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Know your ballot: Hastings City Council Ward 4

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 6:43 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2020 at 1:21 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hastings City Council Ward 4 seat is up for grabs with two newcomers trying to make some change.

Ward 4 includes the northeastern part of town which encompasses Hastings College, Heartwell and Crosier Parks, and part of downtown. Robin Vodehnal and Shawn Hartmann hope to bring some new perspectives to city council.

Hartmann, Vice President of Hastings HVAC, wants to focus on bringing more jobs to Hastings as more housing is being built. With his background in manufacturing and as a small business owner, he said he understands how important it is to have workers in the city.

“One of the problems here is affordable housing for those people to be here. So housing is one of the things I think we need to work on. The jobs are here, I know there probably could be more,” Hartmann said.

Vodehnal, who works for a Community Supported Agriculture program, wants to bring some diversity to the council and promote having the public more involved in what the council does.

“What I would hope is that it would be very inclusive of the people that are in Ward 4 and involve them in the decision making process the way that they want to be,” Vodehnal said.

She said she would want to create committees for the wards to have residents discuss issues like the 16th Street viaduct. Hartmann said he is for keeping the bridge but only if it can be done in an affordable way.

He believes he is qualified for the position since he is already heavily involved in city business and has lived in the city for over 30 years.

“I am also vice chair of the Utilities Advisory Board so I have already been dealing with city budgets. We actually sit in with the city when we do our budgeting process,” Hartmann said.

Vodehnal has lived in Hastings since 1992 and she said she wants transparency in why big expenses are made like the move for a new city hall building.

“When you have experience like I have with a daycare business and CSA business, for example, you are able to slow the process down some and really evaluate those little decisions,” Vodehnal said.

Whoever is elected will be replacing councilman Scott Snell who has been on the board since 2016. Election day is Tuesday Nov. 3.

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