Mount Jackson council seats up for election
By Alex Bridges
Mount Jackson voters can choose from four candidates seeking three seats on Town Council in local elections Tuesday.
Councilmen Kenneth H. Hackenbracht and W. Todd Holtzman are running for re-election along with newcomers Roger A. Rudy and Whitney J. Sperry Miller. Long-serving Councilwoman Kay Whetzel chose not to run for re-election.
Hackenbracht, 78, is married with children and grandchildren. Hackenbracht has served almost 16 years on council, elected to three terms and appointed to fill a vacancy.
Asked why he should serve on council, Hackenbracht said he enjoys serving the citizens and has a business background.
“We have a very good council and every time I’ve served I believe we’ve done an excellent job,” Hackenbracht said. “We’re business focused and we try to operate the town as a good business should be run.”
“We’ve done a lot and we have a lot more to do,” Hackenbracht added, noting the town’s work on its water supply system.
Asked what he would do differently on council if re-elected, Hackenbracht said:
“I can’t think of anything that I’d do much differently,” Hackenbracht said. “I think the council, prior councils, have done a good job in running the town. I would continue to try to do the best I can to operate the town in a good, business-focused manner.”
Holtzman, 38, is married with children. Holtzman has served almost four terms on council.
Asked why he should serve on council, Holtzman said, “Being a long term resident in Mount Jackson, what happens here is important to me and I think I have a business mind and can encourage the town to run like a business as it does,” Holtzman said. “I think our whole council has been of a good business mind.”
Holtzman added “I’m a hard worker, I’ve got common sense and I really care about what happens in the town of Mount Jackson.
Asked what he would differently on council if re-elected, Holtzman said:
“At this point I would continue to do the things I have been doing — being available for people who need me, offering any guidance I can and continuing to participate in the process that’s to keep us on the right track,” Holtzman said.
Rudy, 64, is divorced with children and has not held a publicly elected office.
When asked why he should serve on council, Rudy said “I was raised in this area. My parents ran a business in the center of Mount Jackson. I left the area to pursue my career but then, in retirement, decided to move back here because it’s an area I enjoy living in, and I just love the town and would like to see the town prosper, businesses in the town supported and additional businesses attracted to Mount Jackson.”
Asked what he would do different if election, Rudy said: “I’m not sure I would do anything differently. I’ve noticed that there does seem to be efforts to bring new business into town. I’d certainly support that.
“With the work on the addition of the town park in the center of town and some other improvements in the sidewalks and so forth, I would certainly want to continue to encourage and support those kinds of efforts,” Rudy added. “I don’t have an agenda for changing something that’s going on that I’ve heard is unpopular but I haven’t really heard that much about things in the town that people are not happy with.”
Sperry Miller, 32, is married with children. She currently serves on the town’s Planning Commission. Asked why she should serve on council, she cited her experience on the commission.
“After three years on the Planning Commission I’ve gotten to know a little bit more about the town and how it operates, how it works, and Town Council really just seemed like the reasonable next step to kind of get a little bit more involved. I think if you’re going to live in a town and have an opinion about how things look and how things work then you really should try and get involved, “she said.
As to what she would try to do differently if elected to council, Miller said, “Both the Planning Commission and the Town Council and the town leadership have done a good job about being selective of companies and businesses that come into the town and really setting a high standard for what we will accept.”
She said she would like to increase recycling in Mount Jackson by implementing a curbside collection service similar to what some of the other towns have. She also would have the town look into the Rails to Trails program that aims to turn unused train tracks and routes into pedestrian and bike paths.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org