Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Western Nebraska Observer Candidate Forum

 

April 19, 2018



The Observer sent a list of questions to candidates whose names will be on the Primary Election ballot in May. We are printing their answers as we received them.

County Clerk

Cathy Sibal

1. Tell me about yourself.

I am Cathy Sibal and I moved to Kimball in 1972 with my husband Pat. We have been in the rental business many years. I have a strong faith and I am very patriotic. I thank God for the privileges I have as an American Citizen. I love to help others and give back what has been given to me. My background before being elected County Clerk was banking. I started work at the Kimball American National Bank and then began a 20 year career with Sidney Federal Savings & Loan where I was the Kimball branch manager, served as a loan officer and customer service representative. I still utilize those experiences today. I was elected County Clerk in 1995 and have faithfully served the citizens of Kimball County since.

2. For which office are you running and why?

County Clerk. I filed for re-election because I am passionate about what I do and I feel I have a lot to offer with my experience, knowledge and customer service skills. Kimball County has invested many tax dollars in trainings to allow me to keep up with the statutory duties of the office and I want to utilize that investment.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

I plan to continue to offer the same commitment and dedication to perform the many duties and responsibilities of County Clerk as I always have. I plan to computerize the Register of Deeds records and implement e-filing to enhance the recording process.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

I am the best candidate for County Clerk because I have a proven record that I know and understand the duties and responsibilities of the position of County Clerk. I have the energy, desire and knowledge to continue what the citizens elected me to do in 1995.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

I will continue to provide professional and courteous customer service. I will always be looking for ways to streamline efficiency in the County Clerk’s Office. When I was elected in 1995, one of my first goals was to improve customer service and establish an open door policy. I believe everyone that comes into the County Clerk’s Office should leave feeling we did everything we could to meet their needs.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

Yes, please take time to vote on May 15th. Your vote is your voice! Thank you for your support.

Dawn Hickman

1. Tell me about yourself.

I have called Kimball home for 25 years. I have worked at the Kimball Police Department, Kimball Hospital, and the last 15 years at Cabela’s Corporate Office.

I have three children, Ashley Hickman age 19, Grant Hickman age 16, and Noah Hinton age 3 and four step children.

My fiancé is Robert Hinton of Kimball.

My parents are Tom and Karen Hewitt of Kimball

2. For which office are you running and why?

County Clerk and my goal for running for County Clerk is to promote public confidence and good will by providing the very highest level of courteous, efficient service. Further, to insure the highest possible degree of integrity of the County’s election process through administration of all federal, state, and local election laws in a uniform, consistent and accessible manner.  I believe my experiences at Cabela’s Corporate Office will provide me with several important attributes that I will bring to the position of County Clerk, if elected.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

I will strive to provide responsive, efficient, and cost-effective service to customers while maintaining the highest degree of respect, fairness, public trust and integrity.  Such service is balanced to reflect compliance with statutory requirements and the needs of customers.

From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

Motivated

Proactive

Organized

Networker

Eager to serve the Kimball County Community

Multi tasker with high level attention to detail

Promote a positive and professional atmosphere within the County Clerk’s office and throughout the courthouse.

Worked with a diverse group of people

Certified in process improvement – Six Sigma

4. How will you represent your constituents?

Because I am a long time resident of Kimball I will represent the people of the county as an embedded member.

5. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

As the County Clerk, I will uphold my duties as well as listen, communicate, serve, and energetically represent my fellow residents of Kimball County.

Clerk of the District Court

Deb Diemoz

1. Tell me about yourself.

I am a hard working native of Texas with roots in Kimball NE since 1990 and the blessed mother to 7 beautiful children. I have enjoyed 28 years of public service in Kimball County. I have been honored by being voted President of the Nebraska Association of County Officials – Panhandle District in 2017. I have been the Secretary for the County Safety Board since 2010 and the administrator for the Kimball County Leadership training since 2017. I am committed to continuing to advance our county’s efforts toward diversity and equality and truly feel this is vital to the growth of Kimball County.

2. For which office are you running and why?

As the current Clerk of the District Court, the motto I live by is: Leadership, Integrity and Commitment. I am running to retain my position as the Clerk of the District Court and wish to continue my career serving the people of the county. I have 22 years of experience with the District Court along with a strong background in criminal justice. I have positive relationships with our Judges, Attorneys, as well as, with the public. I have an established reputation for being dedicated, working well with the public and am committed to serve Kimball County to the best of my ability.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

I will continue to be committed to the community, along with continuing to advance our court system with advanced technology. I place a high priority on training myself and my staff to stay on top of new laws and legislative bills. We have already made several upgrades to advance our technology with video courtroom networking and upgraded security. I plan to continue implementing proper training and upgrades to ensure an efficient and accurate justice system for the County.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

I have a proven record of working well with the public, dedication to my office and long-term knowledge of the judiciary system. With 22 years of knowledge, I have worked hard to maintain the highest level of skill-set, spending hours on training and staying abreast of changes in laws, statutes and court procedure. I am passionate about what I do and truly enjoy working for the people of Kimball County. I have a positive outlook and strive to continually build positive relationships with my co-workers and the public.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

Representing my constituents means serving them with courtesy, accuracy and dependability. To be an example of leadership and integrity within community as an elected official is a direct reflection on the community as a whole. I continue to research upcoming legislative changes and am a voice to be heard at the legislative level for the people of Kimball County. I am dedicated to being the best representative for the District Court for the people of the county through my hard work and being a dependable resource for the public.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

Integrity is a prevailing attribute that I apply in my daily life, both at home and in my duties as the current Clerk of the District Court. I believe it is imperative that I make certain that you have the best possible service when coming the the Clerk of the District Court office. I ensure we protect your anonymity and confidentiality through honesty and integrity. I value each person as an individual, a constituent and a family member of Kimball County. I am a leader who is passionate about maintaining the well-being of this community and hope to continue proving myself as the best choice for this position.

Darcee Wheeland

1. Tell me about yourself.

My name is Darcee Wheeland. I have lived in Kimball since 1999. Prior to moving here, I lived in Dalton, NE. I worked for Cabela’s Inc. for 15 years. I performed administrative duties and supervised more than 30 employees. I left Cabela’s Inc. in the year 2000 and went to work for Evertson Well Service and then to work for Huenergardt Law Office and worked there for 4 years. That is when I realized my true passion for the legal field. In December of 2004, I came to work at the Kimball County Courthouse in the District Court office. This has been a position I have loved. They say “when you love the job you have you won’t work a day in your life”. That is truly how I feel. I have been told by many this truly shows. I have true compassion and genuinely care about the people of Kimball County and have been happy to call Kimball my home.

2. For which office are you running and why?

Clerk of the District Court.

I am running because I worked in District Court for more than 13 years with more than 3 years as the Deputy Clerk. This is a two (2) person office; therefore, I performed the duties of the Clerk as well. I truly loved working in this office. I was a legal secretary for 4 years prior to this position. The legal field is my true passion. I feel I bring efficiency to this office.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

I will bring excellent customer service and consistent, accurate and quality service to the constituents. I also hope to bring about a clear understanding of the judicial system.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

My prior leadership experience of over 10 years. I bring quality customer service, accuracy, professionalism, respect, enthusiasm, dedication, and, above all, an extremely upbeat personality to the office.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

By listening to their needs and genuinely caring and understanding their situation. I treat people with the utmost respect. I am professional and confidential. The Clerk of the District Court is the official custodian of the District Court records. This position requires confidentiality and I am a professional and have held many positions requiring confidentiality.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

I would like to let the constituents know they can trust me and I will be there to assist them in any way I can.

I would also like to thank the people of Kimball for the support that I have received and am proud to be a part of this wonderful town.

City Council

Christy Warner

1. Tell me about yourself.

I was born and raised in Kimball. Originally a farm girl until our family moved in town. After graduation, I married and have 3 children Vycky, Natasha and David. I had the honor of being a military wife for 16 years, allowing me to have a wide variety of experiences.

Some of my accomplishments during those years include receiving an Army award for being progressive and bringing a sense of equality to family readiness groups at the 101st Airborne Division. I also served on a governor-appointed board in Washington State with head of agencies to reduce red tape and provide more comprehensive services to children with the goal to reduce intergenerational recidivism.

I returned home in 2010 to put roots down and give my children the opportunity to grow up with the values, understanding, and sense of community I so dearly appreciate. The biggest lesson I learned moving around the nation is there are good people in large cities who dream about living in a place like Kimball. Having no rush hour traffic, taking an hour to go 15 miles. Being able to let your kids go to the park with their friends without the need of adult supervision. Knowing the neighbor will tell you if someone stopped by while you were gone. Not having your kids walk through metal detectors to go to school. Being able to talk to any teacher about your kid without them asking for a student ID number to look them up.

2. For which office are you running and why?

I am the only City Council incumbent up for election this year. I truly appreciate our community and believe Kimball has a lot to offer. I believe if we can be proactive in planning and action while keeping true to our community values, then our city will continue to thrive for decades to come. I feel it’s important to lead by example and this gives me an opportunity to do that.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

Nothing happens because of one person in office. The goals I will continue to work for as council member is multifaceted. As with most people running for or currently on City Council, the big goal is to have our town begin to grow again and improve economics. It takes having the community, City, County and surrounding areas involved.

We need to be better about saving money to use on capital purchases, reducing the need for bonds. I want the City to spend effectively, getting the most benefit out of a tax dollar. The City partnering with the County and regional municipalities reducing duplicate services and using cooperative measures to get things done must continue. Strives to ensure our economic foundation is ready for new business including different sizes of work spaces, innovative financial planning, detailed online information and housing availability is extremely important to bring in new businesses.

We need to take what we have accomplished over the decades and move it forward. Think outside the box and be proactive when making plans for future generations. Let’s improve our quality of life in Kimball and show off all those things we take for granted.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

I try to look at things from multiple angles and see how decisions might affect others, not just my family and friends. While I am always thinking of how to be progressive, I keep common sense in mind. I’m not a yes person, I want to know when a person asks why I voted a certain way that I can answer them clearly and with good conscience.

Sometimes tough decisions must be made, and they usually are not popular ones. Some people will tell you their business may be at risk if they had to make an unpopular vote or push a certain issue. I would tell you the right way is not always the easy way.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

While I respect council-manager form of government I do believe as representatives of the community we have a responsibility and accountability to have a transparent system. I will sit and listen to any community member, ask questions, and in some cases, base my vote on what the people have said, even if it’s not my personal opinion.

For example, the underpass has been underway long before I was elected. When the design options had to be voted on the tally from the public was considerably higher for a more traditional design. Personally, I preferred the modern look. However, I felt it was my duty to uphold the decision of the people who had spent time and energy making their opinion known.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

While sitting on council in the last 3+ years we have made progress on goals but still have more to do. Our most recent audit shows how we have had a decrease in revenue from taxes and yet services continued. In our general fund administrative expense decrease for two years in a row and the police force shows a significant decrease for the last three years. We were even able to put a little more money in our reserves while doing so.

Is it perfect? No, the City still has areas it struggles in. We still have hard decisions to make but with the right leadership we will have opportunities to be proactive and grow.

Aaron Rabin

1. Tell me about yourself.

The typical answers usually given to this question are about how honest a person is or a statement of being of high morals and integrity. These are just words and in my opinion really don’t say much about a person unless you know about their life. As someone that just bought a home and moved to Kimball in June of 2017, I am fully aware that I am unknown here. I do have strong family values, I am a man of good character and integrity, but how would you know that to be true unless you know my life story? There really isn’t any meaningful short answer to this question.

2. For which office are you running and why?

I am running for a seat on the City Council because I want to be part of the team that is focused on listening to the needs and concerns of our community and assist in the implementation of solutions that will help Kimball grow.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

I can give two examples that best describes how I think I can help. The first example has to do with our children at school. If all we do is try to correct behavior without learning what drives students to such behavior, we will forever have the same issues. Kimball does not have a PTSA (Parent, Teacher, Student Association). The benefit of a PTSA is to ensure that all three groups are represented in the dialogue to help our children realize their potential. If parents and children openly acknowledge that real problems exist and take ownership in helping to find solutions together with our school’s faculty, we will have a more realistic chance to avoid the types of tragedies that plague our schools across the nation. Another example of what I would like to achieve is following up on things the community has already voiced to the city government. I attended a meeting at the event center last year where we were asked to put our thoughts on posted notes on what we liked, didn’t like and possible solutions to help grow our community. If fortunate enough to receive the honor to serve on the city council, I would like to follow up on all of those likes, dislikes, ideas and solutions and do all I can to help our community achieve its vision.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

My years of experience in providing business solutions to Fortune 500 companies has helped me learn what it takes to gain a consensus from people with varying backgrounds and interests and providing a solution that works for everyone. I think this translates well into helping to properly represent the voice of Kimball and work with the other team members on the City Council to help achieve the goals of our community.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

As a politician, my job is to help the community become what it desires to be. To succeed in this, it is important that I hear the collective voice of the community. I need to reach out to them to find out what impacts them on a daily basis, but not just listen to what they perceive as problem areas, but also help inspire them to come up with possible solutions that will impact the community for the better. I will take ownership of what the community voice wants and partner with my fellow council members and the people of Kimball to see our great city grow.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

I have not only read about the rich history of Kimball as well as the hardships, I have physically seen and felt it by walking through the inside of the Wheat Growers Hotel. Everytime I drive down Chestnut I can see what once was and what is still here, as well as, a vision of what Kimball can be again. I don’t think we need to wait until Oil or Military to come back for us to grow, I think we need to make it happen ourselves. We will only get out of Kimball what we all put into it. If we wait for someone else to help us grow, Kimball will remain a shadow of its former glory, however, if we can come together and share a common vision, Kimball will once again become a destination place and our future will outshine our past. We owe it to ourselves and our future generations to make Kimball a place they can always call home.

Jim Calvin

1. Tell me about yourself.

I have lived in Kimball for almost two years. I am 58 years old. I am married, have four grown children and seven grandchildren. I work at the Kimball County Courthouse as the Building and Grounds Superintendant. I am a member of Calvery Memorial Church in Gering where I serve as a greeter.

2. For which office are you running for and why?

I am running for City Council. If I am elected, it won’t be about me but the people of Kimball who elect me. I want to be a spokesperson for the concerns of the people. I would also like to see more jobs come to Kimball so Kimball can grow.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

I believe what makes me the best candidate for this position is my experience serving eight and a half years on the Gurly Villiage Borad. Also serving on several church boards and being secretary-treasurer of a church. I am also a formers Lions Club Officer.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constitutes?

My message to the constituents is: If you want someone who is reliable, honest, has integrity and is conservative, then I am that person. I will listen to your concerns and be your spokesperson. Please let me be your voice and vote for Jim Calvin for City Council.

John Morrison

1. Tell me about yourself.

My name is John Morrison. I have been a citizen of Kimball for 29 years, serving on numerous committees and boards over the years. Currently I am a member of Friends of the Goodhand Theatre and Farmer’s Day Committee, served on the committee to erect the Derick along I80, and served on City Council for four years.

2. For which office are you running and why?

City Council. I am committed to making Kimball a better place to live and do business.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

Help develop a positive attitude for Kimball by revitalizing the appearance of the community and encouraging business growth.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

My experience in managing, budgeting, controlling costs and growing business and prior experience on the City Council.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

By listening to the people in the community and voicing their ideas.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

Kimball has great potential. It is located in a prime area, close to major transportation routes. Kimball has many strong points that we need to build upon.

Matt Bright

1. Tell me about yourself.

I have lived in Kimball my whole life and am proud to call it home. I plan to be in Kimball for the long term and want to do my part to make Kimball boom again.

2. For which office are you running and why?

I am running for Kimball City Council because I think better business decisions could be made to save taxpayers money and run the town more efficiently and because I feel that it’s good to have some turnover and new ideas in these positions.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

I would like to see the city run more like a business; to convince the city, county, and school to work together and cooperate; and to help keep current businesses thriving in Kimball.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

I have a strong work ethic, business skills, practicality, and common sense. I strive for perfection and not mediocrity.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

I will pay attention to local discussion and online conversations and bring up public questions and comments to the rest of the council. I hope to be an approachable representative that the public will actually bring their ideas and concerns to.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

I will do my best to make good financial decisions for the city and hopefully build something great!

Robert Martin

1. Tell me about yourself.

My name is Robert Martin,

First and foremost, I am a Christian. I am married to Bethany Martin and have 5 wonderful kids. I am the owner of M.I. Services here in Kimball and am passionate about filling needs and creating jobs in the community.

2. For which office are you running and why?

I am running for City Council.

In my time living here, I have identified a lot of areas that need improvement if we are to have a thriving local economy. I am running because it is time for change. It is time for the younger generation to be active in the community. It is time for us to take charge of our future. It’s time for us to take care of the people that took care of us.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

I intend to be a public servant, to do what is truly right for the community, to aggressively push for changes that will prompt economic growth, speak against those that don’t, and to make decisions that put the PEOPLE of our city first.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

I genuinely care about this community and have personally invested time and money to see it grow. I will push for actions that generate growth and make Kimball a better place to live. I will advocate initiatives that prepare us for new industry. I will drive proposals to attract businesses and resources to the community. It is my desire to develop this community that makes me the best candidate.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

With their best interest at the forefront of every decision.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

Even if you don’t vote for me, I encourage you to drive growth in the community. Attend the city council meetings and speak up, attend public forums and ask questions, volunteer to work in the parks, event center, pool, or just help a random person. Act by cleaning up your yards, storefronts, and buildings. Spend money locally as much as possible to drive economic stability. We as a community canNOT sit by and do nothing. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Board of Education

Lynn Vogel

1. Tell me about yourself.

I was born and raised in Kimball, NE. My husband, Todd Vogel, was also born and raised here. We were married in 1994 and we have one daughter, Shelby Vogel.

2. For which office are you running and why?

I am currently seeking re-election to the School Board. In 2001 our daughter started Kindergarten, and this started a new chapter in our lives. This was the first year Kimball Public School started All Day Kindergarten and there were a lot of changes happening within the school system for Kimball. It was sometime during Shelby’s 1st Grade year that I decided I needed to understand more of how the school operates and so I started asking questions of principals, staff and current board members. I started going to the meetings, ALL board meetings for over a year. When it came time to file for the 2004 election I felt I was ready to take the next step.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

If re-elected I hope to be able to assist in providing the best education possible for ALL our students.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

I’m currently completing my 14th year on Kimball School Board and I feel I have proven that I do whatever it takes to do what is ultimately best for our students despite whatever personal challenges have been in my way. I sometimes think people forget the schools are there for the students first and foremost. Therefore, I’ve always tried to encourage conversation and I have listened to the students ideas and concerns so that I can be their voice.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

With integrity.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

I have a genuine desire for Kimball Public Schools to be the best possible for ALL our students in EVERY way. I would appreciate your vote in the May primary and the November election. Thank you.

Brad Reader

1. Tell me about yourself.

My name is Brad Reader. My wife, Danielle, and I have been married almost 26 years. I have four children. Tori is an elementary teacher, Jake is in college and Alex and Kate are still in high school. I received my education from Kimball public schools, as did my parents and all of my grandparents. I am a fourth generation Kimball resident and a member of the United Methodist Church. I went to Colorado School of Mines on a football scholarship and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I was appointed to the school board 5 years ago to replace my wife who decided to change careers and become a high school math teacher. When the term to which I was appointed to ended, I ran for office and was elected for another term. I worked for Halliburton for two years after college graduation and have worked for Clean Harbors for the last 25 years.

2. For which office are you running and why?

I am running for a position on the school board.

I want to help make sure we give the children of Kimball the best possible education we can at the best possible price. I want students to receive an education from our school that they are proud of and I want community members to be proud of our educational system.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

I hope to continue to support our teachers and administrators looking for the best way to educate our children. I hope to bring back the pride of what it means to be a Kimball graduate. I hope to be part of a board that can get our test scores back where they belong. I hope to be able to do all of these while still looking out for our tax payers. I want the Kimball diploma to represent a graduate who will be an excellent employee or college student and who will contribute to society in a positive way.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

My background in maintenance and purchasing with Clean Harbors adds a valuable dimension to the board makeup. I have shown my willingness to donate my personal time to work for what is best for the school system. I do not have any “agendas” or “personal missions” that I need to achieve. I am able to be open minded, listen to both sides of an issue and make a clear decision to best support our educational system.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

I will work with the school’s administration to provide the best possible education for our children at the best possible price for our tax payers.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

I am very proud of the effort the board has put in during the last five years. The board members I have served with are all good people trying to do what is best for your children. If you will let me I would gratefully serve another term.

Dakota Kuhns

1. Tell me about yourself.

My name is Dakota Kuhns. I am a reporter for the Western Nebraska Observer. I am married to Anthony Kuuhns and we have a 10-year-old daughter attending Mary Lynch and a four-year-old son who is currently in Head Start and will be attending Mary Lynch this fall.

I have coached youth sports and am actively involved in several community events annually. I have lived in the Kimball area for over five years and can’t think of a better community to raise our family.

2. For which office are you running and why?

I am running for School Board. I believe I have the qualities to make a well-rounded spokesperson for the continued improvement of our schools, teachers, students and parents. I see and understand all sides, and believe there are ways we can work through them for the better of our present and future students.

3. If elected, what do you hope to achieve while in office?

If I am elected I hope to achieve better communication between all parties involved, as well as, a balance in ideas and comments between all individuals involved.

4. From your perspective, what makes you the best candidate for this position?

I have been in the small schools like Kimball, and have also been in a bigger school. I believe this can help bring different perspectives to all of the goals. I am open to hearing ideas from all those interested in our students’ future. I will work hard to bring those ideas before the board, decide on best practices and will dedicate my time to representing the Kimball School District with integrity.

5. How will you represent your constituents?

I believe that service on the school board is for the benefit of the students. I am eager to work with parents, educators, administrators, the board and the public to provide our youth with the best learning environment possible.

6. Is there a message you wish to relay to the constituents?

I am hoping our community will see that changes are a good thing and can lead to more options and outlooks. I believe that I am approachable and available for all intrested to contact me, and I am understanding.

Renee Castagna, Jared Reich and Matt Shoup did not respond prior to press time and, though they will be listed on the primary ballot, their answers are not displayed in this forum.

 

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