Four people are vying for two Peosta City Council seats in the Nov. 5 election.
Incumbents Gerald Hess and Carla Reuter seek re-election, while challengers Doddie Gremmel and Douglas Hughes seek their places on the council.
The Telegraph Herald spoke with the candidates to discuss their thoughts on the city and their plans if elected.
Profession: Clerk in the Dubuque County Treasurer’s Office
Prior political experience: None
A Peosta resident for 24 years, Gremmel said she always has been interested in city politics and now hopes to contribute to the city government.
She noted Peosta’s rapid growth — the population increased by about 29% from 2010 to 2018 — and said, “I would like to be more involved with how it grows.”
Gremmel said that if elected, she primarily would focus on continuing that trend. She hopes to do that through bringing more factory jobs to the community.
“Those are the jobs that bring people to the city every day,” Gremmel said.
She also feels Peosta needs more retail businesses, both for job growth and increased convenience for residents. She hopes the city can provide support to draw these businesses to town.
“We don’t have a lot of retail out here,” Gremmel said. “We should do what we can to bring more of those businesses.”
She also wants to expand park amenities in the city, saying that many young families don’t have enough outdoor recreational options.
Gremmel emphasized that she wants to learn as much as she can while on the City Council in order to make informed decisions.
Profession: Division manager at Mi-T-M Corp.
Political experience: Eight years on Peosta City Council
Hess feels much has been accomplished during his time on City Council. He highlighted the city’s continued growth, the hiring of the first city administrator and ongoing work to replace the wastewater treatment plant.
He wants to continue to play a role in positive developments in Peosta.
“I want to continue the growth that we have achieved in the city,” Hess said. “I want us to keep moving forward.”
Hess said he wants to bring more stores to Peosta, particularly the types that the community does not currently offer.
“There are some things that are just missing from Peosta,” he said. “It would be more convenient for residents to have them in town.”
Hess also is interested in expanding parks and recreation options in town. He particularly emphasized the importance of creating a master plan for parks improvements, which could highlight what amenities could be added to parks and where trails could be placed.
He added that he also supports additional longer-range planning of city projects and improvements, which he believes will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of city staff.
“We want to make sure everything grows together and works together,” Hess said. “We’d like to give better road maps for what we can do.”
Profession: Landfill supervisor for Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency
Political experience: None
Having worked at the solid waste agency for 18 years, Hughes said he has the experience and expertise to be a beneficial part of the City Council.
“I know how to handle big construction projects,” he said. “I have good knowledge for the council.”
Hughes said he feels the massive growth of Peosta has stagnated recently, something he wishes to curb.
He said he already is considering plans to bring more businesses into town, which will create jobs and attract more residents.
He also feels it is important for the city to maintain fiscal responsibility and to wisely spend taxpayer money.
He said many city residents have told him that they want a municipal swimming pool. While he likes the idea, he said, he would need to know more about the cost before firmly supporting such a move.
He also said many residents want an ordinance allowing all-terrain and utility vehicles on city streets, and that he is undecided on the issue.
Profession: Stay-at-home parent
Political experience: Four years on Peosta City Council
Reuter was elected to the council four years ago with a plan to be conscientious of the city’s spending.
While she described her success in enforcing fiscal responsibility as “up and down,” she stressed the importance of being allowed to remain that voice on the council.
She also would like to see the city continue to grow. She said the city has found success in its industrial parks, so she would like to see them expanded.
“A lot of the tax base of the city is from the industrial park,” Reuter said, referring to the West Peosta Industrial Park. “If we can grow the industrial park, we can create more jobs.”
She said she is also committed to finishing the replacement of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
She also would like to expand the city’s parks and outdoor amenities.
“Parks are a wonderful thing,” Reuter said. “We do need them. We are a growing community.”