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Letters: Support for School Board candidates

Supporting Kelsey Waits for School Board

Last month, I had the pleasure of hearing Kelsey Waits speak at the AAUW forum. I was very impressed with her commitment to her children, her educational background, and her well-thought-out answers to our questions. Kelsey showed that she would be a strong, independent voice on our school board and I believe she would be an asset to this community. Kelsey has a master's degree in statistics and a background in research. This experience becomes apparent when you speak with her about the issues since she is constantly referencing research and data to help back her decisions.

One of the issues facing our school district is our declining enrollment numbers as Hastings also continues to experience declining numbers of 20-to-30-year-olds. As a young transplant to this community, Kelsey can offer new insight into possible solutions and connect with the younger generation that Hastings is trying to attract.

Kelsey is dedicated to this community. The Waits family chose to settle down in Hastings after Kelsey fell in love with the city during one of her husband's job interviews. To hear her tell the story, it becomes obvious that she is committed to helping this city thrive. She is active with Friends of the Library and is also on the Dakota County Extension Committee. I have no doubt that she would do a wonderful job on the school board and she has my support.

Lew Linde


When complaints made, city administrator must investigate

There has been a lot of buzz regarding how our city administrator functions, but you need to understand, as I pointed out in my Star Gazette viewpoint two weeks ago, that investigations can come from any city staff member, including department subordinates, and when they do, the city administrator by law must — I repeat, must — investigate the matter. That is the law. That is her job. Plain and simple. I hope I was able to clarify the matter for the public with this. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Joe Balsanek

Hastings City Council (Ward 2)

Pemble is a diligent worker

In electing Dave Pemble to the school board, one will find him to be a diligent worker. He will be honest and fair, listening carefully to the issues before making a decision. I am supporting Dave for school board.

I also encourage everyone to support the needs of our children by voting in favor of the referendums.

Kristi Murtaugh


Pemble committed to education, volunteerism

Dave Pemble "fits the bill" as a Hastings School Board candidate. We have known Dave Pemble for many years and have always respected his commitment to education and volunteerism in Hastings. In all of his community involvements, Dave has been fair, dedicated and a good listener. A vote for Dave Pemble is a vote for positive leadership.

Carrol and Shirley Tammen


Christensen a great choice for school board

I am writing this letter in support of Kim Christensen for School Board. Kim is a quality individual who has been a kind and approachable member of our community for many years.

She will be a valued member of the School Board in that she will bring new ideas and a new way of thinking about things. She has many years of experience in the Minnesota public school system and has worked well with teachers, administration, students and families.

Kim will be able to solve problems by utilizing her experience, common sense, and her passion for education as a platform for success in the world. Kim is a great choice to be a voice for the Hastings community in our quality public schools.

Carrie Zak


Pemble would be asset to school board

We have known Dave Pemble for many years as both a friend and neighbor. He cares deeply about our community, as evident by his decades of volunteer service to both the city of Hastings and the school district. Dave is hardworking, thoughtful and would be an asset to the Hastings School Board.

Please join us in voting Dave Pemble for School Board on Nov. 7.

Mike and Maria Slavik


For school board, pick Pemble

What qualifications do you look for in a school board member? I want a creative thinker that considers our children's education as a priority, but also recognizes that we need to stay within budget restrictions. I want someone who understands the importance of safe, well maintained facilities, and knows that we as taxpayers want our money spent wisely and as needed. I want someone who looks to the future and realizes that we in School District 200 are faced with declining enrollment and the need to look at creative ways to still maintain our reputation as a great school district. I want someone involved in the community who can be approachable and available. I want a school board member who isn't afraid to ask questions, even when in the minority.

I encourage you to consider casting your vote for Dave Pemble on Nov. 7. Dave, and his four daughters are Hastings High School graduates, but more importantly, Dave continues to care for School District 200 long after he and his daughters have graduated. He recently served on the facilities committee for the district recognizing the importance of the financial challenges we face in maintaining our buildings and grounds. Dave has served, and continues to serve on many committees and commissions in Hastings, Dakota County, and his church, giving him the opportunity and experience to listen to people's concerns. Dave Pemble will ask the tough questions, do his research, and make informed decisions on what is best for School District 200. For these reasons, I will be casting my ballot for Dave Pemble on Nov. 7 and I encourage you to do the same.

Janet Bremer


Re-elect Gergen to school board

Scott Gergen is a friend but more importantly he is a colleague who collaborates with other leaders in our community in striving for excellence in our schools. Scott is not only concerned for our current students and families but he is innovative in his thinking for future households that will find Hastings their home.

Scott's approach to decision-making is doing what is best for all students in ensuring our schools provide a well-rounded quality education while learning in a safe and well-maintained facility. Scott knows the importance of having opportunities within our district for music, athletics, art, clubs and other extra-curricular activities that facilitate in preparing students for the future.

Please join me in re-electing Scott Gergen to school board on Nov 7 so we may continue to have a trustworthy and hardworking advocate for our students, families and faculty.

Mark Vaughan

Hastings City Council (at large)

Pemble informed, knowledgeable

I am writing in support of Dave Pemble for the Hastings School Board. Dave is a longterm resident of Hastings; his four daughters have all attend the Hastings schools. Two of them are teachers in Minnesota. This will give Dave a different insight to what some of the other school districts are doing and the teacher's point of view. Dave has been a longtime volunteer for many different boards and organizations in Hastings. Dave recently was part of the committee that looked at the schools' needs and presented a recommended Capital project list to the School board.

It is important that we elect people to the School Board that are informed and knowledgeable about the present and long term needs of the School District. Dave Pemble is that person.

Randy Patzke


Gergen a problem-solver

Here are five reasons to vote for Scott Gergen for Hastings ISD 200 school board in 2017:

1. He has many abilities. Problem solving, working with others, and helping

people out. Just to name a few.

2. He is the most reliable person I know.

3. He is always looking for ways to help the community.

4. He can solve any problem.

5. He is a person you can look forward to working with.

Those are just a few reasons to vote for Scott.

Oliver Gergen, 10

Gergen is the youngest son of Scott Gergen. He is in fifth grade at Hastings Middle School.

Christensen will work hard for district, students

It is my pleasure to endorse Kim Christensen for school board. I have known Kim for 10 years both personally and professionally and am confident she will make a wonderful addition to our school board.

Kim worked in my fourth-grade classroom at Pinecrest as a pupil support assistant. She was very patient and kind to the students she worked with. She worked hard to advocate for the students in the classroom to meet their needs. Kim has many years of experience working in our school district in various positions, including special education and regular education classrooms. These positions have given her experience and knowledge to make decisions that will benefit everyone. She will advocate for the current students of Hastings and for the future of our district.

Kim will work hard for our district and students. She will be fair to the community, families and staff employed by the district.

Angie Jorgensen

Fourth-grade teacher, Pinecrest Elementary

Christensen would bring unique, valuable perspective to District 200 School Board

I enthusiastically endorse Kim Christensen for election to the District 200 School Board.

Kim and I were introduced in 2006 as colleagues in the elementary special education department.

Kim has both observed and participated in general education and special education settings for many years. Any issues presented to her as a school board member would be seen through this unique and valuable perspective.

Kim also possesses the character traits a school board member should have. I know her as a person of integrity. She is creative and intelligent as a problem solver. She will stand up for her convictions even if she stands alone. Yet Kim is also a bridge-builder, someone who is well-liked, is a good listener, and is a team player.

She cares passionately about her own family and her extended family of staff and students in the district. She is seeking election to the school board hoping to put into action her genuine desire to preserve and even improve the educational and fiscal standards in School District 200.

Please consider electing my colleague, and good friend, Kim Christensen, to the District 200 School Board. Thank you.

Michele Myrick

Cottage Grove

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

(651) 459-7600