Pella residents had the opportunity to hear from city council candidates before voting at the polls during a forum co-hosted by the Pella Area Community and Economic Alliance and 92.1 KRLS on Oct. 10.

The forum primarily focused on current issues related to business development in the community.

“We need to be champions of our business community, whether a resident, employee, business owner or in community leadership,” said PACE Alliance executive director Karen Eischen in her opening remarks.

All 11 candidates were allotted one minute to answer each question and began the evening with opening statements. Central College political science professor Andrew Green and Dr. Bob Leonard of KNIA/KRLS co-hosted the forum, which was broadcast live on 92.1 KRLS.

Candidates were asked to identify the biggest challenges and opportunities in Pella, what unique experiences they would each bring to each, what roles the city council should play in overcoming a sometimes negative perception of doing business in the community, and how the business and corporate community can support the city council.

Candidates were also questioned about their thoughts on population growth, what role the city council should play in attracting new talent to the community, strategies for recruitment and retention of young professionals, how the city council should address the need for childcare, and thoughts on preserving the community’s Dutch history while also creating a balance between that history and incorporating new businesses.

Residents read the candidate’s written responses by visiting https://admin.pella.org/opportunities-for-business/the-chamber/get-to-know-the-candidates-for-city-council/.

Emily Hawk can be reached at ehawk@pellachronicle.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-628-3882.

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