Heather Kierzek – In their own words
Years in Webster City: 8
Occupation: Juvenile Court school liaison for Webster City Schools
Previous offices: Former president, current board member Power Up YOUth
Why are you running for City Council?
I am running for City Council because I would like to help continue moving Webster City forward in a positive direction. I want to give back to the community and help ensure we will be a vibrant and thriving community when my daughters are old enough to vote. I also want to be a positive example for youth in our community and connect a whole new generation to our city government. I feel I offer a unique perspective on issues our community is facing, and I am willing to look at each issue independently and thoroughly to make the best decision I can.
What qualifications do you bring to the job?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Iowa State University and have lived in Webster City for the past 8 years. I have over 10 years of experience working with families and at-risk youth from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. I am the Varsity Girl’s Tennis Coach, co-sponsor of Student Council, in charge of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program at the high school, and help with the volleyball and softball programs. I also volunteer my time to help with numerous youth activities, the Warm Hearts Warm Homes program, and RAGBRAI. I am a hardworking individual who is committed to doing the best I can on Council. I will do what I feel is right, not necessarily what is popular.
What is Webster City’s greatest asset?
I believe Webster City has many great assets including our education system, our recreational opportunities, and our small town appeal, but our greatest asset has to be our people. Webster City is full of hardworking and well-educated people. We have people with many different talents and backgrounds. We need to continue to offer those talents and gifts to move Webster City forward.
What are the top 3 challenges facing Webster City?
How would address those challenges?
One of the most important challenges facing our community is replacing the wages lost by the Electrolux closure. To do this, we need to ensure that Webster City is seen by prospective businesses as a desirable place to live and work. This includes having high-quality infrastructure, housing, and amenities available at a competitive cost to attract businesses and individuals into our community.
Secondly, we need to have a stronger and more unified sense of community. The City is able to provide the structure, but it is people working together with shared expectations and understandings that are going to strengthen our community. More people need to get involved by volunteering and giving back so that each individual in our community feels included and important.
Third, we need to continue to keep our utility rates competitive with surrounding communities. Many surrounding communities have attracted new businesses or are expanding current businesses. Keeping our utility rates competitive will entice those employees to relocate to our community to grow our population base, as well as, entice other companies to move here.
What should the city’s role be in economic development?
If a city wants to remain viable, they need to be involved in economic development. There are many examples of communities that have not attracted new businesses, have not continued to grow and they slowly disappeared. I do not want that for Webster City. Financial incentives, which I believe should be used sparingly, are only one of many factors. We need to continue our high-quality infrastructure, education system, and recreational opportunities. We also need to continue to beautify our community to ensure Webster City is the preferred choice of prospective businesses and residents.
What would you do to keep utility rates in line?
Utility rates are a hot topic. As with the cost of everything else, it seems that the cost of utilities is also climbing. I would make sure that the City is charging the lowest rates possible to continue with the excellent level of service we have come to expect. I would also encourage citizens to help keep rates low by using energy efficient products and using appliances that require a lot of energy during low demand times.
If elected, what is the first thing you would like to get done? And how would you accomplish this?
The first thing I would do is to educate myself as much as possible on the issues that are concerning the citizens of Webster City. I would then be prepared to make the best decisions I can. I feel listening to the concerns of our community is the most important thing a Council member can do.
How important is collaboration and compromise for a City Council member?
Collaboration and compromise for a City Council member is extremely important. Nothing will get accomplished by fighting with each other and refusing to work together. It is important that we all bring different ideas and viewpoints to the table, but we need to work together in an environment of mutual respect to actually make progress.
Give us your visions for the future of Webster City.
In five years I expect Webster City to have attracted new businesses by keeping our utility rates competitive, expanding our population, and maintaining our positive assets. Webster City is a great place to call home, and I look forward to being able to help lead the community into the future. If elected, I will do everything I can to continually improve the community, grow the economy, and secure our place in the future so our youth can be proud to call Webster City home.