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Tuesday, 09 February 2016 08:47

Experienced field in Feb. 16, 2016 Elkhorn mayoral primary

Written by  CSI Media news staff
Tom Myrin, incumbent Brian Olson and Howie Reynolds in the spring 2016 primary for Elkhorn mayor. Tom Myrin, incumbent Brian Olson and Howie Reynolds in the spring 2016 primary for Elkhorn mayor.

ELKHORN -- The three candidates for Elkhorn mayor cite a variety of issues as being the most vital to the city, but all three candidates share some experience in city government.

Incumbent Mayor Brian Olson faces challengers Tom Myrin and Howie Reynolds in the Tuesday, Feb. 16, primary. Voters will narrow the choice to two candidates for the April 5 election.

Olson was an alderman for two years before he was elected mayor in 2014. Myrin is the current District 5 alderman. Reynolds served as an alderman for nine years and was mayor for four years before declining to run again in 2014.

We asked the candidates to provide information about themselves and their views. Their responses are provided in alphabetical order.

Tom Myrin

Age: 57

Address: 320 W. Hidden Trail

Job: bank manager for U.S. Bank

Education: bachelor of arts degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota

Community service: Cub Scout Den Leader since 2011; founding member of the Elkhorn Economic Development Alliance.

In the summer of 2012, I was approached by then-Mayor Howie Reynolds and Alderman Brian Olson to form an economic development committee in Elkhorn. One of our many accomplishments was working with the city to commission a retail/industrial gap study to help determine Elkhorn’s economic strengths and weaknesses. The company that was hired was Redevelopment Resources out of Madison. They work with cities across the country. At our last meeting, the representative from Redevelopment Resources said that we were one of the most engaged volunteer groups she has ever seen.

Publicly elected positions: Elkhorn District 5 alderman, 2013 to present

Major issue in this campaign: For me, there are two issues. First is small business growth. We finally are gaining some traction in our industrial park with new companies. This will bring more people into town to spend money.  Now we need more small business growth inside our city. Working with the EEDA and the results of the study, we will help grow our current businesses and attract new ones.

The second one is leadership. I bring the kind of leadership that builds great teams. Case in point is the EEDA group. I would like the same opportunity with city staff and elected officials -- creating an environment of dignity, respect, communication and letting every voice be heard. As a bank manager, I bring a skill set that practices these leadership traits every day building a great team.

Brian Olson

Age: 39

Address: 1142 W. Court St.

Job: owner, The Tandem Group, manufacturing representative

Education: Greendale High School graduate; business degree from Arizona State University

Community service: Sons of The American Legion; youth baseball and football coach

Publicly elected positions: Elkhorn District 6 alderman, 2012 to 2014; Elkhorn mayor, 2014 to present

Major issue in this campaign: My administration has made significant strides in quality of life and business growth for Elkhorn.

Moving forward we need to address City Hall as priority No. 1. City Hall is not efficient and bleeds taxpayer money annually. We need to make a decision on renovating or staying downtown in a new facility. I believe we need to keep City Hall in downtown, as it will make a statement we are reinvesting in the downtown and will allow for true downtown revitalization planning, which is desperately needed for our current downtown economy to flourish. Downtown revitalization when done properly sets our future successful path for the city of Elkhorn and will provide an even better quality of life for us, the citizens.

Howie Reynolds

Age: 63

Address: 406 Davis Court

Job: retired after 29 years at Kikkoman Foods in Walworth

Education: Elkhorn Area High School graduate

Community service: former recreation league softball and hardball coach, former St. Patrick’s School girls and boys basketball coach, former member of Elkhorn Jaycees

Publicly elected positions: Elkhorn District 1 alderman, 2001 to 2010; Elkhorn mayor, 2010 to 2014

Major issue in this campaign: In speaking with constituents, there seems to be three main issues that are of concern. First is a new city well. The process has been started by the city council by asking for bids. I want to work with the council to ensure the completion of this project. Secondly, also working with the council, I want to ensure the city’s capital projects -- street improvements, for example -- are put back on schedule and made a priority. Lastly, after hearing feedback from many constituents last fall, we as a city need to look at fall leaf pickup and how to best meet needs of the city residents in a fiscally responsible manner.

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