Get to know the candidates for city council, Ward 2- The North Platte Bulletin

The Ward 2 race for city council pits two candidates against each other who have

The Ward 2 race for city council pits two candidates against each other who have extensive experience in city operations.

We asked them to describe their experience, and what they would do if elected.

Here’s what they said:

 

PETE VOLZ, 57, insurance agent

Experience & qualifications

 Past public offices:

– Appointed North Platte Planning Commission 8/2010-10/2019

– Chairman, North Platte Planning Commission 07/2014-10/2019

– Appointed North Platte Board of Adjustments 07/2014-present

Community organizations:

– Nebraskaland Days Board of Directors 12/2014-8/2019, president 2017-18

– North Platte Ambassadors 3/2004-present, president 2009.

– North Platte Legion Baseball board 2009-14.

–  NSAA Football Official 2000-19

– Youth coach baseball, football, softball 1999-2009

– Salvation Army Board of Advisors 2001-11, president 2005.

Past occupation:

Capt US Air Force. B-52 instructor/evaluator/navigator/bombardier. Liaison officer USAFA for western Nebraska.

My life experience, I feel, gives me unique qualities to be a city councilman. My formal education in construction management and engineering, the leadership roles I was tasked with in the Air Force, my volunteer service and leadership with local organizations including the planning commission and my business experience makes for well-rounded decisions. Also, having the ability to mediate differing opinions to come up with an agreeable solution will allow North Platte to move toward our objective.

 

Motivation

When my term limited-out as chairman of the North Platte Planning Commission, I felt my experience would be well suited as a member of our city council.  This is an exciting time for North Platte and I would like to help guide our city into the future.

 

If elected

I hope to work together and continue to make our city a desirable community that we are proud to call home, where new business opportunities and community enhancement provide a safe and prosperous environment for those who reside in North Platte.

– Diversify and grow the business community to create quality growth opportunities to enhance careers.

– Continue revitalization of North Platte downtown Canteen District.

– Promote and enhance a North Platte Industrial Rail Park.

– Promote and attract other industries to locate in North Platte.

– Attract remote business opportunity through 4 key areas.

  1. Attract new residents with an increased supply of new and the redevelopment of existing single/multi-family housing market.
  2. Establish a positive, enjoyable, safe and progressive experience for the young and old generation through the expansion of numerous avenues, which include but are not limited to: recreation center, bike trails, parks, tourism and entertainment.
  3. Continued daily air service from Lee Bird Field with the hope of expansion.
  4. Continued infrastructure improvements with existing high-speed internet fiber optics.

 

Tax burden vs. the need for the city to generate revenue  

The Quality Growth Fund is an excellent example of an incentive designed to stimulate growth while increasing revenue for our city. This fund invests money into a project with the expectation of increasing sales tax revenue while creating jobs. The money invested into a project should be paid back to the city many times over. We must continue to increase our sales tax revenue while expanding our property tax base so our citizens don’t have to carry as much of the load. Many hands make light work.

 

How should the city respond to layoffs & business closings?

Adapt and diversify.

We must diversify our work force by creating an atmosphere of acceptance to potential employers and utilizing economic programs available to entice them to locate here.

We also must have the foresight to adapt to our ever-changing commerce.

An example of this could be as the big box stores increasingly move their operations towards internet base sales, this opens up smaller “mom and pops” to fill the void they have left behind.

A strong partnership with the city, business leaders and the Chamber of Commerce working together to achieve a common goal is critical.

 

 

JIM AGLER, 66, retired – North Platte Deputy Chief of Police

Experience & qualifications

I have been involved with public service my entire adult life. I served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. I served as a North Platte police officer for more than 42 years, the last 20 years as the deputy chief of police.

I have been involved in developing and presenting the police department budget for those 20 years. I have worked with and developed relationships within the law enforcement community as well as other city, county, state and federal agencies. I have been involved with presentations of ordinances and policies with and for the city council. There would be no learning curve.

I have been a past board member and president for the Police Officers Association of Nebraska.

I have been a past board member and president of the Noon Rotary Club.

I am a graduate of the school of Police Staff and Command from Northwestern University.

I have earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Mid-Plains Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University, majoring in Law Enforcement Administration.

 

Motivation

Several friends and colleagues urged me to run. I have a lifelong record of public service and felt I could continue to give back to the community that has been so good to my family and I. With my experience and work ethic, I know I can be a positive ambassador for the city of North Platte and Ward 2.

 

If elected

My focus will be to improve the city streets and infrastructure. Our aging streets and infrastructure are in great need of improvement or replacement.

I want to help attract both small and large businesses to North Platte, which will help broaden the tax base and provide much needed employment opportunities for our residents and youth.

I want to work with other community leaders to help North Platte be a model city for Nebraska.

 

Tax burden vs. the need to generate revenue

North Platte needs to examine the services it provides as this is what generates the “tax burden.”  These services need to be as efficient as possible.

The generation of revenue is always a difficult task, as no matter how you slice it, revenue is often equated to taxes. One needs to look at the end users of a service and examine if there are user fees that would help offset the general tax obligation. These are all areas I have experience in when examining city budgets and fee schedules.

 

How should the city respond to layoffs & business closings?

Major employers and local businesses are in an adjustment period with the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses across the nation are suffering and thus cuts are affecting shipping which trickles to the Union Pacific. Also, Union Pacific is in the midst of downsizing. Also, nationwide large “box stores” are cutting or eliminating stores to compete with on-line shopping.

To address these challenges will not be easy, as a local community has little to no control of large corporations and their operations. North Platte can try to make our community as attractive as possible as a city that supports business location and growth. The small business community is the heart of any city, and North Platte is no different. The city should encourage small business development and growth. There are products and services no big “box stores” or online shopping can provide. The city should do all it can to help make starting a small business an attractive opportunity.

 

Family

Married to Mary Ann together we have 3 children — Dan, Chad and Sara and a grand-daughter Katie.

 

Also

My professional experience with city government gives me a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on the future of our great city.

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