The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
City Alderman Candidate Questions
1. What prompted you to run for an Alderman position?
Dave Clover: The problems the city has encountered in the last 2 years is just staggering. We have had 10 resignations and 2 firings in the last 16 months alone. The only people willing to serve were either rejected by the mayor or council and now most people are unwilling to fill a position because of the situation we are facing. I believe that if you aren't willing to be part of the solution you are part of the problem. That's why I am running.
Randy Shumaker: I have always felt responsible to do my part in my community. I feel it is my civic duty to participate in the improvement of the community in which I have grown up and lived in nearly my entire life.
Brian Covert: I've been attending the council meetings for approximately the last year and a half and have seen many things happen that I do not feel are morally or ethically right. I feel like it is my time to step up and hopefully help solve our city's problems and get us back on the right track.
Katherine Hasten: I am running for Alderman because I would like to be part of a council that helps move our community forward and also be a voice for our citizens and ensure their questions/concerns are addressed quickly.
2. What do you see as general concerns for the city and how would you address them?
Dave Clover: The biggest concerns I see are the leadership qualities that are currently being shown by the Mayor. I also see overspending as a huge problem within the current administration. We need things but if the money isn't there you can't spend it! I disagree with the hiring and firing processes that have been on display over the last few years. I'm not saying I disagree with the people hired, just the process under which they were hired.
Treatment of past and current employee's is also a big concern to me. I believe we need to be more transparent and answer the citizens' questions whether we like the question or not.
To not do so conveys the sense that we are hiding something. We have a lot of good and smart people in this city and we need to be willing to look to them for advice and contributions rather than dismiss their thoughts and ideas.
This is going to be a challenging few years for we will most likely have 6 new councilmen and a new attorney so we will have a steep learning curve and will need everyone's help in moving our city forward.
Randy Shumaker: The need for function and communication at our city level. We need to ensure our water is safe and the delivery system is updated. Furthermore we need to re-establish a positive image for our community.
Brian Covert: My biggest concern for our city is seeing the lack of communication between our leaders. My hope is when the newly elected council is seated we will be able to bring a sense of unity to our council and then pass that along to our citizens. I will put forth my best effort to work efficiently with fellow council members.
Katherine Hasten: General concerns I have for La Harpe are: consistency in enforcing rules/regulations, addressing public concerns in a timely manner, and ensuring full understanding of benefits/consequences of decisions. The council needs to work together as a team to address these concerns and concerns of other council members as well, keeping the best interest of the citizens in mind.
3. What are your involvements in community affairs?
Dave Clover: I have been attending almost every City Council meeting for the last 16 months. I feel I have seen some of the problems first hand. I am very involved in the summer ball program and have been for the past 8 years.
I coach at the Jr. High level and have been doing that for the last 10 years.
I'm active in the church I attend not only working there but also volunteering as a Sunday school teacher and youth group leader.
I'm active in the La Harpe Caring Citizens Group that decorated the park for Christmas this last year and we are currently working on plans for our second La Harpe Easter Egg Hunt. I love my community.
Randy Shumaker: My involvements in the community include but are not limited to the following-Coordinate the La Harpe Summer Ball program, Eagle Sports Boosters member and acting president, La Harpe School District bus driver since January 2009, Summerfest announcer, Summer softball coach, participation and organization of multiple fundraisers and benefits, and car show volunteer.
Brian Covert: I play a very active role in our little community. I currently serve on the La Harpe Fire Department and Ambulance Service and during the summer can usually be found behind the plate at the ballpark, umpiring.
I enjoy getting out and interacting with the people of La Harpe.
Katherine Hasten: I am involved with the Joshua D. Palmer Tribute and Remembrance ride that takes place the 4th Saturday of June each year, which honors those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
4. How accessible will you be to the citizens of the city?
Dave Clover: I currently work at the Union Church from 8 a.m. - noon Monday thru Friday so you can always stop in and we can set up a time to visit.
I'm at home usually in the evenings and I'm at the ballpark in the summer or the school in the fall.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my cell phone number is 309-255-6295.
I want to be available as much as possible to answer questions for the citizens of La Harpe or anyone that lives close enough to consider La Harpe their home town.
Randy Shumaker: I will continue to be very accessible to the citizens of La Harpe. Most people know how to contact or find me, and I'm only a phone call or email away for any topic.
Brian Covert: Extremely accessible. My phone number is listed in the phone book and most everyone knows where I live in town.
Katherine Hasten: I want to make sure our citizens are represented, so anyone who has questions or concerns can email/call me at anytime and I will do my best to respond the same day if I am not immediately available.
5. Additional Comments
Dave Clover: I understand that this city has a lot of healing to do and I want to be a part of that process. My hope is that by encouraging citizens to ask questions and answering those questions honestly we will have a good start in that process.
A more informed citizenry will help people feel more like they have a say in the decisions we make.
There are many challenges for small towns and I want to welcome all the help we can get.
I want to encourage citizens to come to the meetings and be a part of the meeting.
We have business that must be conducted but I believe there is great value in listening to the wise and knowledgeable people who make up this community.
I believe the Council and the Mayor work FOR the city, so we need to answer to the citizens.
I feel it is important for the council to discuss issues fully and publicly (when possible). We need to work for a consensus as much as possible rather than dividing over every issue.
I believe the city attorney should be available to answer legal questions but should not be running the meeting. I look forward to trying to move forward.
I am grateful to those who have served in very difficult times.
It is time to try to get everyone back on the same page and be the community we all know and love.
Randy Shumaker: La Harpe is a great place to live, and I look forward to working with other community members for the betterment of La Harpe.
Katherine Hasten: La Harpe is a great community and if elected, I look forward to serving the city council for Ward 3.