AUSTIN EDITION Austin candidates explain reasons for running

By Roxana Orellana

Five of the six candidates for Austin City Council discussed their reasons for running Wednesday.

"I really miss being involved," Brian McAlister, 1st Ward candidate, said during the televised forum.

McAlister retired from the Austin Police Department after 30 years and wants to continue serving people.


His opponent, businessman Jeff Austin, said he is proud of the city and wants to restore that pride in the rest of the community. He said the city is not without challenges.

John Howe, 2nd Ward candidate, said he wants to contribute to the strengths of the city.

Scott Pacholl, also running for the 2nd Ward seat, is concerned about Austin's youth. Pacholl described himself as a "working man" and said he would like more high-paying jobs in Austin and opportunities for young people.

Third Ward candidate Ron Marsden said people asked him to run for office. He has talked to people to learn the issues since then.

Norm Hecimovich, 3rd Ward candidate was not present.

The candidates listed floods, developing industry, bringing more businesses to town and addressing public safety needs as priorities.

Howe said hiring more police officers would take some pressure off the rest of the force. He also suggested harsher criminal sentences.

Marsden said it would help to have one more officer. Residents he spoke with are concerned about public safety, he said.


Pacholl said the police force should grow as the city grows. Austin said he would work as a liaison between the police department and the community.

McAlister said it's important to have a properly equipped department and positive activities for residents.

Marsden and McAlister said economic development is among their top issues.

Pacholl said developing industry is a concern for him. Howe said solving the flood problem is one of the most important issues.

A League of Women Voters forum featuring state legislative candidates Jeanne Poppe and Jeff Anderson will be televised from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. today on KSMQ, and Mower County Board candidates will be featured from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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