: To retain the business we have and think out of the box what other business would work in Mabel. Keep trying to move Mabel forward.