Candidate Q&As 2023: Jerry Chandler for Newton City Council, at … – Newton Daily News

Jerry Chandler (John Lee)
Name: Jerry Chandler
Age: 59
Occupation: Plumbing and heating contractor
Elected offices held: None
Office seeking: Newton City Council, at-large
1. Introduce/Reintroduce yourself to voters and explain why you are running.
Jerry Lee Chandler Jr., lifelong resident of Newton, Iowa. 1982 Newton Senior High Graduate. Owner/ operator of Jerry Lee’s Plumbing and Heating since 2000. I want to represent the hard working citizens of Newton and stop the wasteful spending of our tax dollars. I would also like to be a part of making Newton a safe place to live again. I would like to be a part of bringing back job opportunities with a decent wage. Bring back common sense and morals to city government.
2. Housing continues to be a priority for Newton, a city whose population has remained relatively stagnant for several decades. How do you think the city should approach new housing?
Build affordable single-family housing. Take advantage of the existing houses that are set to purchase and demo and remodel or update versus spending wasteful tax dollars.
Build new homes within the means of the average salary of the base of Newton. Give tax incentives to the citizens of Newton versus a factory that you know is going to leave in five years.
3. Street projects are frequent goals for the city council every year, but some people in town say more work is needed. How do you feel about the city’s current processes when it comes to street repairs and replacements?
The citizens of Newton are correct and their voices need to be listened to. These are their tax dollars. The process should be preventive maintenance, for example not just hot tar and gravel, just a band aid fix. Black top should not be used in Iowa, just a temporary fix.
4. One of the goals of Newton’s new comprehensive plan, Envision Newton 2042, is to make the city a compelling destination for residents and visitors. How do you think the city should go about accomplishing this goal?
The city should bring back downtown shopping. Need to generate job opportunities to keep folks in downtown Newton. Utilize the racetrack, and can be used for a variety of events. Capitalize on all holidays and special events.
5. Newton Police is attracting new recruits and putting them through the academy, but many decide to leave for higher paying jobs. How do you think the city gets out of its role as a pipeline? What are ways the city can retain officers?
Start out by paying the officers a competitive wage. Give them the authority to do their job. Make it an honest wage, they are risking their lives everyday. Other government and city employees make a much higher salary.
6. Council goals from 2022-2024 and the $1.6 million park bond passed by voters show an increased focus on city parks. How do you think the council should handle its parks system and the amenities that come with them?
Separate all bonded issues and do not lump them into what seemed to be a park issue. It was very confusing what the folks were voting for. Inform and include the community of what needs to be voted on to increase voter turnout.
7. Property taxes continue to be a concern for residents, especially after another round of increased valuations means they may have to pay more. How do you think the city should maneuver its levies and its use of property taxes?
Stop valuing Newton’s properties and comparing us to someone like Waukee, we have nothing to offer. We need to work within our means and stop our spending. Stop trying to recoup the city’s losses at the taxpayers’ expense.
8. How will you keep politics out of local government?
COMMON SENSE and MORALS. Pay more attention to what the citizens and businesses have to say and to offer.
Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.
Copyright © 2022 Newton Daily News. All rights reserved. Published in Newton, Iowa, USA, by Shaw Media.
Copyright © 2022 Newton Daily News. All rights reserved. Published in Newton, Iowa, USA, by Shaw Media.

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