Brief personal background, education, career, bio: 

John E Waller III

BA Political Science from Concordia College …. Work: Larry’s Supermarket for the past 18 years. 

Can you list a couple of the key issues you are considering in your decision to run?

The need for the city to be proactive instead of reactive. Try and keep the city budget from getting way too out of control. 

Are you in favor of a full-time Pelican Rapids Economic Development director? Why or why not?

Well, as I’m the chairperson for the planning commission and working on different things and I contacted Amy Baldwin of West Central Initiative about Economic Development, and she suggested the city look at the option of contracting with a group called CEDA – https://www.cedausa.com/. They offer grant writing and a variety of community and economic development services. Other cities in the area have used them with a lot of success. I feel that the city should consider this option until we have a new city administrator and that person has the time to settle in and begin working with the city for a period of time. 

A major highway reconstruction of highways 108 and 59 in 2024 will disrupt business and travel through Pelican Rapids. Can you offer your thoughts on how to assist businesses during the difficult construction period?

As both the cities of Detroit Lakes and Battle Lake have both just done major street construction projects, I would contact them and see what worked and didn’t work for them during construction to help the businesses survive. 

What is more important for our city right now: Building new homes and commercial space, or rehabbing-expanding-better utilizing existing homes and storefronts?

I think that the city should not just go down just one path. The city should do a combination of both building new homes as I’m on the planning commission and we are working with the county to build a new housing development where the current city garage is, and then the city should work with the county and state to see if there is any rehab money to fix up storefronts and older homes. 

If you received a $1 million grant for Pelican Rapids city to spend any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

First, I would look at the comprehensive plan to see what the city’s priorities are and maybe work on them. Also, I would use some of the money to repair the old city infrastructure that currently is quite old and needs replacing. 

General comments:

If elected to the Pelican Rapids City Council, I promise to be available to the residents of Pelican Rapids to hear what is on their minds and do what is best for the city while being proactive and not reactive.