The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 1, 2012

Six candidates vying for two seats on North Mankato council

NORTH MANKATO — Six people are vying for two at-large North Mankato City Council seats at a time when the city will soon be under new administrative leadership.

Candidates include one incumbent, one repeat candidate, a former councilor trying to regain the position, and three newcomers to city elections. Both seats carry a four-year term. (The mayor, Mark Dehen, is running unopposed.)

The council will work with the staff leadership of a new city administrator. Longtime City Administrator  Wendell Sande retired during the summer.  A search is being conducted for Sande’s replacement.

The six council candidates:

Billy Steiner

Steiner, who has served on the City Council since 1996, said his tenure on the panel will be an asset as the city continues to transition.

“In the past few months we’ve seen the retirements of several key city officials. My re-election would ensure some valuable continuity in our city government.

“I think I have a pretty good grasp of what’s going on and how to accomplish what needs to be done.”

In addition to the omnipresent fiscal challenges facing local governments, Steiner said another civic challenge continues to be ongoing efforts to complete a four-lane stretch of Highway 14 between North Mankato and New Ulm — and beyond.

“We can’t be satisfied until it is complete, from New Ulm to Rochester.”

Steiner said he wants to continue to be a responsive, responsible councilor — “something I take very seriously” — and to look at ways to continue making North Mankato a great place to live.

Kenny DeWitte

After losing his council seat to Bob Freyberg in the 2010 election, DeWitte is vying for a return to the panel he was first elected to in 2006.

“I was not ready to give up the council position. I was well-liked by city staff and most of the council members,” he said of his 2010 defeat.

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