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Hibbing City Council - Ward 4 candidates

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Aaron Baudeck

Aaron Baudeck

Aaron Baudeck

Age: 36

Occupation: Self employed, Red Rock Health Insurance

Family: Three children: Ellie, 8; Sophia, 7; Benjamin 5

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Commissioner Range Regional Airport, board member Hibbing Chamber of Commerce, President Rotary Club of Hibbing, board member Winter Frolic, Algonquin Club

Past experience as a candidate: None

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

Jobs are the lifeblood of our community. I’ll work to bring good paying, manufacturing jobs. I believe we must diversify our economic development projects within our city. Our children are the next generation of this community; we must support our schools and educators to ensure their success in the future.

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

This is a topic that affects residents, business owners and our rural community. As councilors, we play vital roles in understanding these issues and must seek out strong leaders to elect to the public utility commission.

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

It’s the jewel of the Iron Range, in my opinion. Any time we are talking about improving something that benefits the citizens is positive thing. I’d encourage hearing how our citizens view this. We’re talking about sports teams, curlers, seniors citizens and our business community should have input.

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

This issue is close to my heart. I’ve had the privilege when growing up to conduct business in the downtown area. We need to continue to improve our downtown appearance and infrastructure. I also feel with the new business opportunities coming to Hibbing, we can continue to grow our downtown.

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

A council forum to be held possibly off site, in more of a relaxed setting could be very positive. From my experience as commissioner at the airport, I’ve found that when you allow the public to have time to voice their opinions and concerns during a board meeting, it might be intimidating.

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

HEDA has been the back bone in attracting new business. Their loan programs continue to bring interested parties into town. We’re certainly on the right track. I think continuing to work together by utilizing joint meetings with the council, and again including input from citizens and business professionals is important.

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

Education is the key to this, explaining the duties and responsibilities of these positions is crucial. As councilors, we need to encourage friends and neighbors to support our community by joining theses commissions.

• What is fair compensation/benefits for a city councilor?

I think that in order to form an opinion on what fair compensation would be, would be for us to look at other communities of like size and see what they are doing. I think we need to ask questions, and get input from the taxpayers.

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Shari Majkich Brock

Shari Majkich Brock

Age: 51

Occupation: Owner/Partner of Jack & Don's Service

Spouse/family: Husband, Greg, two step-daughters and seven grandchildren

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Fairview Range Homecare & Hospice Volunteer, Hearts for Hospice Committee, VP Range Regional Animal Shelter, Member Hibbing Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, President Hibbing Economic Development Authority

Past experience as a candidate: First run for city council

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

The PUC: needs to be self sustainable along with working on a plan for aging infrastructure.

Economic development: The need of livable wage jobs with benefits (push for Mesabi Metallics), also working to retain our current businesses.

Local Government Aid: Continue to work with our local legislators for an increase.

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

Commissioners role is to make the policies for the most efficient operations of the Utility, including financial decisions. This will provide these services to the customer in the most cost effective manner. The PUC should be transparent and collaborate with the city council in decision making processes.

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

We need a Wellness Center in Hibbing, as far as location this would need to be determined. The Memorial Building should be used as a multi-purpose building. Utilizing this for high school sports and community activities, it could be funded by both the city and the school district.

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

Revitalizing our historic downtown is important. I would like to see if we could work with some of the landowners on how the city could be of assistance to them in helping them move forward. We do have some people that are interested in renting areas so we are progressing.

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

Communication is the key. We need to encourage effective participation from informed city advocates. They have the concession to be an influence on what affects them so being involved is important. We need to listen both respectfully and conscientiously to all their ideas and concerns.

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

We have distributed over $2.5 million in the past 8 years. These include monies for both new business development and the retention or expansions of current local businesses. We need to strongly continue the path of promoting and marketing Hibbing to attract new businesses and encourage economic development.

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

Need to clearly articulate the mission and the purpose of the board along with the level of commitment. People feel motivated knowing they're a part of something that’s important to the community. Recruiting through social media, city website or personal requests, and also recognizing and thanking board members.

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

This is a job that you do because you love your community and you want to make a difference. There is an ordinance in place that all members must take a salary, but ultimately it's about taking the time out to give something back to your community.

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Jay Hildenbrand

Jay Hildenbrand

Age: 41

Occupation: Doctor of Chiropractic at Fairview Range, Owner of Salute Studio in Hibbing, Co-Owner of Range Region Rentals, Co-Owner of MJM Enterprise

Spouse/family: Wife, Katie, and sons, Isaac Hildenbrand, 15, and Isaiah, 11

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Board of Directors (Treasurer) of Range Center, Inc., Board of Directors of Central Mesabi Medical Foundation, Board of Directors of Red Ore Run, Provider for Project Care Free Clinic

Past experience as a candidate: None

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

Working with the PUC to find the right direction for both the citizens as well as the PUC will be top on my agenda. Understanding and promoting an increase in economic development to secure Hibbing’s future. And lastly,understanding and balancing the budget without raising taxes are important for citizens.

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

Working with the PUC to understand and provide a solution that’s fair to citizens and respects the commission’s intentions will be of utmost importance. We have a great opportunity to work on a vision that’ll help keep cost of utilities fair. This will benefit citizens and help existing and new businesses.

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

Our community has a great need for wellness opportunities. With my background, I’d be a great asset for this project. The community is speaking up. We need to listen. Our job will be to work closely with HEDA, look for wellness grants and lobby for funding sources to support this.

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

We need to attract more businesses, not only downtown, but the entire city. Downtown is prime for revitalization. We need to also consider community growth. We need to define what type of spaces and uses our community needs. Pocket parks and green spaces are areas that I’d like to explore.

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

As an active community member, I have had the opportunity to hear many citizens’ views and opinions. If elected to the city council, I will continue to be present in the community and listen to what your needs are for Hibbing from all ages.

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

HEDA has done an outstanding job with not only recruiting and helping new businesses start up, but also supporting existing businesses. The council needs to continue to support their existing efforts and open up additional dialog in other opportunities that we, as a city, can offer to support economic development.

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

Commissions and boards must be comprised of leadership wanting the best for this community. Being an active member of this community, listening to the needs of the citizens and motivating people to serve in support of their goals is an integral part of moving toward a community centered future.

• What is fair compensation/benefits for a city councilor?

Elected officials should not be participating for compensation. As your elected official, I’m working for you and the betterment of Hibbing. I understand there may be costs associated with various city positions, which could require reimbursement. We must be considerate of these costs and the impact extra expenses can have.

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