Larry Lee Britton has not responded to our questionnaire.
Question 1: Why are you running for office?
Ed Rieker: North Platte has been my home for nearly 40 years and I believe part of my civic duty is to give back to my home community. I have watched over the years how our taxes continue to go up and we offer stimulus plans to various entities under the guise that we must bring more people to town which will lower the per capita tax burden. Just the opposite has happened as our population has been declining since 2011 and taxes continue to increase.
Question 2: What experience do you bring to the office?
Rieker: I HAVE OPERATED MY OWN BUSINESS FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS WHICH HAS TAUGHT ME THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH OTHER PEOPLE, LISTENING TO THEIR IDEAS AND BUILDING ON THEM TO DISCOVER OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT. BEING ON THE HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD TAUGHT ME THE IMPORTANCE OF EVALUATING THE COST/BENEFIT OF IDEAS ALWAYS WITH THE THOUGHT THAT THE TAX MONEY WHICH WE WERE SPENDING WAS TAKEN FROM HARD WORKING PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEEDS AND DREAMS OF THEIR OWN.
Question 3: What makes you the best candidate?
Rieker: My position of marketing with W Design Associates and as president of ALPHA & Associates have given me a very broad understanding of how to work with people all the while searching for ideas and options which can lower operation costs, improve efficiency and be responsive to the needs of those we work for. Running my own business has also shown me that I cannot do everything nor have everything and there are times when the answer is no.
Question 4: What changes do you wish to see if you are elected?
Rieker: A REDUCTION IN THE BURDENSOME GOVERNMENTAL RULES AND REGULATIONS AT A LOCAL LEVEL. I HOPE TO REDUCE PER CAPITA TAX BURDENS TO MAKE NORTH PLATTE ONE OF THE LOWEST TAXED CITIES IN NEBRASKA AND USE THIS ADVANTAGE TO ENTICE MANUFACTURING AND INDUSTRY TO COME TO NORTH PLATTE THUS PROVIDING STABLE AND HIGH PAYING JOBS FOR THE GENERAL POPULATION.
Question 5: How do we address the housing shortage issues in the city?
Rieker: STOP INJECTING GOVERNMENT MONEY INTO THE SYSTEM. GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY INFLATES COSTS WHICH PREVENTS THE FREE MARKET FROM WORKING PROPERLY. THIS ULTIMATELY DRIVES UP THE OVERALL COST OF PROJECTS AND INCREASES THE TAX BURDEN OF THE POPULATION-- CONCENTRATING THE WEALTH INTO FEWER AND FEWER HANDS.
Question 6: How does the city manage the Iron Eagle Golf Course to make it profitable?
Rieker: HIRE BRUCE RICHMAN TO AUCTION IT OFF.
Question 7: How do we encourage more downtown business to the area and revitalize it?
Rieker: STOP "PAYING" BUSINESS TO LOCATE OUT OF THE DOWNTOWN THROUGH TIF AND TAX INCENTIVES. THE USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS HAS ENCOURAGED BUSINESS' TO BUILD AWAY FROM THE DOWNTOWN. ADDITIONALLY, WE MUST WORK DILIGENTLY TO LOWER OUR TAX BURDEN AND BRING IN STABLE AND HIGH PAYING JOBS, I.E. MANUFACTURING AND INDUSTRY. RETAIL BUSINESS' MUST HAVE CUSTOMERS AND OUR HIGH TAXES ARE A MAJOR DISINCENTIVE TO INCREASING OUR POPULATION BASE.
Question 8: How should we attract young people to live and stay in North Platte?
Rieker: REDUCE OUR TAX BURDEN! THE HIGH TAXES IN NORTH PLATTE ARE A MAJOR PROBLEM. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED WITH MINIMAL FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND THEN TO HIT THEM WITH THE HIGH PROPERTY TAXES MAKES IT EASIER FOR THEM TO LOOK ELSEWHERE TO MAKE THEIR HOME.
Question 9: What should the city do to enhance the sports and outdoor activities in the city?
Rieker: I DON'T BELIEVE IT IS GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILTY TO PROVIDE SPORTS AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. WE HAVE PARKS, CONCRETE HIKING AND BICYCLE PATHS AND HUNTING AND FISHING ALONG WITH A VARIETY OF OTHER OPPORTUNITIES WHICH DO NOT REQUIRE GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT.
Question 10: What are your thoughts about using TIF financing for economic development? Should we use it?
Rieker: ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! TIF MAY BE PROPERLY USED TO REDEVELOPE SOME OF THE OLD AND DILAPIDATED BUILDINGS AND SITES ON THE NORTH SIDE BUT NOT AS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOL.
Question 11: What role do you see technology-based industries playing in the future growth of North Platte?
Rieker: NORTH PLATTE HAS CURRENT DATA TRANSFER AND STATE OF THE ART TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE WHICH WILL ALLOW VIRTUALLY ANY INDUSTRY TO LOCATE HERE.