Name: Richard Fuess II
Immediate family members: Wife, Erika; kids, Nick and Lexi
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Office seeking: City Council
Occupation: Training coordinator at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 101
Previous and current elected offices and terms served: None
Why are you running? The reason that I have chosen to run for City Council is to give back and serve the city that my family has called home for a long time. My grandparents (Millie and Cotton Hoffmann) moved to Mascoutah and raised their family there. We moved to town about three years ago, and I feel like I can bring some new ideas and energy to the City Council. I would also like to help shape the future of the town for my kids.
What is the most important issue facing Mascoutah? How would you approach it? There are many issues facing the city currently. We have the issue of the TIF districts and whether they are right for this town. We have a Main Street and other streets that are in desperate need of repair. There is a need to make Mascoutah an attractive place for businesses to open shop. The biggest issue I feel that affects everyone and all business owners is the high cost of electric. We as a City Council would need to be open to looking at all possibilities to make the electric more affordable. Is there one correct answer to the problem, no. But I do not think that the current city officials are willing to explore all the possible options.
If you were writing a job description for the position you’re seeking, what would it say? City Council position open - The ideal candidate must be willing to place his/her own opinions aside and remember that they are elected to serve the citizens. Must be willing to spend countless hours meeting with the citizens of Mascoutah, in their homes or places of business, to hear about their concerns or problems and present them to the City Council and city manager. Must be determined and willing to make the tough decisions and not just follow what the rest of the City Council is doing. The perfect candidate will be able to think “outside the box” and have some new ideas. And most importantly, be willing to serve only two terms (eight years). This will lead to new leadership with new ideas to shape Mascoutah.
How would keep costs down or reduce costs in your municipality? The City Council needs to make sure that every project is getting bid correctly. That every project the city approves is both needed and beneficial to the city. The council should also be willing to question the city manager about budget items, including, but not limited to city payroll and general expenses. If elected, I will promise to thoroughly examine and question portions of the budget to see if the city could reduce costs.
In St. Clair County, there will be votes on two sales tax referendums. One would benefit school facility costs, one would benefit public safety. Do you support either or both of the referendums? Why or why not? I do not think that it is proper for a person running for City Council to comment for or against taxes that are for other taxing entities. If the city of Mascoutah was asking for taxes, then it would be proper for the council to state their position on the Tax. I personally will be voting “YES” on one of the sales tax referendums and “NO” on the other sales tax referendum.
Why should people vote for you? I am asking people to vote for me for the following reasons: I promise to serve the citizens of this community by sitting down listening to their concerns and trying to make the city work for everyone - always remembering that I am here to represent the citizens. I am willing to put in the long hours to find solutions to the current problems and anything new that comes up. I am willing to question - Is this best for the citizens and the city? I will not be afraid to be the lone vote on any issue. The decision to run is not taken lightly. I know that there will be tough decisions and long hours; but, I am willing and ask for your vote to give me the responsibility to represent you on the City Council.