Candidate Questionnaire: Ian Martin

Ian Martin

Ian Martin

As a service to the Hastings community, and to ensure local voters are fully informed about their choices in this year’s City Council campaign, the Hastings Progressives group sent all seven of the candidates for the two Hastings City Council At-Large seats a questionnaire. We informed each candidate that their responses would be published as received on our website and our Facebook page. Hastings Progressives will NOT be endorsing candidates for the August 9 primary, but may make endorsement(s) for the November general election. Questions or comments? Please email us at: [email protected]

What are your priorities if elected?

Enhancing public safety staffing to maintain a more proactive presence in our community.

Getting the focus of initiatives citywide to ensure are parks and corridors are getting the attention they deserve, and need.

Fiscal responsibility. Ensure each decision made has a solid business case justification and that the ask fits the need (vehicles, equipment etc.).

Staff retention. It is reprehensible that we’ve allowed key positions to slip behind the average by double digits of their neighboring counterparts in other cities. We can and must do better moving forward.

Why are you running for Hastings City Council?

I feel my years on several city commissions along with my professional skillset has positioned me well to exceed if elected to council. I am the only candidate running with a master’s degree in Public Administration and feel that I have the knowledge of public finance, collaborative governance, and public policy to serve the citizens of Hastings ethically, efficiently, and will lead with an even-keeled approach to become fully informed before any decisions are made.

What is the best thing about Hastings?

It’s history and riverfront. These are two assets that most communities do not share with Hastings and make us unique, especially with our proximity to a major metro area.

What do you want to see be fixed in Hastings?

Aside from what was mentioned in number one, I am hearing repeatedly from residents that local government as of late is lacking leadership and communication, namely with projects like 316, and concerns about the upcoming CR47 project. In my opinion, the project was a complete failure and has cut off residents to getting their mail and packages and has created other unsafe issues such as humps in the road that cause vehicles and trailers to bottom out. We also need to address code violations such as the Thorwood Mansion. It’s been five years since the fires, why is it still standing? I understand it is historic but it’s a public safety issue that needs to be addressed.

Do you support connecting Hastings to Metro Transit or the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority in order to increase transportation opportunities for residents? If not, how would you improve transportation to and from Hastings?

To make an informed opinion of this, I would need to hear from experts the costs and what the services would look like if Hastings would join the transit taxing district. I know in past years; the pushback has been that the ROI on the tax versus the services that would actually be realized for residents to utilize didn’t make sense economically.

What would you do to ensure residents have clean drinking water?

Ensure that testing at all wells is at or exceeding minimum frequency requirements and that treatment options are well vetted and proactive so that we don’t experience an outbreak ever again. We owe that to all residents of Hastings.

Hastings has an issue with unsheltered people living in our community. What should the city do to help these individuals?

When I worked as a police officer in Minneapolis/St. Paul, each city had a handbook they created that offered various resources such as shelter, food, healthcare and transportation options available to the unsheltered that officers could give out to these folks. Since it was printed, it was always available to them versus being electronic which I feel is important if technology isn’t easily accessible. I feel that mental health comes into play here as well so partnering with professionals in that arena could be beneficial in reducing the unsheltered if we can get them the help they need. Many times, it’s more than food and shelter they are seeking.

Do you feel Hastings is a welcoming community? Why or why not?

If you’re from here yes and if you’re not, then you may have a long row to hoe. I think it all depends on how active people choose to be in the community. Immersing yourself in events, social media groups, church etc. will definitely open doors for folks who haven’t always called Hastings “home”. I guess it’s my opinion that a community is only as welcoming as you want it to be. Sitting inside behind a screen won’t help anyone no matter where you live or who you are. Put the phone down, get out there and get active! Hastings has so much to do and offer I can’t market our great city more!

Do you support the formation of an Arts Commission?

100% YES! Many people don’t know this about me but I am very artistic. Most of the artwork in our home are pieces that I’ve done over the years. I’ve entered several shows and still love doing it although finding time right now is becoming harder and harder. Arts tie people together regardless of what makes us different. The way artists express themselves and imply meaning is what makes it so great. In a town rich in history like Hastings, art can tell a story of the past to the future and I feel that our city needs to embrace that mission with open arms.