Five candidates threw their hats in the ring to become the next city council member for Prairie City. An unanimous vote approved Ann McDonald to replace departed councilman Bob Beiner during a special council meeting Oct. 3.
McDonald has lived in Prairie City for the last 11 years and currently serves on the planning and zoning committee. She is an instructor at DMACC in Newton, teaching career academy and business classes, along with working at Goldie’s.
“I think many of you have known me for years, and you know I am a very candid and frank person,” McDonald said. “I intend, with every issue I come across, I’ll try to play devil’s advocate, and I want to ask questions from every angle I can think of before making a decision. I’m not a rush decision maker. I want to hear from citizens, other council members, from other communities and try to make the best decision for us.”
The special meeting was formated as a forum for candidates to answer preprepared questions along with an open question portion for sitting council members at the conclusion. Along with McDonald, Daniel Riemersma, Eric Imerman, Brent Berger and Mason Nicklos participated. Jim Bright originally submitted his name but withdrew from contention.
The candidates answered questions ranging from why do they want to be a council member and how would you envision Prairie City in one year, to what goals would you have for the city and what would you do if you received a $1 million grant for the community, during the hour long meeting. Answers varied among those at the forum but key topics including housing needs, infrastructure and growing the business community were popular for the town.
To select the new council member, a sitting council member had to nominate a candidate, receive a second and then get a majority vote for approval. Two nominations were submitted with councilwoman Diane Taylor nominating Berger without getting a second before councilman Jon Lee nominated McDonald. Councilman Troy Kuecker seconded the call followed by four “yes” votes sealing the deal.
“I am so grateful that all of you showed up. You are all leaders and I can see working with any one of you,” Lee said. “Come to council meetings, get involved with city government, run next year because all of you would be a great addition to the city.”
McDonald will be sworn in at the regular October meeting Wednesday and finish out the remaining 15 months of the assignment to the seat through December 2019. The position, along with the seat councilman Kuecker holds, will be on the ballot in November 2019.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org