Brenda Hanken, Council At-large

Brenda Hanken

Address: N. Pine Street 

Why did you want to re-run for city council? It’s been one year since I was elected to the City Council At-large seat. 

My life’s journey has provided me with the opportunities to build leadership skills, to be a productive team member with an open-mind and the necessary strategies to reach an agreement. Problem solving skills come into play when looking for new or different ideas in order to better a situation or a project. Compromising is a great tool, as it CAN create a win-win situation, which would be the ultimate goal. Compromising can be done in many different ways and in many different situations. 

With the economically challenging struggles in life today, seeing another dollar added to this bill or $4 to that bill can be overwhelming. 

I want to be a voice for all people. I am most passionate about the young families, single parents, disabled, elderly on fixed incomes, and those with medical bills that go higher than the sky. 

I am for building a city that is great, but not at the expense of taking down the great people in the city. Without the people, you have no heart, thus, you have no city. 

City council members working with the people of the community could brainstorm many ways to raise some funds needed for projects, along with grants, donations. Raising the bills of the citizens every six to 12 months, OR, building the debt, cannot always be the answer. 

Raising property taxes once AND giving refunds of the 3 percent being charged on the electric, gas, and city department bill (all which are currently collected by the city) might be a workable compromise to some. Limiting huge projects to one every two-plus years might make a difference. Possibly consider re-thinking the benefits and severance package of the highest paid employee of the City of Monticello. Consider a volunteer city council as well as other paid groups becoming volunteers. If they are passionate about the cause, they will be there. 

What are some challenges/issues the city will face in the near future? One of the issues in the very near future will be the sewer plant. The city has known about this for a number of years. 

It has been brought to the attention of the city council that a new ambulance is needed, that the old one is falling apart. Where will the money come from? Those driving the ambulance are not in the moneymaking business. They provide emergency, life-saving skills and transportation to our loved ones. Monticello would not want to go without one. Would you? 

The new yard waste site; why was something so big and expensive purchased if there wasn’t enough money? Yard waste collection is a monthly service received as part of the garbage pick-up (according to CHAPTER 106, COLLECTION OF SOLID WASTE). 

Recycling (again, covered in the chapter of SOLID WASTE) barely covers the cost of picking it up (from what I understand). However, wasn’t recycling first started in order to save the earth/planet for our kids and grandkids? You cannot put a price on that, can you?? Would you? 

The downtown needs answers to get sustainable businesses back; it is going to take some doing, and input from more than a handful of people to accomplish it. 

What good things does Monticello have going for itself? Pride, people, pizza, Cone Shoppe, Kirkwood, and lots of churches! Monticello is like one big family; always there for each other in the most trying of times. And, in the happiest of celebrations. 

Great Jones County Fair, Camp Courageous, Fourth of July Parade, fishing, and floating from the Mon-Maq Dam, are some of the most highly participated in and lots of fun!! 

There are many organizations, groups, volunteering activities, which people participate in. 

Why?? Because they care about their city, the people, the kids, the beauty of the city, the river, the family activities, the safety of all, and the educational development/ enhancement 

What are your thoughts on the city working with Main Street Iowa to help revitalize the downtown? If this isn’t the solution, what is? Mixed. I think it will look nice if we are chosen to do it; however, I think right now, it might be more than the budget will accommodate. I know it is more than what the people can be asked to pay for. 

How should the city handle the re-zoning process when it comes to residential development? I think people are adjusting to the idea that town houses are going to be popping up everywhere at any time. As long as they are owned and not rented, to people who are responsible; and, that the rules are written up in the buyer’s agreement so there are no misunderstandings of what is to be expected of the people living in them. Making sure the property values do not decrease because of a town house located there… Things should be ok, at least for now. 

How should the City of Monticello use and disperse its hotel/motel tax? Should entities such as Jones County Tourism and the Monticello Chamber be allowed a piece of the pie? The hotel/motel tax of the City of Monticello should be used and dispersed for what it was intended, tourism and recreation in Monticello. If the two entities could add to the Monticello tourism, and recreation, it would be great!!! 


Subscriber Login