Rochester City Council - Ward 4
An incumbent with renewed goals faces off with a challenger who brings a new perspective to the seat in Rochester City Council Ward 4.
Incumbent council member Mark Bilderback seeks a third term in the seat, while newcomer Nicholas Moucha hopes to take on new responsibilities in the city.
Bilderback, recently retired from a 25-year Mayo Clinic career in emergency management, has been in office since defeating incumbent Pat Carr in 2008. He beat challenger Gary Melin in 2012.
"My main issues are still the same: public safety, which includes police, fire and public works; neighborhood advocacy, which I will continue to work for; and moving the city forward economically," Bilderback said.
Moucha, a real estate agent and entrepreneur, moved to Rochester from Madison, Wis., in 2011. He has integrated himself in the local business environment through the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and in downtown neighborhood issues. He is president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.
Moucha has three priorities as a council member, all related to the city's potential for growth: entrepreneurial growth, community growth and individual growth.
"I see entrepreneurial growth as key to DMC and the city. I really see a lot of new businesses coming into the city and making it vibrant and colorful and exciting," Moucha said.
Community growth, Moucha said, would involve the city promoting events to bring people together, and individual growth would see residents learning more about one another, he said.
"A key to a vibrant and colorful and exciting city is getting to know your neighbor and being invested in yourself," he said.
Bilderback has seen growth in Ward 4 during his two terms, and a priority for him has been neighborhood advocacy and encouraging conversation between neighbors and potential developers.
Most recently, Bilderback pointed to the Lofts at Mayo Park and Flats on Fourth projects as examples of successful neighbor and developer interactions.
"The neighborhoods have involvement; they worked pretty well with the developers for the most part, and we've had some pretty successful projects," he said. "I'm very pleased about that, and it shows that it does work."
Moucha sees himself as a chance for "fresh eyes." He envisions "being a leader, being a part of the conversations and being a part of the change that I see and the community members see."
Profile: Mark Bilderback - Rochester City Council Ward 4