CANDIDATE PROFILE Bonnie Rietz
Address: 701 NW 22nd St.
Family: Married, three children.
Work history: Taught French for 12 years at Riverland Community College.
Education history: Graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota.
Community activities: Member of Rotary, League of Women Voters, St. Olaf Lutheran Church and AAUW. Involved in Apex Austin, Mayor's Meth Task Force, Leaders' Group and Austin Page Turners. Past president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, first vice president of the Minnesota Mayors' Association and first vice president of the League of Minnesota Cities' Board of Directors.
Government history: Served as Second Ward council member for 8 years and has been mayor for 7 1/2 years.
Contact information: Phone, 437-9965 or 433-1597; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top three issues:
1. Economic development in helping local businesses to grow and bringing in new businesses, JOBZ.
2. Address problems with drugs and alcohol in the community through the Mayor's Meth Task Force.
3. We need to open the book on our flood situation and take a look at it on a regional basis.
It is an honor to be mayor of Austin. I am open to new ideas, and I look forward to another two years if elected.
Five questions of the candidate:
1. Have city spending cuts gone too deep? No.
2. Is illegal immigration a topic of concern in Austin? Yes.
3. Are necessary public safety functions adequately funded? No.
4. Has the city council provided efficient leadership for Austin and its constituents? Yes.
5. Should the city property tax be raised to help cope with state aid budget reductions and the demand for more services? Yes.
From staff reports
After 16 years in local government, Bonnie Rietz is ready for a fifth term as mayor.
Rietz said she is seeking re-election to continue working on city projects that have been started or are in the city's plans, among them the advent of Job Opportunity Building Zones and the potential of attracting new businesses to town.
Austin will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2006, and Rietz said she wants to be part it. She has been involved in the planning process and wants to continue helping.
After the record flood last month, Rietz added the flood problem to her priority list. City officials will continue to work with state, federal agencies to see what plan would work best to help prevent future floods, she said.
Another big issue is the construction of a justice center and how it might effect downtown if it were to move, Rietz said. "You need that part of the city (downtown area) to be doing well."
Rietz was a council member for eight years before running for mayor. As mayor, she said, she remains involved in the issues but also acts as a representative for the community.
Through the course of election forums, Rietz has said she enjoys her job as mayor. It's hard to believe 16 years have gone by so quickly, Rietz said.