You are the owner of this article.

Hibbing City Council - Ward 1 candidates

  • 0
  • 4 min to read
James Bayliss

James Bayliss

Age: 38

Occupation: Financial Professional with Thrivent Financial

Spouse/family: Wife, Kristen, and four children: Ethan, Ava, Adelyn, Jacksen

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Salvation Army Board Member, Hibbing Public Access Television Board Member (Vice President), City of Hibbing Comprehensive Plan Steering committee, Hibbing Youth Steering Committee (co-facilitator), Co-Founder of “A Better Hibbing” social media group

Past experience as a candidate: None

• If elected, what will be your top 3 priorities?

1. Work with the PUC to improve services and options offered to residents and business owners

2. Strengthen the relationship between the city government and the community.

3. Be a good representative for Ward 1 and be as useful as possible to our community.

• Hibbing Public Utilities and its commission have been hot topics. What is your understanding and opinion of the two?

The utility needs work. There are too many steam issues. I believe this is the most pressing issue that we face as a community. The commission is tasked with solving this complicated puzzle, and I think they need some help. It is time for council and commission to work together.

• What is your view on the recent proposal to develop additional community wellness opportunities via a master plan for the Memorial Building?

The Memorial Building would be a great place for wellness amenities. I took part in the economic impact study presented to the city specifically for a Memorial Building Master Plan last July. I hope to see the study and a full plan put to good use in the near future.

• Do you think Hibbing’s downtown is healthy and successful? If not, how would you change that?

Downtown is surviving but not thriving. We have far more vacant downtown structures than we should. With a comprehensive plan, we could be eligible for more building and infrastructure improvement grants to make much needed updates to our aging downtown. It would make business ownership downtown much more appealing.

• How would you involve residents in the city’s decision making process?

I would like to see some decisions being discussed in town hall style meetings. People have the option to speak during the public forum at council meetings, but a less formal setting might be useful to gather deeper opinions and better understand concerns with city issues.

• Evaluate HEDA’s recent successes in promoting economic development. What should the city’s next steps be to promote economic development?

We need to finish the comprehensive plan for Hibbing. The plan helps legitimize Hibbing as an investable area to other potential grantors and economic development agencies. Also we need to have competitive broadband and technology available to attract larger developers and retain the younger generations.

• How can the city attract people to serve on city commissions and boards?

I think we should invite high school and college students to meetings as part of civics class, or even interpersonal communications. Involve younger people in the city government process to see if they take interest. People will not take part in things that they don’t know exist.

• What is fair compensation/benefits for a council member?

It’s hard to find a good answer to that. I think it’s fair to be compensated while serving on the council if you show up and do your part. I don’t have full knowledge of current compensation/benefits, but I’m guessing taxpayers would like to have a say.

---

Patty Shafer

Patty Shafer

Age: No answer

Occupation: Recently retired business owner

Spouse/family: No answer

Memberships in organizations/clubs: City Councilor Ward B, Member of HEDA, member of RAMS, Maple Hill Community Club, Lifetime member of VFW, Feed the Children, volunteer at community events

Past experience as a candidate: No answer

• If elected what will be your top 3 priorities?

Create jobs, maintain jobs and expand jobs to expand the tax base.

Keep maintaining the high level of services police, fIre and ambulance that will keep us safe and secure.

Making sure the best decisions are made for the most cost effective rates at the PUC (gas, water, steam, electricity).

• What is your understanding and opinion of Hibbing Public Utilities and its commission?

HPC provides utilities to the city, including Kitzville and Kelly Lake. Their main job is to provide steady, reliable service at competitive rates to residents and businesses. The commission is the decision making part of the PUC. Role is much the same of a councilor and oversees the operation.

• What is your view on the recent proposal to develop additional wellness opportunities via a master plan for the Memorial Building?

Our basic function is to provide public safety and essential services. This is the perfect opportunity for partnership between public and private, nonprofit, medical, schools and service organizations to work together to satisfy the wants and needs of our community and maybe surrounding ones.

• Do you think Hibbing's downtown is healthy and successful? If not how would you change that?

Downtown is the heart of the city. A healthy heart is essential to a strong, vibrant city. It contains historic landmarks, distinctive features and businesses. We have to make sure that HEDA is there to help, assist and retain any business that wants to relocate to participate in "downtown living.”

• How would you involve residents in the city's decisions making process?

By listening to the residents, asking questions, determining how it will affect the lives of the residents and is it important to the community as a whole to keep moving Hibbing forward and enhance the quality of life in Hibbing.

• Evaluate HEDA's recent successes in promoting economic development. What should the city's next steps be to promote economic development?

Over $2 million in loans from restaurants to "mom and pop" businesses to manufacturing, many of them located along Howard Street and First Avenue to start up, expand, retain or create jobs. We must promote Hibbing and HEDA to entice newcomers and create livable wage jobs with benefIts.

• How can the city attract people to serve on city commission and boards?

Hold meetings in city hall when it’s convenient for most working people. Citizens could then clearly see the purpose of the group, issues that are discussed and significant to the board. Their input will be beneficial in the decision to make Hibbing's quality of life a better place to live.

• What is fair compensation/benefits for a council member/mayor?

Compensation and benefits are not my priorities. I represent citizens in Ward 1 and address their concerns. I want your voice in government to be heard and continue to be a town “of the people, by the people and for the people” and continue improving the quality of life in Hibbing.

0
0
0
0
0

Recommended for you

Load comments