Name: Nathan Schaefer
Years of residency in district: 36
Occupation: Maintenance at Marseilles Elementary School District #150
Previously elected positions: N/A
Contact information for voters: 815-343-4783 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Why have you decided to run for commissioner and what major goals do you plan on working toward?
A. I have decided to run because we need more involvement, interest and some new blood in the City Council. I am involved in a lot of organizations. Some of which are affiliated with the city now and yet we have not seen or heard from the city commissioner over us in over a year. I have many goals. Anything from senior living or retirement community options, community center, sports facilities, extensions to Interstate 80 and possibly west, clean up and renovation of current abandoned buildings and current infrastructure.
Q. What sets you apart from your opponents?
A. I would have to say my work ethic and involvement. I have a drive like no other and push for what's right, while backing that up and supporting everything I possibly can. From Cub Scouting, Marseilles Athleticc Club, Ottawa Crushers Kids Wrestling Club, Marseilles C.E.R.T. Team, State of Illinois First Responder, Marseilles Recreation Board and more.
Q. The city's handling of Freedom Fest generated compliments and criticisms last year. What are your thoughts on the event and what, if any, changes would you work toward?
A. I would have to say that I am glad the Freedom Fest is back, however the Freedom Run itself is meant for the honoring and remembrance of so many that have lost their lives for us to enjoy these freedoms. We need to work together and show the utmost respect to those families first and then enjoy activities. This can be a great event for everyone. I would like to see things similar to how it was ran during the first few years. That's not saying it was great. Back then the street vendors shut down and activities remained silent and still as hundreds of citizens actually walked the extra feet to go and pay their respects at the wall during the ceremonies. Once all was complete, that's when people funneled into the streets more and truly enjoyed the events.
Q. How would you grade the City Council's handling of the budget on a scale of A to F? If low, where do you feel the city could a better job of cutting expenditures of finding new revenue?
A. After being involved in so many years under a city board, I have seen several issues arise. I would have to say "C-." So much more can be done to help with justification and transparency. In the end, there is always room for improvement. I feel the city can do a better job handling the budgets. They can research different vendors, contractors and businesses. While keeping in mind that it is not always the best option to go with the cheapest. Continue to research grants and work with all organizations to make them happen.
Q. How would you grade the City Council's transparency and accessibility to the public on a scale of A to F? If high, what specifically have you admired or what have you done to increase transparency? If low, where specifically have they lapsed and what could be done better?
A. D. Several things that I have been involved with have not been clear cut. Communication is lacking at all levels. Everything should always be out and available to the public at all times. Communication with all parties and all groups. Create more email chains, text groups, event pages and more so all parties can view and the public has knowledge of what's going on. I can only account for the lack of transparency that I have seen or dealt with. While it sounds like this is an issue everywhere, it has been handled so many different ways and is always handled differently from one person to the next. Maybe as things like this pop-up, there should be a policy put in place showing the steps to take. Also when and how to take action towards such an accusation.
Q. How many City Council meetings have you attended recently?
A. I attend roughly eight per year, however, I have attended several more than that this past year leading into the 2019 elections.
Q. What are your thoughts regarding the City Council's current projects (i.e. working toward creating a boat launch, dispersing home repairs grant money, etc.)? Is there a particular project you want to see the City Council tackle in the near future?
A. Love all the ideas in place now and really hope I get the opportunity to add more ideas and push to get funding and everything needed to make sure everything is followed up.
Q. Do you support the city's withdrawal from the Illinois River Area Chamber of Commerce? Why or why not?
A. I do not support the withdrawal from the chamber. I believe it could have been handled so much better and that things could have been worked out. However, I think that at the time things were heated from both sides and continued to get worse. For lack of a better understanding, I see the lack of communication is a recurring theme.
Q. Other than for family or health reasons, why would you leave your position midterm?
A. No other reason.