GI Mayoral Candidates
GI Mayoral Candidates

Leadership Tomorrow Candidate Survey

First Release: Grand Island Mayoral Candidates

Disclaimer:

Hall County Leadership Unlimited Inc. conducted a candidate survey to highlight local leaders running for office. All Hall County candidates appearing on the ballot, with at least one challenger, received the survey to complete. Survey responses will be shared, unedited, in alphabetical order by last name, grouped by the office for which the candidates are running. Candidates were sent the survey using the contact information provided on the Hall County Election Commission’s page within hallcountyne.gov. Please contact candidates directly for any requested discussion or clarification about their responses to survey questions. Candidate responses do not represent Hall County Leadership Unlimited Inc. staff or Board Directors.

Candidate Name: Doug Brown

Seat for which you are running in 2022: Mayor of Grand Island, Nebraska

What motivated you to run in the 2022 election? I'm a person that loves to serve my country and my community, I serve my country for over 20 years in the United States Navy stationed all over the world, served my community as Central Nebraska Regional Airport-Operations/Security Manager for over 17 years and now I want to serve the city I love as Mayor. I am very proud of my Grand Island Hertiage from My Grand Parents to My Parents all the way down to my Children and Grand Children being a part of Grand Island's History, past and present.

Lack of Police Officer and raising crime in our Great City of Grand Island.

As we notice in the local paper and in the news every day, Grand Island is seeing a major rise in crime from random shootings, car thief’s, break-ins and drugs. This is not because the Police Officer aren’t doing their jobs, it’s because the current Officers are over worked and over stressed because of the sever shortage they have with recruiting new officer’s and retaining their current staff.

The lack of police Officer’s amount to almost 20% of the current work force, we are short around 16 to 17 Full-Time Police Officers, this problem didn’t happen over-night it has been building for 3 or more years during the current administration term, yes now the administration is confronting the problem, it’s a little too late to solve this crisis in a timely manner, it takes a good year or more to fully train an Officer after they attend Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center. We could have been pro-active three years ago instead of re-active now when it is a major issue. And if definitely effect moral as many of the Officer we lost retired early. I think we are working toward fixing some of issues but I feel we can do a lot better.

What are the characteristics you possess which make you the right candidate for this position? Accessibility of the Mayor for all citizens, when any citizen has an issue, question or problem myself and my administration will be there to offer assistance and find answer for their issue or problem, that is why we are elected by the people and should be dedicated to that promise. This is for everyone not just the chosen ones. I will stand for all people weather they voted for me or not, If I tell you I will get back with you on an item, you can take it to the bank you will hear from me as soon as I have researched and find out any information on your issue.

Transparency, I get tired of every Politician using this word and making it meaningless. I will keep every agenda item above board and be accountable for everything that goes in front of the City Council. And when it comes in front of the City Council, we will have all the information we need to make the best-informed decision for all the citizens of Grand Island. If we don’t have all the information, we will reject the item and bring it back to council when all the required information is available to make a decision. If we don’t have all the information, we shouldn’t make a decision till we do

What impact do you hope to have while serving your term? To bring back Grand Island to the Gold Standard of Communities, over the years we have let some parts of our city get run down while a few parts are given all our attention and funds. We need to give all areas the same attention to detail, we were an "All American City" - 3 times in the past and need to get back to that standard.

What is the best kept secret within our community? It's not a secret, but I have talked with hundreds of thousands of people that go through the Grand Island Airport over my 17 years at the airport and every one of them mention that Grand Island has the nicest and most caring people they have every meet with the strongest work ethics they have ever seen. This is why I returned and many people return after Military Service to live and raise their Families here. "Family Values-Work Ethics-"



Candidate Name: Roger Steele


Seat for which you are running in 2022: Mayor of Grand Island

What motivated you to run in the 2022 election? I am running for Mayor to continue our City’s remarkable momentum. Here are my priorities.

1. Keeping Grand Island safe. As Mayor I have: • increased the wages, benefits, and uniform allowance for Police Officers; implemented a $10,000 retention bonus for Police Officers; implemented the hiring of four part time Police Officers to work at the Airport in order to keep Patrol Officers available; implemented the hiring of two apprentice officers (under a Grow Our Own Program) to attract new hires into the Police Force, and I have implemented a program to incentivize Police Officers from other cities to transfer to Grand Island • increased the authorized staffing of Firefighters by six Firefighter/EMTs or Paramedics which will allow the deployment of a third ambulance which is critical as our City grows in population; completed the construction of Fire Station #4 on North Road to keep our response times under four minutes; completed the construction of the new 911 Emergency Center and authorized the hiring of two additional 911 emergency operators to ensure that we have quick response times • I designed and implemented a one million dollar reserve fund to ensure that Police Officers and Firefighters are paid during economic downturns to avoid public safety layoffs.

2. Developing affordable housing. As Mayor I have: • approved the use of Tax Increment Financing to support residential development, which during my term has allowed for more than 1,000 housing units • encouraged more mixed-use development combining both residential and commercial uses by allowing the option for residential development in areas like the Conestoga Mall • embarked on a new Comprehensive Development Plan which will allow residents to envision the future and explore how we can bring ideas from other cities around Nebraska and the Nation into our community.

3. Continuing with Grand Island’s remarkable progress on economic growth. As Mayor I will: • assist White Lotus with the redevelopment of the Veteran’s Home Campus for affordable housing • complete the CHI St. Francis medical clinic on Capital Avenue which creates good paying medical jobs and serves an underserved area • oversee the operation of the Heartland Events Center to attract entertainment and visitors when it is transferred to the City in December of 2024.

4. Attracting new residents to Grand Island. As Mayor I will: • promote our quality of life with great parks, great entertainment, great shopping and great restaurants • work with our young business leaders to install the festoon lights on Third Street • support the Cooperative Internship Program with Wayne State College which will bring employees to Grand Island • support the partnership between Creighton University and Wayne State College to train nurses in Grand Island • advocate for the renewal of LB840 funding for the Economic Development Corporation which has proven to be successful by investing approximately $7,000,000 which has created approximately $37,000,000 in annual wages for Grand Island • continue devoting time to economic development and job creation by visiting businesses and industries, attending presentations by trade groups and raising Grand Island’s profile as an “open for business” city in the state, the Nation and internationally • continue with my work in imaging Grand Island as a city of “essential workers” which put us on the map as a city that works • continue promoting our image because it is vital to our economic success!

What are the characteristics you possess which make you the right candidate for this position? I served for four years on the Grand Island City Council, and I am completing my first term as Mayor. I have a history of community service in Grand Island which spans 40 years. My many years of community service, both as a volunteer and as an elected official, have prepared me to serve the great City of Grand Island!

What impact do you hope to have while serving your term? My goals for my second term are to maintain the City's financial stability, grow our economy, create new jobs and control spending. Keeping our City safe has been a priority during my first term as it will be during my second term as Mayor.

What is the best kept secret within our community? The people of Grand Island have an incredible spirit for volunteering and cooperating to make great things happen in our City. Additionally, the people of Grand Island always show great concern for their neighbors, their community, the Nation and the World! It is the people who live in Grand Island who ensure our success now, and in the future!