In anticipation of Election Day, The Western News posed seven questions to the three candidates for mayor of Troy. One candidate — Dallas Carr — is a current council member. The other two candidates are Charles Ekstedt and Chris Penner. Ekstedt did not respond by press deadline.
The questions and their answers, lightly edited for style and spelling, are published below.
(Editor’s note: One other candidate for city office — Shawna Kelsey for City Council — was elected by acclamation after no one ran in opposition.)
Please describe your public service experience.
Dallas Carr: I have been on the Troy City Council the last four years and have volunteered going on six years for the Troy Fourth of July as of late. I also volunteered for the Fourth during the 70s and 80s when I could. I was on the Troy Activity Center Committee, plus coached a multitude of age brackets in baseball, football, and softball through the years. Volunteering is extremely important to me, especially in a small community such as Troy.
Chris Penner: I have no “true” public service experience, but I have worked with the public all my life. I know how to work with others to get things done.
What motivates you to serve the public?
Carr: Time and love of Town. Being retired now has given me the opportunity to get in and stay involved in city matters. We are at a time now that has made keeping our heads above water, harder to do each and every year. But with hard work and having a well trained work force, along with our community at heart, we can maintain and keep things running as smooth as possible.
Penner: My desire to make things better for the people of Troy.
What is it about your background or experience that informs or shapes your public service?
Carr: My family dates back to 1904 here in Troy. And boy, have I heard the stories through the years. And because of that, I’ve learned to appreciate those that have stepped up before me and what they have done to make our town what it is today. So I feel the need to do what I can to bring in new ideas and some old, and those that citizens have talked with me about. I also worked at the ASARCO Troy mine for 21 years, where I gained leadership experience from being a underground shift foreman, for 12 of those years.
Penner: I started working at a Shell gas station during the gas shortage of 1973; Dealing with the “unhappy” public was quite a learning experience. I moved from there to Electrical Lead man at a Mobile Home factory, learning to make sure my team’s work was beyond government specs. I also trained each member of my team in each of the steps on the line so there was never a time that my team caused the line to shut down. Then for 30 years, I was a long haul truck driver, the last five as an owner/operator (during which I) worked with the public on a daily basis. I also owned a truck alignment business.
To the extent you have served the public, what are your proudest accomplishments?
Carr: Volunteering and seeing the difference it can make in individuals and our town! Sure I’m proud of my time on the city council and what we all have accomplished, and also all the teams I’ve helped coach throughout the years. But its really when one volunteers, that he or she can see the difference it truly makes. A smile, a hand shake, or just a thank you goes along way.
Penner: Having 30 years of driving across America accident free and ticket free for altogether 3 million miles. Learning the “right way” to handle the “angry” public while also working with law enforcement in 1973.
What do you see as your city’s most pressing concerns and how will you address them if elected?
Carr: As always, money. We as a small town, now with lack of industry (mining and logging) in our area that helped provide a tax base, have and must continue to tighten our belts and apply what revenue we generate, to the best interest of our town. We still have to pay our bills! With that being said there are still ways to benefit our community and make it something we can be proud of. We just have to think out of the box, be proactive, and do our best to make it happen.
Penner: I would like to look at the budget for snow removal and equipment maintenance and street repair.
What is your profession?
Carr: After graduating from Troy High School in 1973, I was thinking not of going to college, but working for St. Regis Lumber Company. And I did, like so many others. I worked at other saw mills also, but in 1979 Art Young took me to see Ted Rollins, who was the personal manager for the ASARCO Troy Unit at the time. I got the job, worked there until the mine closed in 1993 and stayed on, working care and maintenance until 2000. Unfortunately I was injured during the time of the mine closure and was forced to retire.
Anything else you would like to say to voters?
Carr: Please, as Troy citizens, get out and vote. It’s true what they say, you can’t complain if you don’t vote.
So make your choice, but then get on board with whomever wins and do your part as a citizen of Troy, to help make our town safer, better and a town we can be all proud of!
Penner: If you elect me as your mayor, my door will always be open to any and all. I will always remember that you, the people of Troy, put me in office.