Anderson, Weinmann in race for council member-at-large
The incumbent in Austin's race for the city council member-at-large seat wants to continue the work she's started. Her challenger is seeking the job as a way to contribute to the betterment of the city.
Michael Mathias Weinmann is challenging incumbent Janet Anderson for the seat in the Nov. 2 election.
Anderson is in her second term as council member-at-large. She was a member of the Austin Planning Commission for 14 years and currently belongs to the city's code of conduct committee as well as the city-county committee, the Blazing Star trail joint powers board, the League of Mower County Cities and the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Weinmann works as a computer operator at Hormel Foods Corp., as an attendant at Kelly's BP and as a handyman. He doesn't presently hold any public office, but aims to change that if he's elected as council member-at-large.
Unlike the rest of the council members, who represent the city's three zoned wards, the council member-at-large doesn't have a specific district, but is in charge of running the council meetings if the mayor is unable to run them.
Because the position doesn't have a specific district, voters across the city will be able to pick a candidate in the race.
MICHAEL MATHIAS WEINMANN
Address:1819 Fourth Street, N.E.
Years in the community:41
Family:(Wife) Shelly, (Daughter) Autumn, (Son) Mathias
Education: Detroit Lakes Technical Institute - Sign Lettering & Design
Riverland College - General Courses
Occupation:Senior Computer Operator - Hormel Foods Corp.
Attendant - Kelly's BP
Handyman - Satisfied regular customers
Community involvement:I currently work three jobs so I will have to admit that there has been little time for community involvement. But, I am looking to rectify this which is one of the reasons that I am running for city council.
Why are you running for council member-at-large?I have been following city government for quite some time. I would enjoy selecting programs and services that are deemed most important by the citizens of Austin.
What makes you the best candidate for council member-at-large?I will not be a "green light" representative. I welcome debate from my fellow council members and input from my constituents. My vote will not be cast lightly. It will be representative of considerable forethought, and mindful of the economic implications. The guiding principle in my vote will be for the greater good of our citizens.
What do you think are the three most important issues facing the city today? How would you handle them if you were elected council member-at-large?
1), The senior citizen population in Austin is emerging as one of the fastest growing in the state of Minnesota. I would create an ongoing forum with these valued senior citizens to share their vision for our future.
2). Flood mitigation projects. With an incremental and sustainable plan, we can address flood control without ignoring home owners.
3). Enhancing our natural resources. If we were to clean up our lakes and rivers, we could then promote tourism, businesses, and enjoyment by local residents toward the goal of creating "Southern Minnesota’s Cleanest Waters!"
Address- 305 Sixth Street NW
Years in community- 36
Family:Husband Scott and daughter Megan (Austin natives), son-in-law Brandon and Grandson - Jaxon
Education:BA Degree from Southwest State University - Marshall MN, Blandin Community Leadership Program Graduate
Occupation:Promotion Coordinator for ABC 6 News in Austin, Roles/responsibilities include Writer/Producer/Public Service Coordination
Community involvement:Well-established community commitments for over 36 years including 14 years on the Planning Commission which provided a solid foundation for City Council work, two years on Human Rights Commission. Serve on Board of Directors for Austin Area Foundation, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, Matchbox Children's Theatre (also co-founder of MCT), Austin Area Commission for the Arts/Historic Paramount Theatre — involved since the founding of this organization and played a lead role during restoration. Volunteer on Advisory Consortium for the Seibel Center, Safe Cities Coalition, Blazing Star Bike Trail Joint Powers Board, Gerard Academy Advisory Committee.
Why are you running for council member-at-large?
I am confident that I can continue to make positive contributions and am a thoughtful, good representative for the citizens of Austin. I study issues carefully to make well-informed decisions and am receptive to citizen ideas and concerns. It takes awhile to learn city operations, resources and to develop and understand how best to make use of connections with the League of Minnesota Cities, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and other resources so I feel the timing of this election is very important to continue moving forward in the most productive way in my role on council.
What makes you the best candidate for council member?
I feeling the the combination of my first term in this office and my strong community connections and commitments make me the best candidate for city council.
What do you think are the three most important issues facing the city today? How would you handle them is you were elected to the city council?
Responsible, well informed budget decisions; Environmentally sound strategies for land-use, water quality, and renewable energy. After careful study of issues and impact, I supported the Lansing Sewer Project primarily because of the significant environmental issues. Continue moving forward on the flood mitigation plan.