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Election 2022: Pine Island City Council

Candidates for Pine Island City Council make their pitches to voters ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

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Pine Island City Council candidates Jason Johnson, Kelly Leibold and Brandi Veith Staloch.
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PINE ISLAND — In the 2022 general election, Pine Island voters will choose between three candidates to fill two spots on the Pine Island City Council: Jason Johnson, Kelly Leibold and Brandi Veith Staloch. Candidates shared with the Post Bulletin why they are running for office and what their priorities will be if elected to office.

Here are the candidates running for Pine Island City Council:

Jason Johnson (incumbent)

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Jason Johnson
Contributed

Occupation: Patrol sergeant, Goodhue County Sheriff's Office.

Education: College graduate.

Why are you running for office? I am running because Pine Island continues to grow, and I would like to see continued growth while being good stewards of the taxpayers' money. We have completed a number of street projects with another one starting next spring. I think it is important to keep up on existing infrastructure so we don't fall behind again, costing the taxpayers more money. I would also like to continue to work with Goodhue and Olmsted County to get more affordable housing in Pine Island. I would also like to continue to support the EDA in getting businesses to relocate to Pine Island. I believe we have a great relationship with the Prairie Island Indian Community and I would like to continue with that partnership.

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What are the three most important issues to you as a candidate? I feel the three most important issues are responsible growth, supporting our existing businesses and housing affordability.

    Kelly Leibold (incumbent)

    Kelly Leibold
    Kelly Leibold

    Occupation: Part-time reporter for the News-Record, Etsy vendor and website/social media manager for the Mantorville Art Guild.

    Education: Graduate of Pine Island High School, some college at Rochester Community and Technical College.

    Why are you running for office? The previous mayor of Zumbrota (and a current state senate candidate) often says, "If you're running for any other reason than to serve, you're doing it for the wrong reasons." I feel compelled to serve my community because Pine Island shaped me into the leader I am today. In high school I participated in a variety of extracurriculars, which transitioned into volunteering with community organizations after graduation: the Pine Island Image Committee, Pine Area People for the Arts, Toastmasters, etc. I worked with the Pine Island Area Chamber of Commerce from 2016 to 2021 and developed strong relationships with businesses and organizations, as well. Small towns thrive when everyone pitches in, and we foster a welcoming community by ensuring everyone is engaged and has a seat at the table.

    What are the three most important issues to you as a candidate? Twofold, transparency and accessibility: how are we engaging with citizens, keeping them informed on new city initiatives? Listening sessions, public input during monthly meetings, and updating information on our website and social media channels provides community members with an opportunity to be civically engaged. Additionally, collaboration is important. Various businesses and organizations come together to organize community events, and the city can lean on community members for advice and direction. We rise above fear mongering and division to care for our neighbors because we're stronger together, united around our shared values.

    Brandi Veith Staloch

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    Brandi Veith Staloch
    Contributed

    Occupation: Works in information technology.

    Education: Associate's degree in business management.

    Why are you running for office? I am running for office to provide the Pine Island community with someone who is willing to fight for them, listen and have constructive and hard conversations to better our community by putting in the time and hard work. I am dedicated to several committees in Pine Island: Pine Island Park Board, working towards bettering our parks and rec, and running the Farmer’s Market, Pine Island Cheese Festival board as vice president, also Chairing the Craft and Vendor Market, fundraising and fair buttons, and the Pine Island Community Foundation board, we are working hard to lay strong ground work to provide legacy and support the community for generations to come. Having the privilege of being a part of these boards has given me a great foundation of knowledge for being on the city council.

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    What are the three most important issues to you as a candidate? Three important issues I hope to address are updating and expanding our emergency services, supporting our rapidly growing community by expanding on what we can offer as a city and partnering with local business and entrepreneurs to help build up our local.

    Election Day is Nov. 8, 2022. Find voting information at www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/ . Candidates' responses have been edited for clarity and Post Bulletin news style.

    Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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