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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Four candidates run for Marcus Council

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Don Drefke
Three seats are up for grabs on the Marcus Council with four candidates hoping to fill those positions. Each took a moment to explain why they are running for a seat on the council.

Don Drefke, a Marcus native, has never held public office. After graduating from Marcus High School he joined the Air National Guard and served 21 years full time before retiring in 2005. Drefke attended Mortuary School and earned his degree. He still helps out at the local funeral home as well as in Kingsley. This year, Drefke accepted the responsibility of mowing and taking care of the Marcus Cemetery plus he helps a friend with the fall harvest.

He and his wife, Jan, have a daughter, Abby, who followed in her Dad's footsteps. She joined the 185th Air Guard which allows her to attend Morningside College at the same time. Jan retired from teaching full-time in Marcus after 33 years. Recently, she was offered a part-time position in the Le Mars School District. The family attends Peace Lutheran Church in Marcus.

When asked why he is running for the council position, he responded, "I think our present council has been very progressive. The town is very fortunate to have guys like Darrell Downs and the present council serving Marcus. I also think we have a good city crew who take their responsibilities seriously and go the extra mile. I know I have much to learn but I'm willing to give it a try after thinking it over after I was approached to run. We have a good school system here, good churches and a lot of home pride. It's good they are aggressive in getting the job done while working together for the betterment of this community."

Jim Ebert
Another candidate who is running is Jim Ebert who moved to Marcus after being asked to be Marcus Police Chief back in 2001. HIs wife Marlene is the jail administrator in Cherokee County's Law Enforcement Center in Cherokee. Prior to moving to Marcus, Ebert was employed by the Cherokee Police Department for 27 years.

Ebert belongs to Patriot Guard which is a nationwide organization which escorts bodies of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and attend their funerals. They also shield families from protesters. He also belongs to the Blue Knights, an international group of policemen who ride motorcycles and the Gold Wing Road Riders Association.

Ebert explained why he is running for a council seat, "I had already planned to retire as police chief in December. I will have the time to serve and give me something to do. I have attended the majority of council meetings since living here and I think I understand the direction of where they want to go. We need to keep Marcus growing. The community has been good to me and I want to give something back to them."

Matt Schmillen
The council was pleased to learn Matt Schmillen is willing to step in and run for his father's seat on the council. The council had often expressed a desire that younger adults would take an interest in city government and serve where they can.

Schmillen graduated from MMC High School in 1993 and went on to attend Northwest Community College for a year and study Business, then transferred to Mason City to continue his studies. In 1995 he went to work for Schmillen Construction. For the last 12 years, he has been learning the business from the ground up as eventually he will be taking the helm of Schmillen Construction.

His wife Tonia is expecting their first child very shortly. Both are members of the local Jaycees organization and attend church.

"When I was asked if I would be interested, I thought about everything my Dad has done for this town. He is always busy but he always found time. I don't know if I can fill his shoes or not, but I'm more than willing to give it a try. I think I'm going to learn much. I know he was happy to do things for Marcus and make this a great place to live. I'm young and just starting my family. I want Marcus to be a great place to live. I'm hoping folks will give me a chance to serve them. I'll be willing to listen and learn," said Schmillen.

Carl Nelson
The fourth candidate is Carl Nelson, who is running for his third term. He explained why he still wants to serve on the Marcus council.

"I have some projects that are started that I would like to help complete. I feel I've been fortunate to have served on a council team that's promoted growth of new businesses and expansion of other businesses. Plus there has been a number of improvements in the city's infrastructure, city hall, the pool, the sewer and water system and general overall appearance. We have worked hard to improve the town's appearance. I like interacting with people and appreciate the suggestions they give me. I always look at this job as working for 1,100 people and vote for what is in the best interest of the majority of those voters."

Nelson has served on the Cleghorn Town Council as well as Charter Oak's Council. He is presently Senior Vice President of Valley Bank and Trust and serves on the board; he serves on the loan committee of CADC; a member of Marcus for Progress; member of Cherokee Masonic Lodge; a member of Shriners of Sioux City; President of Marcus Truck Stop Junction board; member of local Lion's Club and President of the Faith Lutheran Church.

Nelson's wife, Jenna, has run a day care facility since 1991. The couple has three children: Lucas is a junior, Bailee is in the eighth grade and Erik is a sixth grader.

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