Randi Vick

Tell us about yourself

Randi Vick, spouse is Roger Vick, owner of Vick’s Refrigeration. Blessed with a growing blended family. Graduated from Spring Grove High School. Two years of small business from Riverland Tech college. Had been employed by Houston County as a Home Health Aide for 21 years until it was discontinued. Currently employed part time at Claddagh Senior Living. I am currently on City Council. Have 18 years of experience. Member of the Caledonia Police Reserves. Instrumental in the start of Music in the Park.

Why are you running for city council?

I am running to see through the completion of projects already started.

In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the City of Caledonia? What solutions do you propose for that issue?

Important issues facing City would be the Wastewater Treatment Plant, new well, street repairs, reopening of our schools, keeping our current businesses growing, attract new businesses, and support our Public Safety during these times of hardship.

Solutions for the above are in the works. Plans for the Wastewater Treatment plant , new well being drilled, Have done a lot of street repair already. Need to continue to repair when needed. Schools trying a hy-bred solution. Businesses had opportunity to apply for a relief grant, as well as non profit.

Caledonia faces a large project with its wastewater treatment plant. What can the city do in the future to keep costs in check for other large projects?

Future to keep costs in check would be grants, low interest loans, fine tune budget, prioritize projects, an add to our Capitol Improvement Plan.

How can Caledonia continue to improve downtown buildings to attract businesses?

Improvement to downtown buildings would be to inquire funds through the EDA,if available for face lifts of buildings in need. Looking into something unique, like a pocket park,with Murals. Shop locally, to support businesses!

Amanda Ninneman

Tell us about yourself

I live in downtown Caledonia with my husband Jeremiah, and our four children. I grew up on a farm near Winnebago Valley, and went to school in Caledonia. After college I moved out of the Midwest, but moved back to Caledonia with Jeremiah in 2014. In 2015, after extensive renovations, we opened The Wired Rooster Coffee Shop, which we co-own and operate together. I have been active with the Caledonia Chamber of Commerce and Music in the Park, am a founding board member of Mainspring, and serve on Caledonia’s Economic Development Authority board. 

Why are you running for city council?

Outside of my family and work, my primary interests are in figuring out creative ways to reinvigorate our downtown, support current and new businesses, and make sure our community thrives. If elected as a city council member, I look forward to furthering the objective I have tried to encourage as a business owner, volunteer, and active community member: helping our town realize its full potential.

In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the City of Caledonia? What solutions do you propose for that issue?

Finding funding for the new sewer plant. If funding isn’t found, the project may need to be delayed, or alternatives to the new plant plan, while not ideal, may need to be reconsidered. Continuing the City’s attention to economic development and downtown rehabilitation in recent years. Mapping out a comprehensive plan for Caledonia’s future, and getting the community on board with that plan – such a plan is in fact nearing completion and will be released to the public for feedback soon, from what I understand.

Caledonia faces a large project with its wastewater treatment plant. What can the city do in the future to keep costs in check for other large projects?

Large projects like the wastewater treatment plant are expensive, but eventually necessary. Regular monitoring and maintenance reduce the frequency and scale of such projects, and provide a timeline for financial planning, when larger-scale maintenance or replacement is coming due. I think that Casey Klug and City staff have done a good job in overseeing the city’s public works over the last few years, and are taking great steps to better monitor the city’s infrastructure, including beginning an Infrastructure Management Plan.

How can Caledonia continue to improve downtown buildings to attract businesses?

I am heartened by improvements made in recent years, and very grateful for my fellow building and business owners who have invested in our downtown. Caledonia will see more downtown buildings improve over the next year as the 2018 Small Cities Grant continues to roll out. The City should continue to incentivize building owners to improve their buildings, through low-interest and forgivable loan options, and maintain active outreach with building owners, business owners, and realtors. I think it would also be beneficial to encourage and support local entrepreneurship, perhaps through partnerships with schools, Community Education, Chamber, and/or regional organizations.

Michael Peterson

Tell us about yourself

I am originally from Warroad, MN and moved to Caledonia in 2013 with my wife Alissa (Klug) Peterson. We have three young children. I attended flight school at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL where I earned a commercial pilot certificate and a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management. I have worked as a flight instructor for Delta Air Lines since 2008. I am also a member of the Red Baron Flyers.

Why are you running for city council?

I am running for city council because I want to have a positive impact on the community where my children will grow up. I would also like to improve transparency and keep the community better informed by explaining the issues facing Caledonia in a newsletter format.

In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the City of Caledonia? What solutions do you propose for that issue?

Caledonia is in the process of developing a ten-year capital improvement plan and is facing budget shortfalls. Much of our infrastructure is outdated and in disrepair. Budget discipline and adequately funded ‘rainy day’ funds are imperative to prevent a budget shortfall becoming a budget crisis.

Caledonia faces a large project with its wastewater treatment plant. What can the city do in the future to keep costs in check for other large projects?

Value engineering promotes the substitution of materials and methods with less expensive alternatives, without sacrificing functionality. This is the key to sustainable cost-effective infrastructure. Our community needs to plan for growth and design our large projects accordingly.

How can Caledonia continue to improve downtown buildings to attract businesses?

I feel the best way to attract new businesses is to first prioritize support for the ones you already have. When new investment looks at a community, they will evaluate it based on the success of the current businesses. We need to continue to incentivize local businesses to expand and improve through EDA loans or other funding sources. Second, we should encourage community growth by way of a new housing development. This will attract young families to the community. A growing community will boost local business and attract new ones.  

Ryan Stenzel

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in Caledonia and graduated from Caledonia Area High School in 2010. I attended Western Technical College in La Crosse, WI and graduated with my associate degrees in Business Management and Marketing in 2013. I am currently employed with a local business doing basic accounting and office administration work. 

This will be my third time running for local office. I ran as a write-in candidate for Houston County Commissioner in 2016 and was on the ballot for the special election in 2018. I can be found spending my spare time with my friends and family.

Why are you running for city council?

There is a significant portion of my community that is underrepresented in local government; myself included. I want this to change and there are very few people who I would trust with that responsibility. I would like to assist in fostering an environment within local government where transparency and efficiency are top priorities. 

The residents of our community need to be assured that their money is not going to waste and that someone is going to do the best they can to help them should they ever face an issue with the city government. 

In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the City of Caledonia? What solutions do you propose for that issue?

I am more concerned with the issues facing the community. The local (city) government pays no penalty and faces no consequences when confronted with adversity; it is the community that suffers. 

The land purchased for the new wastewater treatment facility is a perfect example. The city resurveyed this parcel and found that the property lines were not exactly accurate and is now forcing the surrounding residents to abide by the “new” property lines. Some have to destroy sections of their dwellings, some have to cut down trees and some are just simply losing a portion of their yard. This is unethical.

Caledonia faces a large project with its wastewater treatment plant. What can the city do in the future to keep costs in check for other large projects?

As expenses are proposed or incurred for any project, they need to be monitored closely, approved by the council, and made public to the community in a manner that is easily navigated and understood. This ensures transparency and sufficient oversight. 

I’m also a big fan of voluntary advisory boards/committees consisting of local business owners and residents who have extensive experience in various industries. These boards/committees can be an asset in regard to contractor recommendations, cost calculation/projection, additional oversight, and network connections to other valuable/informative resources.

How can Caledonia continue to improve downtown buildings to attract businesses?

It seems to me that some local business owners are utilizing the available Rehabilitation Loans and tax abatements that come along with the improvements being made to their properties. I am not personally well-versed in all of these loan programs and their requirements/benefits. 

However, I am more than willing to learn more about them and the impact they have had by conversing with the owners of downtown businesses. Tax abatements are fairly simple and should most definitely remain available to new and current local business owners.

Bob Klug

Tell us about yourself. 

​I am a lifelong resident of Caledonia. My family owns and operates Caledonia Implement Company where I have worked for the last 47 years. My wife, Jan, taught Kindergarten and First Grade at Caledonia Elementary for 33 years and we raised our four children here, three of whom still live in Caledonia or nearby.

Why are you running for City Council?​ 

I recently retired from our family business and I have more time to devote to our community. I want to give back to Caledonia. Working in sales and management as I have for so many years I have learned how to work effectively with customers and employees. I have served on several boards and committees including acting as president of the Minnesota-South Dakota Farm Equipment Association. I have a lot to offer my community.

In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing the City of Caledonia? What solutions do you propose for that issue?

I think the biggest issue is the wastewater treatment plant and new well. If elected I will work to secure competitive bonding for these projects. I am also concerned with the Levy/Budget proposal increase of 9%. I think the city needs to keep the Levy increase in line with the cost of living increase which is 3-4%.

Caledonia faces a large project with its wastewater treatment plant. What can the city do in the future to keep costs in check for other large projects?

I believe it’s important to plan ahead. Projects usually cost more if they need to be done quickly. I also feel it’s important to routinely conduct maintenance and repairs as needed to get maximum life out of city equipment.

How can Caledonia continue to improve downtown buildings to attract businesses?

Caledonia needs to utilize the funding made available thru programs such as the CARES business relief grants and EDA.

 Please note: Answers were not received by press time on Monday, Oct. 5 from Kaitlin Longhauser and Mike Novak.

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