Welcome to our “Candidate Viewpoint of the Day” series, showcasing the Fond du Lac City Council Candidates and their viewpoints on important issues in our community. Each day through April 1, we’ll feature a different question along with the candidate’s responses. All six City Council candidates have been invited to participate. For more information on the candidate and their viewpoints, please click on their name to visit their social media site.
Question 4: There are several projects or initiatives in the community that impact our retail and recreation opportunities: the mall, downtown, Lakeside Park, and others. What should be the City’s role in exploring and supporting enhancements to improve our shopping and recreation options?
Derek TerBeest: The city’s level of involvement depends on the type of opportunity. For Lakeside Park, the city owns it and updates it. As we look at building new facilities, we must remember the purpose is for the community to make better use of the awesome asset we already have. Local events and the beautiful park are the attraction, the facilities are there to assist people’s use of those attractions. As for the mall and downtown, the city provides incentives to attract businesses. We need to make sure those investments are long term and forward looking, not just the cool new thing.
Brian Kolstad: While local government cannot create commerce, we can build a foundation that supports economic growth. Ensuring that our property taxes are fair without large fluctuations from year to year, updating our zoning to support desired development, and responsible, targeted Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) are all tools that we can use to support economic development. When considering financial assistance, the City must be cautious and evaluate the need, cost, risk, and return just as we would evaluate any investment. The same applies to park improvements. We need to continually ask, “How will this make our community a better place to live?”