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 Tony Bokhoven, candidate for an at-large council 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? One of the projects im heavily involved in with Council Member Branderhorst , is the Oskaloosa Street Corridor Project. As part of that project, we are focusing on restoring and rebuilding neighborhoods. As part of that we are looking ar cleaning up areas with heavy urban blight and then working with builders to find grant money to build homes in a range that could attract a wide range of resident, young, elderly and the Blue Collar residents. The South side was built on people who worked with their hands every day, and our intention is to honor them.
What two things can the council do to promote economic growth? Economic growth is something that effects the entire community, not just downtown. Having said that one project is a sit down with members of the PHRC to understand their desires to improve parking in the Central Business District.
Another initiative I am passionate about is driving business to the South side of Pella. As Council, we can work with interested parties to adjust zoning and regulations to accommodate a wide variety of commerce.
Will you uphold policy to maintain or enhance Pella’s heritage? Our heritage has been one of my top concerns. I have been very vocal about making sure our heritage be guarded and protected to allow Pella to remain unique and proud of who we are.
What are your plans for, and views of, the Pella dog park? Following the election I have committed to sit down with a small group of Pella Dog Park Association members and another council member to understand how we can start in a more manageable way and begin making forward progress on the Dog Park.. There are lots of conversations already in progress to make this happen.
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? Fiscally, we are always being mindful of property and land use. We have a high demand for space and facility needs. In addition we ae evaluating how to repurpose facilities and land.