Name: Kelcey Brackett

Office running for: City Council At-Large

What are the biggest issues you feel should be addressed?

Housing, economic development, and public safety. These three general topics encompass most of the issues that Muscatine has right now. Each category branches out into different issues that need to be addressed to make an impact and create a real solution.

What steps would you take to correct/ impact these issues?

We have a housing study; we need to make sure we use it properly to determine where we can make the most difference. We need to continue providing incentives to business to invest time and money in Muscatine, but I would like to see additional requirements for job creation attached to those incentives. The public safety issue needs to be accessed before we can determine the best way to correct it. I feel we need a special commission of experts including law enforcement, education, family services, mental health, and most likely some additional areas that could help diagnose what is causing the recent increase in violent crime.

What else would you like voters to know about you?

Win or lose, I pledge to help Muscatine succeed. Having spent the last two years educating myself on how our city is run and how plans are made, I feel that I have much to offer as a new candidate. My approach to working with others instead of against them will be critical as we move past the recent turmoil.

 


Name:  Kerry Denison

Office running for:  City Council At Large

What are the biggest issues you feel should be addressed?

The biggest issues we are facing in Muscatine are generally the same issues we are facing in all levels of government. Voter apathy and a lack of participation have allowed our governments to be dictated by a small group of elites, special interests, and governments are mostly dysfunctional due to partisanship. It could be that there is voter apathy and lack of voting because people feel their voices and concerns haven’t mattered. Whichever came first doesn’t matter at this point; what does matter is that it is obvious that most are fed up and it is time for our citizens to get involved and put people in office that will listen to them and be responsive to them.

Specifically, here in Muscatine our biggest issue is some entities have decided to, in essence, change our form of government from Mayor/Council (with a city administrator) to Council/Manager by changing elements of our city code, removing powers from the Mayor and entrusting them to the city administrator.  The citizens of Muscatine did not authorize a change in our form of government and do not want to entrust these powers to an unelected employee.  How do we choose to govern ourselves moving forward?

What steps would you take to correct/ impact these issues?

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” This has been a long-running joke for decades, but I’m not sure it’s funny anymore. No ‘government’, nor I personally as an elected official, are going to solve all our problems and can only do so much to improve our quality of life here in Muscatine. That is going to take all of us getting involved, working together, and putting aside this partisanship and pettiness.

So what can I do as an elected official? I can be a catalyst and a promoter for involvement. I can make sure we continue to get our citizens the best information as soon as possible (while exploring better ways to deliver information) so they have an opportunity to get involved and have their voices heard. We currently seem to think that ‘transparency’ means letting people know what we did, not what we are thinking about doing. I can encourage and support grassroots projects (like the stair project). I can encourage our councilmen to have regular ward meetings and attend them. I can attempt to ‘hear’ people, not just listen to them.  And, I can make sure our charter and code are restored and followed.

What else would you like voters to know about you?

“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind…” (Bertrand Russell). This sums me up. I pray I never lose these passions—or the ability to find beauty and humor in this world.


Name: Scott Natvig

Office running for: City Council-At-Large

Current Position: City Council-At-Large

What are some of the current issues?
Several issues that citizens have recently discussed with me are: public safety and emergency services; plans to remedy additional housing needs in Muscatine; city streets and sidewalks; and residential property maintenance.

How steps would you take to correct or impact these issues?
Police, fire and emergency medical services are my first priority. Our certified EMTs provide the fast, professional emergency service that citizens expect. Current police department strategies include “Problem-Oriented Policing”,
Park and Walk” and new patrol dispersions. I also encourage citizens to communicate with neighbors in person and use social network technology. Connected neighbors will create a stronger, safer, community.
An independent housing consultant has recently completed its comprehensive housing study. The study results need to be transformed into acceptable housing proposals which meet identified needs. The city has available tools such as Tax Increment Financing, tax abatements and loans.
The city has a pavement management program in place. All projects are classified by type of upgrade needed and prioritized after evaluation of eight factors such as pavement condition, remaining life, and traffic counts. A high-tech sewer system preventative maintenance program is in place. Crews utilize remote cameras to inspect sewers and identify potential problems. Citizens are encouraged to use Report Tracker on the city website to report pavement, sewer and sidewalk concerns.
The city is considering adopting portions of a property maintenance code which would provide specific enforcement guidelines for the city and be beneficial to property owners and their neighbors. Public input is welcome.

What else would you like voters to know about you?
I’m a native of Waterloo, Iowa, where my Dad was a high school teacher. I graduated from Iowa State and the University of Iowa. I have lived and worked in Muscatine for 38 years. I have volunteered in this community throughout—whether by coaching youth sports or chairing organizations. It is a privilege to serve on City Council and I would like to continue as there is still much to do.