Vying for votes: Austin mayoral candidates seeking support on Tuesday

Published 7:01 am Saturday, August 8, 2020

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King, Heimer and Austin.

The three Austin mayoral candidates will appear on the ballot during Tuesday’s Primary Election, after which one candidate will be eliminated from the race. The top two candidates will go on to face each other during the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

With a few days remaining, candidates Jeff Austin, Steve King and Brian Heimer are asking Austin voters for their support. The following are their messages to voters.

Jeff Austin

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By now, if you have been following this series, you know how the slate of candidates for mayor feel about housing in Austin, the City’s budget, and what the City leadership’s role is in making Austin a welcoming community.

Now we are given a chance to make a final appeal for your support before Tuesday’s primary vote. If you haven’t yet decided by now to vote for me, let me provide you with more information about me and convince you to cast your ballot for Jeff Austin.

I have been on the Council for 14 years, representing the First Ward for the first 12 and serving as your At-Large representative the last two. During my tenure, I have learned how government operates – which, coming from the business world, required some understanding and patience.

I am passionate about Austin and have grown to be a leader on the Council, serving on the Austin Port Authority, the Park and Recreation Board, the Austin Mower County Joint Homeownership Board and the Blazing Star Joint Powers Board. I serve as the Vice President of the Port Authority, which is the economic development arm of the City, and am on the Loan Approval committee for the Homeownership Board.

I have been consistent and driven by one thing during my service: to do what is best for Austin and its citizens and make Austin an even better community. I have worked to impart this onto all the councilmembers I have worked with over the years.

As your mayor, I will guide Council and work with them to work together and do what is best for Austin. I will strive to have your local government be transparent and welcoming – your voice matters! I will be proud to be YOUR mayor and be the “face of Austin” locally as well as at any event or level required to work to make Austin the best it can be.

I love Austin. That is why I have called it home for my entire life! Is it perfect? No, but there is no place that is perfect. Austin offers many things that most towns our size do not have and yes, there is more we want to offer and can offer. Together we can work to work to achieve these things.

We are going through unprecedented times right now. It is easy to be negative. WE need to stay positive and support one another. YOU have done an amazing job of supporting one another and local businesses during this time. Austin will only be stronger and better for this!

I have the experience. I get results. I am dedicated to Austin!

Thank you for taking the time to inform yourself and learn about the candidates and thanks to the Herald for running this series!

If you have not already, please vote on Aug. 11! Your vote for me, Jeff Austin, will be most appreciated!

Steve King

Hello everyone! My Name is Steve King and I am running to be your mayor.

I am humbled by the amount of support I’ve received, as well as inspired by the number of folks who are genuinely interested in knowing more information about the three candidates. Thank you to the Austin Daily Herald and Mike Stoll for facilitating the three prior question and answer segments in the newspaper for this mayoral race.

For those who do not know me, I’m grateful for the opportunity to introduce myself. I am an Austin native and after graduating from St. Mary’s College, I lived and worked as a probation/parole officer in the Twin Cities for 17 years. My wife, Shelley, and sons, Carter and Sam, returned to Austin with me in 2005 for the opportunity to take my current position as director of Mower County Corrections.

We love Austin and the people who make this an amazing place to live. I firmly believe Austin has the most benevolent people of any community I’ve lived in. The spirit of giving and volunteerism in Austin is outstanding!

I am relationship oriented and a consensus builder and feel these two qualities will help me be an effective mayor. I value compassion, creativity, flexibility, and problem solving. I have served on the City Council since 2008. During my time, I have always tried to be responsive to anyone who calls or emails me with a problem. I have listened and find this to be what the good folks of Austin have appreciated most. I might not be able to accommodate every request or be as helpful as you wish I could, but I will always listen and give an explanation if a situation or issue cannot be resolved completely as you’d have liked.

Please know that I am a proponent of growing Austin in the realm of business development and housing. It will be a goal of mine to work creatively and collaboratively to correct the dilapidated and blighted housing in our community as well as continuing to encourage and advance new housing opportunities.

I consider my time on the Council and my run for mayor not to be politics. It’s public service. I would be thrilled and honored to continue to serve the residents of Austin as your mayor.

Brian Heimer

Thank you so much for taking the time to become an informed citizen. The bigger question is what will you do with the information?

I believe in the inherent good in all of us, the desire to do better for ourselves and better for one another. My vision for our community creates a framework that supports and empowers us to make that choice; a network of organizations, departments, and opportunities that grow business, support our law enforcement, educators, and medical professionals, that keeps us moving forward.

However, the day will come when there are issues that need to be addressed and someone has to make the tough decisions. My decision making framework is modeled off of the acronym of LEAD:

• (L) Listen — listen to the issues, concerns, and people I represent.

• (E) Empathy — create understanding and identify the factors influencing the situation.

• (A) Action — what are the actions we can take to resolve or find a solution?

• (D) Decide — at the end of the day, the decision has to be made and I will make it and be accountable for it.

At the end of the day, I am grateful. I am grateful to God for this opportunity to have met so many of you within the community, grateful for my wife and family’s support during this exciting time, and grateful for this opportunity to make Austin a community we can continue to call home.