Washington Evening Journal
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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2017

Washington mayor’s race draws two candidates

Oct 11, 2017

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

Rosien seeks position after 4 years on council

After serving four years on the Washington City Council as the representative of Ward 4, Jaron Rosien hopes to move into the position of mayor as a way to further serve the community.

Born and raised on a farm just outside of Washington, Rosien is a 2003 Washington High School graduate. He also graduated from the University of Iowa in 2009. After serving as a counselor, which he described as rewarding but challenging, Rosien decided if he were to serve on the council for another four years he wanted to grow in his role and have some change.

“it is important to note I am not running for mayor because I have an ax to grind or because I have some specific thing that I believe needs to be torn apart,” he said. “I am running for mayor because I want to serve and see this community grow and grow as a person myself in my service to the community.”

While the mayor doesn’t have a vote, Rosien said the mayor works closely with the city administrator and the city department heads. He said most importantly the mayor is an advocate for the citizens of Washington. Rosien said he has a large amount of respect for Mayor Sandra Johnson and the years she has served on the council. He said one of the ways he shows he is qualified for the position is by listening to what his constituents have to say.

Rosien said he is pleased to say after working with the council and because he knows the people who are running for office during the election, he believes he can work well with all of them. He believes the last few years have shown that while the council members don’t always have to agree, but they can still be respectful and help move the city forward. He gave the recent example of fireworks, in which the council compromised and the vote still was split.

In the coming term, Rosien said city infrastructure will remain a top priority, as well as the fire station and the development of the wellness park. he said recently the first lot was sold in the city’s business park. He also said the city has a need for housing. He also stressed the need for the council to remain in budget.

Rosien said he is excited to be in one of the few counties in the state that is growing when most counties its size aren’t. He said economic development in the city is “big picture,” and many programs in progress will aid economic development.

Over the last four years, Rosien said he had voted in a manner that was against his own best interests as a downtown businessman. he said he voted to hold off the proposed streetscape project even though he had counted on the project to benefit his business, saying that it was what was best for the city.

“People should vote for me as a ballot well cast because I take the job and the responsibilities seriously,” Rosien said. “My last four years have demonstrated my agenda is to serve and I don’t have some alternative plan that hasn’t been disclosed.”

Schaefer says he is a fiscal conservative

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

Pete Schaefer fondly recalls his best friend Russ Zieglowsky’s intention to run for mayor in the December election and said that his decision to run for mayor is in honor of Zieglowsky. Zieglowsky, the former council member for Ward 2, died in a white water rafting accident on June 21.

Owner and operator of a janitorial cleaning business in Washington, Schaefer said he hails from Minneapolis and had moved around several places before coming to Washington in 1983. He has a degree from the University of Iowa.

“We (he and Zieglowsky) had talked ­— we are both fiscal conservatives and have the same opinions on things — about our love of Washington and our passion for the town,” he said. “I am running in his memory. My wife and I prayed for a long time about it and decided to run in his memory.”

Schaefer said he has not held political office in the past, but has done plenty of work with both young people and the elderly in town. He said he has been involved with politics in the past. He realizes there would be a learning curve, but thinks he has the credentials to work with the other members of the council. He said he would work hard to find the right answers to doing what is best for the city.

If elected, Schaefer said he would try to be a good steward of taxpayers’ money. As a fiscal conservative, he feels the council shouldn’t just “spend, spend, spend.” He said he wants to work with the council, the supervisors, and the esidents to help keep taxes down. He hopes to find something in the budget where some spending could be cut. He stressed the need to take care of the city’s infrastructure, streets, fire department, and police department.

“This is a place where I have raised my four children,” he said. “This town is important to me and I want it to prosper and be here a long time.”

Schaefer commented he would have to do some more study when asked about what he feels would be the most important issues coming up in the next term.

In working with the council, Schaefer said the most important thing is to find out what the people of Washington want. He said the mayor’s job is to work with the council and to further the job of the council. He said the city needs to work with the businesses, churches, and other entities to make sure the needs of the people are met.

As a businessman, Schaefer said he is a strong supporter of economic development. He said the city needs to work to bring business to Washington, either by recruiting business to town or by encouraging people already in town to start their own business.

“I believe I am passionate about the City of Washington,” he said. “I love the people of Washington. I love the town of Washington. I’m a Christian man. I’m a conservative. I think I would hold the standards of the people. I think I would be a good steward of the town’s money. I feel like I would just do a good job.”

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