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Who will serve on city council?

Justin Dahlheimer1 / 3
Joe Nathe2 / 3
Jerry Olson3 / 3

Osakis residents will elect two council members on Nov. 8.

Three candidates have filed for the two positions that are up for election — Jerry Olson, an incumbent, and two challengers, Justin Dahlheimer and Joe Nathe. (Another incumbent, Kyle Kostrzewski, did not refile.)

To help residents make a more informed decision, the Osakis Review sent questionnaires to the candidates. Here are their responses:

JUSTIN DAHLHEIMER

1. Provide background information about yourself (family, occupation, education) and your qualifications for this position:

I went to high school in Osakis, graduated in 2002 from Osakis High School, college at Hamline University with a B.A. in economics and history, have a master's in urban in regional planning from the University of Minnesota.

I currently am the president of the First National Bank of Osakis. I'm an active member in the community, a firefighter with the Osakis Fire Department, a coach of cross country and track and field at Osakis public school, and the chairperson of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the city of Osakis. I previously was a board member for the Osakis Chamber of Commerce.

I am married to my wife of seven years, Lisa, and have a 3-year-old daughter, Lucy.

2. What specifically prompted you to run for office? Describe how you arrived at that decision:

I have been associated with many aspects of the city of Osakis in my work and volunteer work, and feel the duty to serve the city of Osakis with the skills I have developed in combination with my experiences growing up in this community.

I take great pride in the community and feel it is time to give back. I represent the perspectives of the many people I work with on a daily basis, as well as a fresh, optimistic focus on the future potential of the city.

3. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the city of Osakis, now and in the future?

I believe the greatest challenge for the city of Osakis is placing a precedence on developing and redeveloping the city's housing. The city has made great investments in infrastructure these past years, creating a strong demand for families wanting to live in our city and send their kids to our fantastic school system. We need to continue these investments by making housing more available and facilitating future residential development, as those people provide a need for services that are key to our growing service and retail sector.

4. Describe your leadership style:

I lead by my example. I'm an avid community member and feel the willingness to work together provides good relationships to accomplish the needs of this city. I try to be a resource and provide a voice for those who very much have great ideas but not necessarily the constant time to convey those ideas.

5. What do you see as the most important traits of a city council member and list examples of how you meet those traits:

I think fairness is the most important trait of a city councilmember. Being able to objectively weigh the pros and cons of decisions, and also balance the immediate need with the future needs of the city is a difficult, but necessary trait. However, to be fair and knowledgeable, you must be available and involved.

I feel that I've spent my last six years in this community trying to be the best resource possible while also conveying that I have an open mind to different opinions.

JOSEPH NATHE

1. Provide background information about yourself (family, occupation, education) and your qualifications for this position:

I am a production supervisor at Felling Trailers in Sauk Centre. I have two boys, Dylan, 9, and Christian, 8.

I feel I am qualified because I am in charge of 30 people and know how to get things done and what needs to get done in a timely manner.

2. What specifically prompted you to run for office? Describe how you arrived at that decision:

I am running because I think the Council needs fresh ideas and new blood. I can implement new ideas and save the city money.

3. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the city of Osakis, now and in the future?

The biggest challenge is finding ways to help the city save money and keep taxes low.

4. Describe your leadership style:

My leadership style is to take the bull by the horns. I will look at the situation and weigh pros and cons and then act on the decision.

5. What do you see as the most important traits of a city council member and list examples of how you meet those traits:

Important traits are straightforward, fairness, treat all equally, equality, everyone benefits, listen to problems.

I meet those traits because being a supervisor, I do this all day long. When someone comes to me with a problem, I listen, get all the facts, and then find a good solution.

JERRY OLSON

1. Provide background information about yourself (family, occupation, education) and your qualifications for this position:

I was born and raised in Osakis. I lived here all but 10 years. I graduated from Osakis High School in 1959. I'm retired, and I was self-employed with a tree transplanting business for 37 years. I am married to Joan, with three kids, all grown.

2. What specifically prompted you to run for office? Describe how you arrived at that decision:

This is my second or third time running for office. I've been on the council for eight years. The main thing I'm concerned about now is that there is talk about a new city hall and I'm very concerned about where the dollars will come from. We have this MPCA situation hanging over our heads to build a new sewer plant and if we do it, it will cost $4 million to $5 million. I would not want to build a new city hall until we straighten out this MPCA situation.

3. What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the city of Osakis, now and in the future?

That would be the sewage plant. It would be nice to have all these things but somebody has to pay for it and this is Small Town, USA.

4. Describe your leadership style:

I just try to hold costs down. We all like new things but all these things — holes in the road, general city maintenance — have to be paid for. We want the town to look nice and everybody is trying to get new business, but it's a tough situation and it's tough to figure out. I'm a little on the tighter, conservative side.

5. What do you see as the most important traits of a city council member and list examples of how you meet those traits:

You've got to stand up for what you believe and what you think the people believe.

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