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Friday, May 6, 2016

Three vie for council

Monday, December 4, 2006

Citizens in Cherokee's third ward will choose a city council member on Tuesday, Dec. 5, to replace Ron Johnson, who resigned earlier this year because of health reasons.

Greg Stieneke
Three candidates are on the ballot for the special election which will be held in the lower level of the Cherokee Community Center. The candidates are Don Radmaker, Phil Reinert and Greg Stieneke.

Greg Stieneke would like to see city council meetings more people friendly. A frequent attendee at meetings for many years, Stieneke said it is sometimes difficult to tell what the council members are saying at the table.

He suggests a speaker system for the meetings and possibly a redesign, removing the long table to make more room for citizens.

Stieneke said that if he is elected, he would set aside a time monthly for citizens to meet with him regarding their concerns.

He said one advantage he has is accessibility because he is not employed. He has not worked full-time for the last 10 years because of health reasons.

Stieneke said that the major challenge facing the city is getting the infrastructure back up to what it should be. He added that many of the streets in the city are in serious need of repair.

He said he does not have the answers to the city's money problems.

"I'm concerned that we use the employees and equipment to the utmost of their capabilities," he said.

He added that he is uncertain as to whether it is necessary to spend money on filling the vacant city administrator position.

Stieneke said he received encouragement from people to run for city council, partly as a result of feedback from letters to the editor he wrote about gas prices in Cherokee.

He has lived in Cherokee since the fifth grade. He graduated from high school in Cherokee in 1977. He subsequently attended the community college in Sheldon where he studied auto mechanics.

Employment has included theater manager and a shop foreman at the family auto business.

He remains involved in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, serving on the Religious Education Board and the Adult and Family Ministries Board.

His wife, Elaine, works as an activity specialist at MHI and as an EMT at Cherokee Regional Medical Center.

They have three children - Paige, age 14; Adam, age 12; and Matthew, age 5.

Phil Reinert has a primary goal of saving the taxpayer money.

Phil Reinert
"Some older people question why taxes are higher than in any other town around. Businesses suffer when Cherokee is the last place people want to be," Reinert said.

Reinert believes his experience in construction can provide expertise in many matters that come before the city council.

He said that understanding maintenance and repair matters would help in making the best use of taxpayers' money.

Reinert said he has nothing against any of the candidates and just decided to put his name forward.

He was born and raised in Cherokee.

Reinert is a Vietnam veteran, serving with the Navy Seabees (Naval construction force).

He was a partner in the family construction business for 40 years. He worked three years for Christensen Brothers in the shop and currently works for Deer Valley Construction as a truck driver and equipment operator.

Reinert served on the Cherokee County Conservation Board. He was with the Boy Scouts for many years.

His wife, Sharon, drives a bus for the Aurelia School District and also does marketing work. They have two grown sons.

Thomas lives in Los Angeles, Calif. Nathan is a psychiatric security specialist at the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders at the MHI campus and has a wife, Christina.

Don Radmaker says his vision is to see Cherokee grow and prosper.

He said that this will only happen by having a healthy business economy and downtown district.

"Being a resident of Cherokee for over 41 years, I know the city's residents, the city's history and its potential," Radmaker stated.

He cited among his qualifications, his 38 years in the construction business, dealing with city, state and federal governments, building and bidding on the infrastructure of roads, water and sewer systems.

Don Radmaker
He noted that he had supervisory experience managing four construction crews. He said his experience of running a profitable business and common sense will get the city on track for planned growth.

Radmaker said that since he is fully retired, he can work for the city every day. He said he sees the job of city council member as being more than attending meetings twice a month.

Radmaker is originally from Titonka in Kossuth County where he graduated from high school in 1956. He worked for 25 years with Lundell Construction in Cherokee. He also worked as superintendent for Concrete Specialties in South Sioux City, Neb.

His wife, Audrey, worked for Swanson and for Hy-Vee before retiring. They have two grown children.

Kristy works with computers in Iowa City. Todd is part owner of a Brewery in Homer, Alaska.

Don and Audrey have three grandchildren.

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