Four Fountain residents seeking two open seats on city council

In Fountain, current mayor Richard Kujath did not file for re-election, but Jim Schott, who is serving on the council now, filed for the office of mayor. Schott’s council term is up at the end of the year.

The other council member whose term expires, Bryan Ostby, didn’t file for re-election. Colleen Foehrenbacher, Terry Hanson, Ron Reisner and Michael Root filed for two open council seats.

Foehrenbacher and her husband, Tony, have lived in Fountain for a little over two years. She is originally from Ohio, but came to Minnesota about eight years ago to work at Eagle Bluff. She and her husband have two dogs and she is a member of a roller derby team, which is a non-profit. She serves on the board of directors for the roller derby team and helps schedule bouts with other teams.

Hanson is a truck driver and has been married to his wife, Cindy, for 36 years. They have three grown children, Jimmy, John and Julie. His a former member of the Fountain Fire Department.

Reisner and his wife, Mary, moved with their daughter, Nella, to Fountain in 1988. He grew up in a small town in rural Iowa and farmed with his father until he was 21, when he started working construction equipment. He worked in that area for 20 years, after which he was an equipment/diesel mechanic for more than 20 years. He retired last year and has been running his own small business, Ronella Lawn and Garden. He was a member of the Lions Club, Fillmore County Historical Society, a former member of the Fountain Fire Department, member of the Trail Days Committee, a member of the Fillmore Free Methodist Church, serving as a missionary to Hondurus to build orphanages for 12 years.

Root is a dairy nutritionist for a family owned company. He and his wife, Emily, have four children, Emma, Henry, Sully and Faith. He and his family have lived in Fountain for two years. He is a member of the Fillmore County Cattleman’s board and is active in the Root River Community Church in Rushford.

What has motivated you to file for this office?

Foehrenbacher: I attended my first council meeting about three or four months ago to support a friend who was interested in changing an ordinance to allow raising chickens in city limits. After going to the meeting, I was intrigued by what the councilmembers and mayor had to say. After that, this is a small town, and I felt this would be a great way to introduce myself and learn what happens in the council. I want to learn more about the community and being there as a young female, I think I can open-minded and offer a different perspective.

Hanson: I’m interested in what the city is working on, and am interested in what will happen with the chickens.

Reisner: I have lived in Fountain for 30 years.  I’ve seen many changes in the town.  We’ve had businesses leave and some come in.  I’d like to help the town continue to grow. 

Root: The city has a lot of good things going for it, some new and fresh ideas would help things along. I have a different point of view. Fountain is a good city and has a lot of potential and I would like to see it going in that direction.

Name one characteristic you have that would enable you to be a valuable member of this office.

Foehrenbacher: I am empathetic and am able to listen to a lot of people’s perspectives and can then look at it and come up with a non-biased solution that can be good for the community. I think that is especially beneficial to our city council.

Hanson: I believe in hard work and hopefully I will work hard to make things better.

Reisner: My background in construction will help. The things I’ve learned from the Lions Club. I just want to stop businesses from leaving town. I’m planning to spend the first year just listening and learning. I like to take the time to see what people are thinking.

Root: In my occupation, I work strongly with a team. I have a down-to-earth attitude and believe in getting back to the basics. I will be devoted to make whatever project comes up be what is best for the city of Fountain and the residents who live there.

Name your top priority for your city and how you would like to see the city address that issue.

Foehrenbacher: I am really curious to start a conversation about how we can bring more small businesses to establish here in Fountain because Fountain is a pretty amazing small community.

Hanson: Settle the issue of whether or not to allow chickens in town.

Reisner: I’d like to see the streets taken care of. I’d like to see some additions like a gas station/convenience store and street upgrades. I’d like to bring town pride back to Fountain.

Root: We need to keep the city appealing to young families. Keep local businesses here and eventually add more businesses, keeping the community active.