Wanna know about our at-large candidates?

After having many people contact me to learn about the 8 candidates running for the vacant at-large city council position, I discovered I needed to learn more about these men who want to lead our community. Yes, all men. Ladies, where you at?! We need to represent!

It was extremely short notice (like this past Tuesday,) but I contacted the 8 candidates via email in hopes I’d get a response in time to share this today.

YOU CAN ACTUALLY VOTE TODAY, AFTER YOU READ THIS! Details on where you can vote are at the end of this post.

It’s important for you to vote. The future of our city depends on it. The more people that vote, the more voices will be heard and the right candidate will be chosen. If you do not vote, you can’t complain. You have a chance to make a difference. So GO! and MAKE YOUR MOVE!

Anyway, in the email, I asked each candidate the same 5 questions, which I thought would help learn about them.

No, I didn’t ask them about Prestage Farms. Although many voters may have that as their deciding factor, PREACH IT, RAFIKI!


Now, please breathe, and clear your mind–open it up to the many different views of these individuals. Channel yourself and find which candidate relates to you most.

I give you, our 8 Mason City at-large council member hopefuls:

jacob-kruegerJACOB KRUEGER
Share a little information about yourself:
My name is Jacob Krueger and I am 36 years old. I have lived here in Mason City for 30 of those years. My wife’s name is Lyndsay and we have been married for 12 years. We have four children, two girls and two boys. Besides living in Iowa, I have lived in California and Oklahoma. I work at Christian Fellowship Church full time and I have a landscape business that I work nights and weekends. With my free time I fix up houses as we live in them. I was previously a 911 dispatcher for Cerro Gordo County.

One of my biggest goals is to have our house paid for in the next few years. As far as hobbies go, I love to spend time with my family. During the summertime we take a weekend each month and go hiking to a different State Park in Iowa.

I admit that when I was younger I wanted to leave Mason City and be a world traveler, always living in new places, meeting new friends. As I started to have a family of my own while living in Mason City, I realized how fortunate I was to live here. Owning a home was affordable and finding work that paid decent was not a distant idea

Why did you move to Mason City and how long have you been part of this community?
He answered this in the question above.

What compelled you to run for City Council?
My decision to run for City Council has been years in the making. It is something that I have thought about over the years, but I felt like I was not quite ready until now. What compelled me to run this year was the attention brought to City Council by Prestage. I like to problem solve and find solutions.

What’s something you want to change about our community and what would be your first step towards that change?
I would like to see basic city infrastructure improved and increased to be more community friendly. I would increase the current efforts our city is already doing to attract businesses, while at the same time creating a higher quality of culture and life for Mason City residents.

Examples :
The appearances of entrances into our city. What are peoples first impressions, who are scouting out Mason City to plant a business or to live? I like to turn my eyes off and look at Mason City through the eyes of a visitor. What do they see?

Synchronizing traffic lights on Federal and Hwy 122 to improve the flow of traffic.

Better planning of big events in Mason City which produce revenue for our local entrepreneurs by not having multiple large events in the same weekend.

Increase the number of shovel ready sites for future businesses currently not in Mason City.

What would your first step towards change be?
To increase attention to basic city infrastructure as stated above.
Improving basic needs, planning for the future, while moving forward.

Why should people vote for you?
Mason City needs me as a council member because I will listen to individuals input from the community and implement them appropriately. My life’s experiences have taught me that I am able to plan for the future while improving current conditions. My qualities as your council member would also include being a team player, who is hardworking and driven. I like to see things through from beginning to end.

I believe that the future of Mason City is bright.

Find Jacob on Facebook here

Find Jacob’s interview with the Globe Gazette


PAUL ADAMSPrincipal_3057-Paul-Adams
Share a little information about yourself:
I grew up in Rockwell, IA and graduated from Rockwell-Swaledale High School in 2002. I obtained my AA Degree from NIACC in 2004 and attended the University of Iowa studying Economics and Political Science. I am marred, my wife’s name is Emily, and we have 2 sons, Gregor (5) and Sawyer (2).

Why did you move to Mason City and how long have you been part of this community?
My wife was born and raised in Mason City and I grew up just south of Mason City. We made the decision in 2012 to move back to Mason City when our oldest son was 1 because we wanted to raise our family in Mason City.

What compelled you to run for City Council?
I am running for City Council because I want to do my best to ensure that the community provides opportunity for my generation and my kids’ generation and beyond to raise a family here. Mason City has so much to offer young people and it is imperative that we continue the progress that has been made with our community over the last several years.

What’s something you want to change about our community and what would be your first step toward that change?
Most, if not all, of my opponents and I agree that Mason City needs to move forward from the turmoil we have seen as a city over the last several months. However, I am the only candidate that has explained how they hope to move forward. I have proposed implementing the Heart & Soul Project to help the community heal and move forward in a positive direction for all citizens of Mason City. The Heart & Soul project is a program from the Orton Family Foundation that empowers residents to shape their future of their community.

Why should people vote for you?
People should vote for me because I am the one candidate that has an understanding of responsible economic growth but also has the temperament to work with other elected officials to ensure our city continues to grow. The people of Mason City deserve a level headed, forward thinking person to fill the vacant council seat. They deserve someone that will think independently and make decisions that will benefit the entire community. I am the candidate that will do just that.

Find Paul on Facebook here.

Find Paul’s interview with KIMT

Find Paul’s interview with North Iowa Today

IMG_20160824_171214SCOTT PETERSON
Share a little information about yourself:
I grew up in Crystal Lake, Iowa about 30 miles west of Mason City. I lived there up until graduation. My hobbies are basically spending time with family and volunteering. I get a lot of enjoyment out of watching my boys participate on athletics, their biggest interests are Hockey and football.

Why did you move to Mason City and how long have you been part of this community?
I moved to Mason city after graduating high school on 2003, to attend college, and have lived here ever since. (13 years)

What compelled you to run for City Council?
I have always held in interest in council meetings, and throughout the last several years have focused a lot on servant leadership. I love my community, and want to see it thrive, and be a successful growing community.

What’s something you want to change about our community and what would be your first step toward that change?
I see mason city as an aging community, I can remember coming to Mason to go shopping, and how exciting it was as kid to come to Mason because there was so much to do. I’d like to see mason be the vibrant community it can be. By becoming a more attractive community to younger families, and citizens we can help boost our local economy, and bring in businesses and employers who will be an asset to the community.

Why should people vote for you?
People should vote for me if they want a true representative. I believe that elected officials are obligated to represent those who put them in office and not their own personal interests.

Find Scott on Facebook here.

Find Scott’s interview with the Globe Gazette


52634b7509ca5.imageJEFF CHRISTIE
Share a little information about yourself:
I was born and raised in Minnesota. Moved down here in 2006. I work at Diamond Jo Casino as a security guard and part time at Pizza Hut. I like watching history programs and various other programming. I play Pokemon Go when I can.

Why did you move to Mason City and how long have you been part of this community?
I moved here with my Dad after mother and sister had a serious car accident. I moved here in 2006

What compelled you to run for City Council?
The need to leave a lasting impression for my children and to do things to make this community great

What’s something you want to change about our community and what would be your first step toward that change?
I want to bring the community together. By holding quarterly meetings to listen to what they want.

Why should people vote for you?
I’m just an average Joe trying to make things better for you and me.

Find Jeff’s interview with the Globe Gazette

Find Jeff’s interview with KIMT


andy-obrienANDY O’BRIEN
Share a little information about yourself:
I’m a local “towny”! I’ve been married to Jodee for 24 years, we have two grown and married children and a grandson that live in Mason City. I have owned my own business and executive coaching firm for 5 years. In my business I work with successful people on leadership performance and business growth. I’ve helped hundreds of businesses all over North Iowa and the Nation. I’m an exercise junky, I have done hundreds of triathlons, 3 Ironman’s and 1 Ironman World championships along with several ski marathons.

Why did you move to Mason City and how long have you been part of this community?
I’m a local guy that grew up in Mason City and graduated in 1987. I have strong family roots in business dating back to Lehigh Row. In the 20’s (Grandma Magnanni/Tatone), a moving company in the 40’s (Grandpa O’Brien and my dad until 2008), The Brat House in the 60’s and the Barrel Lounge in the 70’s (Grandpa Duff ), a car dealership in the 70’s -80’s (S&R Chevrolet – Grandma Rozen/Duff) and now it’s my turn with a manufacturing sales in the 90’s-00’s and now a business of executive and business coaching.

In my 47 years in Mason City you may have met me along the way….
I was the t-ball, baseball, softball coach of my children’s teams.
I was the assistant swim coach or track coach for your child.
I was the chaperone at most elementary school field trips.
I was the chaperone at the middle school dances.
I was the booster rep for swimming.
I was your neighborhood association board member/president.
I was appointed to the Lime Creek County Conservation Board
I volunteered for Exchange Club fireworks, Friday Night Live, RAGBRAI & Kiwanis.
I am a member and was an usher at Trinity Lutheran church.
I am a member of Sunrise Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow.
I am a mentor for the our students in the iJAG program at the Mason City High School.
I am a volunteer organizer for Bicycle Blues & BBQ.
I am a volunteer for the Pappajohn Entreprenuer Center.
And many other projects and causes that touch my family and our city.

What compelled you to run for City Council?
I believe in Mason City. Our community has been moving forward with growing momentum, and I want to make sure it continues. New businesses, new employment opportunities, more civic improvements, a higher standard of living and a better quality of life for our citizens; these are the things I want for Mason City.

What’s something you want to change about our community and what would be your first step toward that change?
Collaboration of all citizens. We as citizens need to be informed and involved in all civic activities regarding our city. A healthy community requires citizens to be heard and the first is having a voice through getting out and voting for their candidate.

Why should people vote for you?
I am not running as a political statement, but a a community statement. I care about this community and it’s future. We have 4 generations of our family currently living in Mason City. We have roots here and will continue to look for ways to keep & bring people here. I know the history, but also can see the future. I want my grandson to graduate as a Mohawk with a great education and see the value of our community when he takes the steps into adulthood.

What I do for a living is coach people and businesses to become better leaders, employers and community partners. To do this I look at the big picture, listen to their goals and
work together to set the plan to reach their goals. For years I have volunteered on various community projects and events. Most recently, I have been part of discussions about how to bring our community together, even before recent issues so divided us. The City Council position is a way I can assist our community in keeping us unified and focused on the future. We can do this together.

Find Andy on Facebook here.

Find Andy’s interview with the Globe Gazette

Find Andy’s interview with KIMT

Share a little information about yourself:
Veteran – Served 1993-2001 in US Army as a Combat Engineer

Mason City resident since 2001

Employed by Curries Manufacturing Business Systems Analyst

BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester (New York)

Earned MBA at Upper Iowa University

Married 2 years to AnaMaria Masson

Why did you move to Mason City and how long have you been part of this community?
Mason City Jaycees
– Served as President of the chapter in 2007
– Member 2006 – 2012
Iowa Jaycees
– Served as Chapter President, Regional Director, and State VP
– President of the Iowa Jaycees in 2012
Past member of the Relay For Life Committee of Cerro Gordo County
Independent Film Maker
Board Member of the Iowa Independent Film Festival

Joshua summed up the last three questions into one answer:
I am very involved in the community. I started going to City Council meetings in January 2015 as a way to know more about what was going on around town and why. I read every packet and do my own research. I ask questions when things don’t make sense, I comment on items if I feel I can add new information or a new perspective. I hardly ever miss a meeting. When the time came to fill a seat on the council, I felt I was right person for the job and I that I should step on an run. I have attended more council meeting in the last 18 month, than the other 7 candidates combined. I already do the work I am aware of the issues. I listen to people. I like the direction that the city is heading but there seems to be too many unanswered questions. The City has made a great commitment to “transparency,” and they do a good job at it – but I think it needs to go further.

Find Joshua’s interview with KIMT

Find Joshua’s interview with North Iowa Today

4e01e9ff44b2f.imageMAX WEAVER
Share a little information about yourself:
My name is Max F Weaver. I’m 64 years old. I’m a retired laborer and was a stay-at-home dad. I have two grown boys, ages 23 & 25. If you’re doing the math, you’ll realize I started my family a little late. I’m married to their mother, Cindy, who is a nurse in Pediatrics. My hobbies and interests: I’m a collector of Mason City memorabilia along with many other antiques and collectibles. I have a little art garden called Rancho Deluxe: The Original Bicycle Garden, at 500 2nd St NE. I also draw, do sh*t art, and I like to cook. I love to ride my bike around the community with friends and family. I love baseball and am a big NY Yankees fan. What has my attention this summer is the restoration of a rescued 80 year old concession stand that previously sat at State Park in Clear Lake, in addition to working on a 70 year old pickup truck. Most summer days you’ll find me at Rancho Deluxe working on keeping the art garden fun and weird.

Why did you move to Mason City and how long have you been part of this community?
I’m a native Mason Citian and proud of it. I’ve never really had any desire to leave Mason City. It’s my home town. In fact, I feel my familiarity with the 30 plus neighborhoods and the tribes that live within them is unrivaled compared to the other seven candidates. Council work has taken me to every one of those neighborhoods in the past. I understand their wants, needs, and issues.

What compelled you to run for City Council?
In the late 70’s there was a little issue in the community called Southbridge Mall. I was never opposed to the Mall, just its location. To this day I still feel the location was a mistake. I ran into a great group of former city officials, concerned citizens, and business owners over that issue, who mentored me. They really brought me in and taught me City Politics 101. That gave the natural fire in my belly some focus and direction. After all, I’m a strong neighborhood guy who believes that if you want to change the world, you should start in your own back yard. I want to be part of the decision-making, the policies and the laws that we have to live by. Over the past five decades, I’ve had a voice and played a role in practically every important issue Mason City has faced. That fire in my belly is still burnin’.

What’s something you want to change about our community and what would be your first step toward that change?
We woke up one day this past March facing the biggest issue in Mason City’s history looming over us; Prestage Farms, LLC. By the time we read about it they already had the deal figured out, zoning changes made, and the TIF district set up, etc. The process had already moved through City Hall deep enough to become a reality, without any citizen involvement. What would I change about my local government? Greater transparency. A city government who doesn’t sneak up on its citizens. A user-friendly government that treats it’s citizens like partners and not strangers. I will, if elected, create a citizen’s advisory group that will ride shotgun with me at the table. It will help me create the transparency, the diversity, and a user-friendly city council. It will be made up of those who are comfortable playing outside the box.

Why should people vote for you?
I think most of you know that this current city council is rudderless. I feel, at this time in my life, my political maturity will help guide us through this difficult period. At this point in time, who would you rather have sitting in that council seat? An experiment? Or experience? To quote EDC Director Chad Schreck, “we need to evaluate who are we, what do we do, what do we want to be (and) how do we get there?” I think these are questions that need to be answered sooner than later. So let’s step forward together to make Mason City great again. I respectfully ask for your support and your vote.

Find Max on Facebook here.

Find Max’s interview with KIMT

Find Max’s interview with North Iowa Today

57c0bac9ccc14.imageJOHN CARDEN
Share a little information about yourself:
I was Born and raised in Texas, both Richmond and Austin, TX.  I have since lived in New Orleans, Iowa City and Duluth, MN.  I have been a professional musician and singer/songwriter for 16 years and have played across the country.  I met my wife in Iowa City and we now have 4 beautiful children.  During my adult life I have been a small business owner including 3 bookstores, a landscaping business and as a private library contractor and purchasing consultant.  I now own Martindale’s LLC which covers an online rare and collectable book store (Martindale’s Antiquarian Books) and Fion Barra Bistro and Wine Bar.

Why did you move to Mason City and how long have you been part of this community?
My family and I have been in Mason City for 5 years.  We moved from Duluth, MN to be closer to the grandparents for our children’s sake, to find a smaller, quieter community and to escape the frozen tundra known as Duluth.

What compelled you to run for City Council?
Many of the people I have met, acquaintances and friends alike, are active in the community and it’s politics.  I felt I should do my part as well.  I have an invested interest in our downtown and I love the city and want to see it prosper and grow.

What’s something you want to change about our community and what would be your first step toward that change?
I actually feel we are moving in the right direction.  There are always growing pains.  I would like to see the north end ( north federal) revitalized and improved. Mostly, I would like to attract the younger generation to mason city and be able to employ or entice the ones who have left to come back home and invest in our community, which has seen much progress in the last few years.  I am a proponent of the downtown proposal for the new hotel and arena. It is a step in the right direction.

Why should people vote for you?
Many of those who know me here in the community know that I say what I mean and I mean what I say.  I will do everything in my power to keep our city on a responsible, progressive and positive course.  I am proud of our community for its optimism and tenacity and want to see our growth continue.  We all have much invested; our lives, our families.  At the end of the day I am just a husband, father and small business owner who wants to see our city succeed and benefit everyone when that success comes.

Find John’s interview with KIMT

Find John’s interview with the Globe Gazette

There you have it. One of these men MAY be elected on September 20th to help guide our community forward (unless there is a run-off in December). Every. Vote. Counts.

As stated before, starting TODAY, you can vote for  the candidate you align with most! You have the opportunity to go vote now through September 20th at the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse. Just go in the front door and to your right and you will see the lovely people in the Auditor’s Department. Any questions? They are happy to help!! (Monday-Friday from 8:00AM-4:30PM)

If you want to be old school and wait until Election day, you can vote at any one of the polling places (which are to be determined,) check back to this blog post to know what the polling places are.

Do you have questions for the candidates before you cast your vote? Leave them in the comments and I will pass them along!

Remember, the future depends on you! As always, if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain!



5 thoughts on “Wanna know about our at-large candidates?

  1. Thank you for doing this Loni!
    Just yesterday, my daughters were asking about the election on the way to school. They saw all of the yard signs, and were asking how many people were actually running for city council. I could only give them 5 names. I have been involving my girls in the election process for the past several years, since they were old enough to understand it anyway. We talk about the elections going on, and I take them with me when I vote. It’s pretty interesting to get their perspective on all of the current elections, sometimes more insightful than an adult’s opinion. I think it’s important for them to understand their responsibility as voters, when they’re old enough to do so of course.
    I’m definitely going to have them read this blog post. I’m curious to see what they have to say. Again, thanks for breaking it down for all of us.

    • Most definitely! I think it’s so important to get the information about each candidate out to the public so voters can make a solid educated vote! Thank you for reading!

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