Fisher, Stammer compete for Spirit Lake council seat

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Spirit Lake's city council seat to fill a vacancy features the only contested city election race in Dickinson County. Appointee Donna Fisher filed to stay on the council and is challenged by Terry Stammer.

Polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. at the Dickinson County Community Building near the fairgrounds.

Fisher and Stammer want to finish the final two years Clyde Ihrke's term.

Ihrke resigned from the Spirit Lake City Council in September 2014 because he accepted the Spirit Lake building and zoning official's position.

Here's a look at both candidates:


TERRY STAMMER

Terry Stammer

Terry Stammer is a financial advisor at the Stammer Financial Group. The 51-year-old has four children and eight grandchildren.

What inspired you to seek this particular elected office?

Being part of this community for 27 years, I understand the frustration of feeling that your voice doesn't count. Every voice that wants to be heard deserves a forum. I want to be a part of pulling this community together and affect positive change for Spirit Lake.

What main goal or goals would you like to accomplish for your constituents?

I want an informed public on the issues so all that choose to can participate in the decisions regarding the city of Spirit Lake. We are very fortunate to live in this unique area, and we must manage our resources to benefit the entire community.

There's always a delicate balance between keeping taxpayer costs down, while maintaining a level of quality for constituents. How do you plan to balance those two needs?

I believe with the growing tax base we have, it should be absolutely possible to manage taxpayer cost while maintaining and growing the quality of life for all. This is not only important to myself ... it is important to each constituent in the city of Spirit Lake.


DONNA FISHER

Donna Fisher

Donna and her husband, Doug, have been married for 37 years. They have daughter Sara who passed away in 2014, son Andy of Vermillion, SD. Sara has three children and one grandson; Andy and Trisha have two children and one on the way. Fisher's mother is Mae Weaver and her sister is Dawn (Charly) Godfredsen. Her brother is Rand Weaver of Milford.

Fisher is retired but serves as financial secretary at Spirit Lake United Methodist Church. She was City Clerk in Spencer from 1978-2012.

What inspired you to seek this particular elected office?

I have worked in local government for over 40 years, starting in the Dickinson County Auditor's Office in 1968. After moving back to Spirit Lake three years ago, I wanted to continue to be involved in local government. I enjoy working with a variety of people to service the local community. Working with citizens, elected and appointed city officials and the business owners and operators is very important for growth in the community and I would like to use my experience to support that effort in any way I can. Last fall I was appointed to a vacancy on the city council. This is the first municipal election since that appointment so I am running for election to finish the term for the council seat.

What main goal or goals would you like to accomplish for your constituents?

The main goal I would like to accomplish is to work with the citizens, other council members, the mayor and city staff to find cost-effective ways to continue to provide the needed services to the citizens of Spirit Lake. Input from citizens and city staff working in each of the city departments: water, sewer, garbage, parks, police and fire services, administration will provide valuable information on ways to cut costs without reducing services. I would also work in partnership with other entities and developers to support opportunities for expansion. Another goal would be to continue to pay down the city debt to within statutory limits. I would also encourage citizens to give the city ideas for services or improvements they are interested in seeing accomplished.

There's always a delicate balance between keeping taxpayer costs down, while maintaining a level of quality for constituents. How do you plan to balance those two needs?

This is an ongoing struggle for all elected officials. The city of Spirit Lake has made excellent use of alternative funding through grants and other resources besides tax dollars. I would support continuing to seek government and private funding for needed projects and services. I would also support and cultivate partnerships with other communities and governmental entities to share services to help stretch the tax dollars entrusted to us. Taxpayer costs have a major affect on home owners and business owners. It will be a top priority of mine to use the citizens' tax dollars as efficiently as possible and keep the tax rate stable.

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