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Where they stand: City Council candidates weigh in on Mason City’s population loss

This news story was published on November 1, 2011.
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NIT – The following question was asked of Mason City City Council candidates: “Mason City has been steadily losing population for years. Currently the official count is 28,079. Do you see Mason City’s population moving closer to 25,000 or closer to 30,000 population over the next few years, and why? Which do you prefer, a bigger or smaller Mason City and how will you work towards that goal as a member of the City Council?”

At-Large Council Member Alex Kuhn

At-Large Council Member Alex Kuhn

Alex Kuhn, At-Large candidate:
“It is not whether I prefer a larger or smaller Mason City, it is what is best for our community. To increase our tax base and lessen the burden on current property tax payers we need to reverse our trend of losing population. How does the city council play into population growth; elect candidates that understand what businesses are looking for from the community they operate in, work in a professional manner to put Mason City in a better light when economic developers are considering site locations, and provide sound economic policies at the council level with the use of TIF funds and other development tools city governments can leverage. With an aging population we need to recruit advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, health care professionals, and other industry that will attract the 21st century jobs of tomorrow and create good wages and benefits that can support our middle class.”

Sandy Servantez, At-Large candidate:
“I would love to see Mason City grow. I believe if the city council not only continues to work with the EDC, Chamber, North Iowa Corridor but also looks into working with the Pappajohn Center and NIACC to help start up small businesses. I can see the population growing and the job market looking up. I also think it is very important we work to retain the businesses we already have.”

John Lee

John Lee

John Lee, First Ward Candidate:
“I would certainly hope no ones goal is to reduce our population and would work toward that goal. I am not a fortune teller; however, if the present conditions continue and there isn’t a change in the city’s attitude, our popution will be lower in the next census. I do not ‘prefer’ this, but it does appear this is the trend. This city has a lot of great things to offer our citizens; sooner we figure this out collectively, the sooner other people will see what Mason City has to offer. Once we take ownership of this town and help raise it up instead of tearing it down, I know this current trend will change course.”

Candidates Max Weaver, Jean Marinos, Tim Latham and Jose Barragan Jr. did not reply to email requests for answers.

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