This is one of nine candidate profiles to be featured before the upcoming Nov. 7 city election in Newton. Dean Stonner is running unopposed for the Ward 2 council seat.
Name: Dean Stonner
Employment: I am a retired attorney, and spent most of my legal career as a corporate attorney, including 17 years with the Maytag Corporation Law Department, and the last 10 years with the Principal Financial Group Law Department.
Hometown: Cameron, Mo.
Years of Newton residency: 28
Running For: Ward 2 City Council
What do you feel is the most important issue Newton will be facing during your term on the city council?
I believe that the most important issue which faces the Newton City Council is the prioritization of resources.
What do you think has been the biggest achievement for the City of Newton in the last four years and what do you think has been the greatest struggle?
Recent strategic commitments, such as the refurbishment of the Maytag Hotel, will likely mean that fewer funds are available for new projects. I feel that the first charge of a city council person is to be a good steward of tax dollars.
I believe that the biggest challenge Newton has faced in the past decade is overcoming the negative perception that Newton is struggling to adjust to the loss of a long-time major employer.
What role do you think the city can and should play in economic development? What more/less should the city be doing for economic development?
By contrast, I believe that one of Newton’s biggest successes has been attracting other business to our community, and that success is indicative of the efforts of this city in furthering economic development. I support the rebranding efforts that resulted in the “Get to Know Newton” campaign.
Housing has been a major focus for the city in recent years. How do you see the efforts continuing and what ideas do you have for future growth?
I support the city council’s promotion of housing through efforts such as the establishment of TIF districts and use of the D&D program. Development of areas such as the new construction in Fairmeadows North and Cardinal Ridge are encouraging and should be continued.
Do you think there is an area in Newton the city should be focusing on that has not received attention?
In the past few years, I feel that the city council has been quite progressive and effective. I believe they have focused on the right issues, and have done so in a thoughtful manner. I would like the Council to continue in that direction.
Why do you want to be on the city council and why should voters choose you to represent Newton?
I want to serve on the Newton City Council because I believe that local government can have a greater direct impact on the lives of individuals than the state, or even federal government. I believe that I am the right person to represent Ward 2, because I have a great deal of business and legal experience, I am a quick study, and, as a long-time resident of Newton, I am invested in its long-term success.