At the conclusion of the Marion County Tribune Pella City Candidate Forum, there were unused questions. They were emailed to the candidates. Here are the responses from Liz Sporrer, candidate for an at-large seat.
“Blue collar” is a term we don’t hear much, but they remain the backbone of the community. How would you help to provide them a more affordable home in Pella?
Affordable homes available in our community is incredibly important. Having housing options for individuals and families of all stages and phases of life, at various levels of income will be critical to our community in the future. The city must help bring the right people together to make these housing options become a reality.
What two things can the council do to promote economic growth?
While there are a number of opportunities for the council to promote growth, I think a couple key opportunities are to first, bring businesses, corporations and community members together to align ideas, vision, resources and support. Doing so will help drive the opportunities into reality. Second, while there are a few things that are absolutely critical in maintaining our community such as infrastructure and housing, it is important to be able to offer amenities to our community. When you think about destinations you think about what that area has to offer. By bringing more amenities to our community, we will continue to be a destination to not only visit on the weekend, but also call home. This is important as we think about the increasing costs of keeping up our community while having a larger taxable base.
Will you uphold policy to maintain or enhance Pella’s heritage?
This question is difficult. It depends how you define our heritage. Pella was founded by a risk-taker and built by innovators. The Dutch are known for being inventive, problem solvers and pragmatic. This is our heritage. If it’s in reference to the tangible ways you can see our connection to the Dutch culture, I’m hugely in favor of maintaining our Dutch traditions. We have a beautiful community with so many who have ties to Dutch lineage or have adopted this Dutch culture as their own. Our true heritage will forever be foundational to who Pella is.
What are your plans for, and views of, the Pella dog park?
I love the idea of the dog park and absolutely want to see this park become a reality. This is the perfect example of an amenity that could serve so many people in a unique way. The plans drawn up demonstrate a well thought out plan and attention to important details. To my best understanding, the next step forward is to confirm land for the park. Then those involved in the park can begin their work of building this space for our community to come together.
Should the council review the properties owned by the City and look into disposing any of it or transferring it to an organization in town that utilizes it more than the City?
Facilities and properties owned by the city should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure all assets of the City are being used in a way that best serves the community. Upon that review, the discussion should take into account the use of the facility and the economic impact of all possibilities.