Three Harmony residents have submitted their names to be included on the ballot next Tuesday for Harmony City Council. Incumbent Kyle Morem is joined on the ballot by Jill Fishbaugher and Steve Sagen.
Jill Fishbaugher is an accountant and office manager at Harmony Telephone Company. She is married to Bryan Fishbaugher and has been involved in the community by serving on the board of the Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce, including a term as president. She volunteers for the Relay for Life with the team Bodacious Broads and at church events for Harmony Stateline United Methodist Church. She is currently participating with the Experience Harmony committee and have assisted with executing many community events, such as the Fourth of July celebration.
Kyle Morem is married to Tara Morem and they have two children, Zachary, 4, and Kyle, 1. Morem is a lineman at Dairyland Power Cooperative and is a member of the Harmony Fire Department and a current city council member.
Steve Sagen is married to Jane Sagen and together they have five grown children, Jessica, Angela, Laura, Sarah and Robert. He is a technical sales support engineer for Harmony Enterprises and has been involved in the community through several organizations and clubs since moving to Harmony over 38 years ago. He has been a member of the JCs, Men’s Club, Harmony Conservation Club where he taught hunter safety for over 20 years, the Wildlife and Habitat of Fillmore County, Lions Club, Harmony Golf Club and the Harmony Ambulance. He is also a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life of Fillmore County.
The candidates each answered a set of questions designed to provide voters with an insight to their qualifications and priorities for the Harmony City Council. Their responses are listed in alphabetical order.
1. What has motivated you to file for this office?
Fishbaugher: My passion to see our small town thrive is what motivated me to file for city council. I feel very fortunate to live and work in a community as strong and vital as Harmony. My educational background includes a degree in business administration with a focus on accounting. Work experience includes the benefit of working in several different industries. I have lived in several large cities before moving back to the area and this has increased my awareness of how fortunate we are to have so many fundamental businesses here in our own backyards. Harmony has many other assets that make this a great place to live. It is important that our city leaders continue to pave the road for progress and I would be grateful to be a part of that process and continue to give back to the city I believe in.
Morem: I believe strongly in public service. I was appointed to fill out the remainder of Jim Bakken's term. I enjoy being part of the decisions that affect this community.
Sagen: I have always been a promoter of Harmony and its growth and prosperity. At this stage in my life, I feel I have the time that would be needed to serve the community in this capacity.
2. Name one characteristic you have that has enabled you or would enable you to be a valuable member of this office. Please explain.
Fishbaugher: I am, by nature, a planner. This includes attention to detail, strong organizational skills, being proficient at research and insightful regarding potential concerns and dilemmas. When making decisions, I feel it is important to look at the facts on all sides and the future outcomes of the decisions we make today. I have used my planning skills to develop budgets, project plans and help the companies I have worked with prepare for any changes in their given industries. The fundamental success to all business is planning and I believe this applies to the success of an individual city also.
Morem: I am an excellent listener and I am able to look at both sides of issues.
Sagen: Listening: I believe in being a good listener and listening to both sides of an issue with an open mind. Then making a sound decision based on the best interests of the community.
3. In these difficult economic times, how would you prioritize the needs for the city?
Fishbaugher: Having a detailed plan, not just for the current year or the next year, but a vision into what type of community we are today and what type of community we want to be in the future will be essential to prioritizing needs. Listening to the residents and the business owners regarding their needs will assist in planning. Part of the prioritization needs to be to address maintenance versus replacement. Maintaining our basic infrastructure balanced with plans for future replacements and improvements is essential.
Morem: The infrastructure needs continuing upgrades and maintenance to stay operational within the city of Harmony’s budget.
Sagen: I would prioritize needs for the city on the basis of keeping the financial state of the city sound and within the budget. I would also like to see Harmony prosper while keeping taxes to a minimum.
4. Is there an upcoming issue that you feel needs to be addressed by the city?
Fishbaugher: Since we have a strong and vital community, we need to take steps to ensure that continues. By being open to comments and ideas from residents and business owners, the city council can address issues that are at the forefront of the town. Every person as a unique perspective on what is good, what could be better and what is missing and by listening to those thoughts and ideas the city can work together to improve as a whole. We need to continue the work of our predecessors to maintain a city that supports business and is a place where people choose to live.
Morem: The new well and the upgrade of the Wastewater Treatment plant to meet regulations.
Sagen: I would like to see the growth of the city of Harmony by way of new businesses, new housing, and more people moving to the community which will, in turn, help out our schools and community.