Perry Candidates running in this year’s City Election gathered at a public forum hosted at the Perry Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 2. There are a total of four candidates running for the single At-Large City Council Member seat: Harlan Den Beste, Elizabeth Hix, Vicki Klein, and Ron Leber, John Andorf is running as the sole candidate for Mayor, and Dr. Randy McCaulley is running as the single candidate for the City Council Member Ward 2 seat. All were present during the 7 p.m. forum.
Candidates were each given a run-time of ninety seconds to introduce themselves, later followed by questions generated from the audience of the forum. Questions were asked by moderator and blogger, Jim Caufield.
Candidates were asked their take on Local Options Sales Tax, a topic which has a spot on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Previous to the 7 p.m. event, the City of Perry held a public presentation in the library’s large meeting room in regards to Local Option Sales Tax’s place on the City Elections ballot.
“It’s so critical to our city budget,” said Dr. Randy McCaulley, Candidate running for Ward 2 seat. “A lot of communities don’t have the many types of resources that we have; we’ve been able to upgrade our Fire Department, our Street Department.”
Like McCaulley, all candidates expressed their desire to continue with Local Options Sales Tax.
“It will benefit our services and is a tax relief because without that, we couldn’t provide the city services that we do without increasing the property taxes,” said Leber, Candidate running for the At-Large seat on City Council.
Mayor Candidate, Andorf, believes the tax has done well for the city and will continue if voted in.
“I think it’s impressive that Perry had the foresight to approve this tax in 1999 and if it runs through 2019 - we want to make sure it continues,” Andorf said. “The list goes on and on about the things Perry has done with this money.
Candidates also shared the belief of further developing the City of Perry as a way to both attract and retain citizens in the community.
At-Large Candidate, Elizabeth Hix, discussed her hopes of bringing younger families to the area.
“I would really like to see additional industries come in and businesses move in that can give people a livable wage, and a company that they can retire in,” Hix said.
Klein, At-Large Candidate, echoed the desire to bring more families to Perry.
“I’d like to see the growth in residential, commercial, industrial - all of that,” Klein said. “I do think we do need to have some housing to bring young couples back into Perry, I think a lot of them are living in Grimes, they’re getting in Waukee now.
“I’d like to see us grow to bring more back to the community.”
At-Large Candidate, Den Beste also pushes for the further development of Perry.
“It’s very important that you work with industries, search out industries that would be compatible with our philosophy here in Perry,” Den Beste said. “I think this is very important for us to try to develop and try to entice commercial, as well as industrial development here in Perry.”
To read more about this year’s candidates, click here. The Perry Chief previously ran a Q&A where candidates discussed their goals for their position as well as shared details about their lives.