Newcomers Patricia Goetz and Todd Zedak, are competing for the Ward One seat on Hudson City Council. Incumbent Kate Schlademan is not seeking re-election. Following are questions posed to the candidates by Hudson Life. Responses were limited to 225 words and are unedited.
1. The Phase II property remains empty. What is your stance on development there and/or land use more broadly?
Goetz: The Phase 2 land has already cost the city $681,487.22 in interest only payments that we will not get back. We do need to develop that land. I feel that empty nester housing with first floor primary bedrooms would be ideal. In general, I feel residential housing should be limited. Hudson has problems with storm water runoff. More development would exacerbate this problem.
Zedak: Land use should be driven by the values of the residents. The developer values profit. What the residents want may not actually align with their values. How many of us value fitness and an want Notso fries. It’s our job to translate why people love Hudson (what do they value), and do more of it.
2. Residents have expressed concerns about Main Street vacancies. What can council do to nurture a thriving downtown retail district?
Goetz: The vacancies on Main Street are a big problem. The rent keeps going up and merchants cannot stay in the space. Since the buildings are owned by private owners they can charge what they please. Perhaps the city could offer incentives to businesses such as subsidies or in the past the city paid for a digital ad campaign that brought more customers to town, increasing revenue. The city’s economic development director could get involved.
Zedak: Make sure that there are not impediments to progress. Assess a vacancy tax. Make sure building codes are reasonable. Engage with the chamber of commerce.
3. How will you ensure that residents have a voice in city matters?
Goetz: I will work diligently to have regular communication with the citizens of Hudson. I will do this by having regular town halls/open forums at the Town Hall or the library to get opinions. By giving updates and getting feedback on social media, blogs and answering concerns sent on email, text or phone calls, citizens will have a voice. I will attend community events and volunteer to interact with citizens. When there is new project or legislation that effect citizens, I will reach out to get their feedback.
Zedak: By asking them about their values and using that information to drive decisions. We can’t make people participate. But by removing/minimizing political rancor, we can move on to decisions based on the good of all. If we are not fighting, everyone can feel more comfortable in the tent. ∞
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist