Candidate responses are posted exactly as we received them and have not been edited.
Question 1: Why are you running for office?
Ty Lucas: My priority interests are to support the development of affordable/desirable housing and modernizing quality of life opportunities for our citizens. I am willing to serve on the city council if the community feels that I believe in the right objectives and elects me.
Larry Pedersen: In order to give back to this community and bring a thoughtful and conservative voice to the Council.
Question 2: What experience do you bring to the office?
Lucas: 16 year career at NebraskaLand Nat'l Bank, Chief Lending Officer.
Serve on Planning Commission (vice-chair)/Golden Spike Board.
Former Board Chairman of Chamber/Devco and member of Quality Growth Fund review team. (Shot in the Arm Program Development)
Statewide NE Bankers Housing Task Force Member.
Bachelors degree Univ of Florida, Bus Management.
Graduate degree Univ of Wisconsin, Banking.
Experience with TIF and LB840 grants.
My wife and I are both NPHS Graduates and Proud to be Bulldogs.
Pedersen: One term on the Council. I have worked with many of the Dept. heads in my work with Habitat for Humanity.
Question 3: What makes you the best candidate?
Lucas: I have the courage to vote as I believe is best for NP. I will focus on modernization of our quality of life offerings and development of desirable housing. I will listen to citizens and will collaborate with others.
Pedersen: My experience on the Council and my ability to listen to both sides of an issue.
Question 4: What changes do you wish to see if you are elected?
Lucas: Quality growth of the community is the ultimate solution to lowering taxes and improving quality of life opportunities. I will work to lead or support reasonable initiatives that spur quality growth of our community.
Pedersen: I think the present administration does a fine job, however there needs to be a greater effort in improving some of our streets.
Question 5: How do we address the housing shortage issues in the city?
Lucas: NP needs to develop more programs to lead and incent the rehabilitation of existing houses. We also need to ensure that developed lots are available for the home builders to build new homes. I will also support incentives that assist the completion of affordable and desirable housing.
Pedersen: I am not sure the need is as great as some think. It does appear the greatest need is affordable housing in the middle and low income range.
Question 6: How does the city manage the Iron Eagle Golf Course to make it profitable?
Lucas: Iron Eagle is a complex problem and needs a complex solution. The problem is that it is damaging to other private businesses and has a large taxpayer cost per citizen benefit. However, commercial and residential development have gained momentum around Iron Eagle and the momentum needs preserved. I would support the seeking of private-public partnership with private area golf courses. If this does not work, I would then support master planning for conversion to an alternative use.
Pedersen: The first step has already been taken in canceling the contract with Landscapes. I would like to see what affect the new Motels being built in the area will have on usage. Perhaps fees will need to be raised.
Question 7: How do we encourage more downtown business to the area and revitalize it?
Lucas: The last couple of years are a fantastic start to long-term downtown revitalization with the removal of the canopies and initiation of the facade improvement program. We need to continue to develop programs and locate funding sources that support facade improvement, new businesses and upper floor remodel.
Pedersen: Hopefully removing the awnings and the facade program will help.
Question 8: How should we attract young people to live and stay in North Platte?
Lucas: Young people are looking for attractive housing, quality of life offerings, and good jobs. Therefore, we need to increase our supply of affordable housing. NP needs to continue downtown revitalization and upgrade our recreational offerings. Then, we need to preserve our quality employers and recruit new employers.
Pedersen: It will take increased wages to encourage young people to stay in North Platte.
Question 9: What should the city do to enhance the sports and outdoor activities in the city?
Lucas: NP needs to modernize our Recreation Center and continue the expansion of our Trails programs. We need to have ongoing collaboration with the NE Game and Parks to provide more opportunities for our citizens and visitors who enjoy the outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing, hiking, boating and camping.
Pedersen: All sports and outdoor activities should not be the total responsibility of the City. We need some join ventures between the City, the school district and the major employers. I would support a YMCA in North Platte.
Question 10: What are your thoughts about using TIF financing for economic development? Should we use it?
Lucas: TIF financing incentives should be responsibly used in cases where a positive project is not financially feasible without it. TIF is a very valuable tool for redevelopment and the installation of public infrastructure because it can be completed without the net cost of taxpayer money.
Pedersen: I think TIF is a necessary tool in financing economic development. infrastructure is so costly TIF is about the only way for projects to be built.
Question 11: What role do you see technology-based industries playing in the future growth of North Platte?
Lucas: We currently do not have the infrastructure or community style to attract typical technology based companies. However, I think we have the ability to promote and support entrepreneurship with people who live in or grew up in NP and want to live here. I think technology based industry does have a future in NP if we become the place that technology entrepreneurs want to live.
Pedersen: Any industry would be good as long as it provides higher paying jobs.