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"Meet the Candidates Night" held

Thursday, March 20, 2003 Posted 9:30 p.m.
A sparse crowd showed up Wednesday night to attend the "Meet the Candidates Night" for candidates to the Minonk City Council. Each candidate was allowed five minutes to make a formal presentation after which candidates were allowed to respond to questions from the audience.

Russell Ruestman: Unopposed candidate for Ward 1: He is a volunteer fireman, spent 3 years on the Fourth of July committee, and has been a past member of the ambulance squad. He wants to see Minonk grow and wants to serve the community in which he has chosen to raise his family. He wants to encourage volunteerism in the community and wants the city to start enforcing laws and ordinances that have been ignored.

Jason Buchanan: Unopposed candidate for Ward 3: A 1992 gradudate of MDR, he served on the Fourth of July committee and wants to serve the community.

Dean Barth: Write-in candidate for Ward 2: He is currently alderman of Ward 2. He said the highest priority in Minonk is the wise spending of the resources we have available. He wants to see the Westside Park pavilion completed and a storage shed completed for the city. He said he was encouraged by his constituents to run again.

Mike May: Candidate for 2 year term in Ward 2: A 1990 MDR graduate and a 1994 graduate of ISU, he works at Country Companies in Bloomington. He said Minonk is in a desirable location in proximity to Bloomington and Peoria and wants to help Minonk grow.

Tyler Witte:Candidate for 2 year term in Ward 2: A resident of Minonk for 35 of his 40 years, he thinks that Minonk has lost too many businesses and something has to be done to encourage the development of new businesses in the community. He also thinks the community needs more volunteers.

Ron Redenius:Candidate for 2 year term in Ward 2: A resident of Minonk since 1962 and a member of EDSA for 25 years, he is the current alderman in Ward 2: He says that he has tried to be civic minded and got into politics when the mayor asked him to fill the seat occupied by Sean Cunningham who moved to another ward. He is Chairman of the Economic Development Committee and helped developed the highly successful facade improvement program for downtown businesses.

Steve Mattox:Write-in candidate for Ward 2: He moved to Minonk 3 and 1/2 years ago. He is a captain at the Pontiac Penitentary. He said he was motivated by his neighbors to run for alderman for the obvious reasons, to serve and to become involved in the community.

The candidates were asked to respond to a few questions posed by members of the audience. The first question asked of the candidates is, "How would you vote if a company attempted to locate a landfill in Section Six north of Minonk.?"

Russell Ruestman: Ruestman indicated that with current economic conditions, it would be necessary to consider the possibility of a landfill located north of Minonk. He indicated that he could not say which way he would vote until he had all of the facts before him.

Mike May: He said that he would have an open mind on the subject of a landfill located next to Minonk and like Ruestman, would have to have all of the facts before he made his decision.

Dean Barth: He said we must find a different solution to the landfill issue. He would be against having a landfill next to Minonk under any circumstances.

Tyler Witte: He would be careful in deciding on the landfill issue. He would want to consider the operator's background and past history with other landfills.

Jason Buchanan: He said he would have an open mind on the issue but feels that he would be against having a landfill next to Minonk, especially since he would live close to the landfill.

Steve Mattox: He said he would need the facts first, and then decide on whether a landfill should be located next to Minonk.

Ron Redenius: He said it would be very dangerous to have a landfill next to Minonk because of the coal mine shafts that are located in Section Six which could allow leaching of contaminents into the water supply. He said he has yet to see a landfill that is safe and would be against a landfill next to Minonk.

Another question that was asked was, "Do you think Minonk should do something about its litter problem, especially at the I-39 Truck Stop?

Russell Ruestman replied that he felt that prospective residents of Minonk will drive around town and also check out the truck stop to determine the quality of the city. He feels that it is important to enforce litter laws to make Minonk a more attractive place to live and also to implement ordinances that would require appropriate landscaping and maintenance of business areas.

Dean Barth said that the owner of the Motel 6 has already requested the city to help in improving the appearance of the Caroline Development area.