Two longtime Storm Lake residents have announced their intentions to campaign for seats on the Storm Lake City Council in the upcoming election.
Mike Porsch says he can lend a diverse perspective as the city seeks to build on its current progress. Jody Hocking feels he can offer budget-conscious leadership and help to avoid a "$300,000 mistake," as he termed the city's recent firing of Leisure Hotels in management of King's Pointe resort.
After considering running for some time, Porsch says he feels it's time. In past years he has been approached about running but said he didn't feel he had the time to devote as he was a full-time business owner raising three children.
Now with two of his kids in college and his business, Ressler Drug, sold to Hy-Vee, Porsch feels he has time to offer. "What better was to spend my time?" he says. "The timing is good.
"We're at a spot in Storm Lake where we've really made progress. We've made strides and I want to be a voice to keep that progress going." Compared to other cities its size who may struggle to survive, Storm Lake is well positioned, but Porsch says City leaders need to continue to look forward for growth.
Porsch has lived in Storm Lake for 40 years, and served with many community groups and boards.
The result, he says, is a diverse perspective on the many different entities that make up the community. Currently he is a board member for Storm Lake United and a member of the Storm Lake School District Foundation as well as a member of the youth baseball and sfoftball commission. He is a past president for the Chamber of Commerce, a past president of the Industrial Corp., past president of the SL Baseball Association and has served on the board at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Storm Lake and has been a member of the Iowa Pharmacy Association.
Porsch says after observing council persons in the past it takes a person who can not only think for themselves but also be willing to listen to others input, take the time to research the issue at hand and look at as many sides as you can. He says not everyone will agree but it is important to listen to each side. He says if elected he will do his best to serve the community and be informed on decisions being made. Mike and his wife Lori have three children, Alyssa, Nate and Jake. Jake is a sophomore at Storm Lake High School.
Jody Hocking says after retiring from the Storm Lake Volunteer Fire Department earlier this year after 19 years of serving, says serving on the council would be another great way to give back to the community. He says he believes a good representative will be one who is in tune with the community. "Know what's going on as well as getting out and seeing the citizens/residents, seeing what problems or what things are going good," he says.
Hocking says there are several things he'd like to see the City work on but one project that sticks out in his mind that but says he is finally glad to see the campground project finally in the works and says it's in "dire" need of renovation. Hocking says as he was talking to people for signatures, the campground has been one of the topics on their minds.
"I definitely think that there's going to be some big issues that are coming up and I think somebody on the council definitely has to be willing to ask 'why' and definitely be willing to say 'no," he says. "We don't need another $300,000 mistake," he says. He says he firmly believes firing of the Leisure Hotels and Resorts, former management company of King's Pointe was a 'mistake,' and a burden for taxpayers. He offered no further comment. The City agreed to a $280,000 settlement to avoid a lawsuit from Leisure. Hocking also says a good council representative will be one who will look carefully at the budget and know what can be spent with the current economy.
Hocking who has lived in Storm Lake for 28 years is a past president of the Kiwanis Beavers and past president of the United County Board of Realtors. He also worked at Century 21 and King's Pointe Regatta Grille. Hocking no longer works at King's Pointe and says he will probably get back into the real estate business. Hocking has two children; Jaimie, a senior at Storm Lake High and Justin. Hocking has not yet filed his papers.
Nominations for city election ballots began run through Sept. 17.