NEW BREMEN – The New Bremen mayor’s race will be contested in the November General Election. Candidates Craig Hoffman and Robert Parker both said they have goals for the village that are based on their past experience on village council.
Robert Parker, who has served on council for six years, said he wants to keep the village moving in the same positive direction seen under the leadership of current Mayor Jeff Pape. Pape declined to run again after 20 years in the post. Parker said he would like to see more work on the village infrastructure while remaining fiscally responsible, keeping taxes low. In particular, Parker said he wants to continue projects already begun, such as considering projects that cooperate with surrounding villages to consolidate services such emergency services.
Parker said the accomplishments he is most proud of include being chair of the Komminsk Legacy Park restroom committee, as well as seeing the construction of the new village safety building and public works building. Most recently, he was part of getting a new electrical substation built south of town. He said adding the new K-9 unit increased safety in the village. If elected his highest goals would be to push for affordable starter-level homes in and around New Bremen, more options for senior citizens, and purchasing acreage for their land-locked village.
Before being a councilman, Parker served as an EMS member for 10 years, two of those years as president. He still volunteers as treasurer and occasional driver for the group.
Parker is currently CFO at Waibel Energy Systems in Vandalia.
Craig Hoffman said that if elected, his first goal would be to set up a financially responsible agenda, including maintaining the traditional $1 million fund council has set back for emergencies. Instead, he said income projections would dictate the budget for village projects.
He said his second goal would be to improve communications between village departments because sharing ideas between departments would facilitate innovation. “I’m not a political person, and if a good idea is a good idea, it does not matter who came up with it,” he said. He felt it would also ensure employee satisfaction with their positions because they are being heard.
Hoffman served 14 years as a councilman, ending in 2015. Accomplishment s during that period included serving as chair of the Komminsk Legacy Park committee. Also, the Crown Pavilion was erected during his tenure and several road projects were successfully completed.
Hoffman is a fifth generation New Bremen native. His family began operating Hoffman Decorating in 1876 and he serves as the current owner.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.