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Cherney wants to give citizens a strong voice

Tom Cherney

Editor's note: This Q&A is part of a series highlighting Hastings City Council candidates. Find the rest of the story here

Tom Cherney

  • Age: 76
  • Address: 3532 Greten Lane
  • Website:
  • Facebook:
  • Education: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology — University of St. Thomas; Master of Arts in Business Management and Supervision — Central Michigan University; U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in staff operation and Planning (M.A. equivalent); National Defense University - Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Security Management (M.A. equivalent).
  • Family: Six children, seven grandchildren
  • Occupation: Retired — U.S. Air Force, State of Minnesota, and Metropolitan State University
  • Civic Involvement: Hastings Public Safety Advisory Commission, active member of Christ's Family Church

What experience and talents would you bring to the at-large council position?

It is a great honor to run for a position on the Hastings City Council. I will bring 25 years of senior key leadership management experience directing multiple diverse and complex organizations to the council. My background includes positions in strategic and tactical planning, human resources, emergency management, logistics, crisis management, problem solving, organizational planning, design and coordination, and communications. Quite simply, I now have the time, interest and experience to give back to my community and make a difference for the people of Hastings. I believe this background will enable me to build a bridge between Hastings City Hall and the residents of this wonderful city.

What differentiates you from other candidates in this election?

That's up to my fellow citizens. I am not running "against" the other candidates — I am running for a position because I believe my background, experience and abilities will help the citizens of Hastings have a strong voice at City Hall.

What would be your top priority as an at-large councilmember?

My priorities are improving transportation, housing and bolstering our economic base. I believe we need to get Hastings moving forward again economically. But we don't need to change its uniqueness or what makes it such a great place to live and work. Government should work for — not against — the people. Our city government must be a partner with residents, private businesses, schools and the faith community. I also want to create a culture in our community where analysis and honest discussion replaces blame. I will continuously encourage my fellow council members and others in Hastings to challenge the process by which decisions are made and strive to find better ways in which to solve problems and make progress.

How do you plan on handling housing issues within the city?

I will approach the housing issue by reviewing the facts provided by all avenues. The Hastings City Council must look at the short- and long-term effects of our decisions related to residential development in Hastings. We must look for unintended consequences, not only for our city, but for the surrounding area. As we know, housing prices are set by the market, so our local elected officials should ensure that their plans and direction provide a clear plan for future housing development. I will encourage our city staff to work closely with developers and landowners in Hastings so future developments can move forward in a clear and concise manner.