5 people are running for 2 seats at the Cold Spring Council

COLD SPRING — There are five candidates vying for two seats on Cold Spring City Council. Mike Chute, Stephanie Ferguson, ryan hennen, Thomas LeGassa and Paul Waletzko are all vying for the chance to serve their community.

Mike Fall:

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Mike Fall is one of the two holders of this race. He says he has been civically involved his entire life serving on school and church boards and served as mayor of a small town in northern Minnesota.

Fall sees his forward-thinking approach as a strength he can bring to the board.

I think people get into a rut and it’s hard to think outside the box. I am solution oriented, I try to look forward rather than backward and understand what we can do to make this community a better place for future generations.

Fall says some of his top priorities include improving the city’s infrastructure, developing trails and beautifying the community.

He says he enjoys engaging with the community and appreciates their opinions and concerns.

STEPHANIE FERGUSON:

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Stephanie Ferguson has lived in Cold Spring for about four years and wants to be more involved in the community.

She says her background as a business owner would be a great addition to the board as she would understand how to deal with any challenges that may arise.

Ferguson says one of his top priorities is affordable housing.

I would like to see us have more affordable housing, especially for your high school graduates. There are many different jobs in this field, so we need to look at how we can retain our young people and attract others to our community.

Ferguson says the city’s population is becoming more diverse and feels this should be more embraced and celebrated.

This is his second attempt to sit on the city council, having applied to fill a vacant council seat in May, now held by Hennen.

RYAN HENEN:

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Ryan Hennen is the other starter in this race. He was appointed to the board last May.

Prior to serving on council, he served on the planning commission for six years. He currently works for Stearns County as a county surveyor.

Hennen says he likes to see development projects moving faster.

I want to be responsible for how we spend our money, but I don’t want to just keep pushing projects forward and leave the responsibility to future councils.

Hennen says he wants to represent the city in the best way possible, including being a voice for residents who feel left out of the community.

He says he’s excited to see what’s happening with the police and fire station, which he says should have clear direction in the coming months.

THOMAS LEGASSA:

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Thomas LeGassa moved to Cold Spring about 12 years ago to retire. He says throughout his life he owned four successful businesses and worked for big companies like Target and Shopko.

He says he wants to be an advocate for the business community.

I am very acclimated to the business world. I would be recruiting for new businesses and assisting existing businesses we have in town with any concerns.

LeGassa currently sits on the planning commission and park board, but wanted to get involved in the community.

He says the city council is the voice of the people and if elected he will work hard to make sure that voice is heard.

LeGassa had previously applied to serve on the city council following a vacancy on the council in May, now held by Hennen.

PAUL WALETZKO:

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Paul Waletzko grew up in the Twin Cities but fell in love with the small-town vibe that Cold Spring offers when he moved to town three years ago.

He says he has a passion for community and would like to see an increased effort in community outreach.

One thing I grew up with and want to bring to Cold Spring is more community activities. I want to bring residents and families together because I think it builds a very strong community.

Waletzko says they need to get more involved with the school district when it comes to community engagement.

He says schools are a big reason families move to certain communities and that there has been some disconnect between the school district and the city in recent years.

Waletzko previously applied to fill a vacant board seat in May, a seat currently held by Hennen.

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