Election 2008-Morris City Council: Mike Grittner
Please tell us about your background (family, occupation, experience, community involvement, etc.)
Member of the American Legion and Life member of AmVets;
Small business owner. (Grittner Party Bus);
Morris School Bus Driver, Bus 5;
Treasurer for the Morris Area Bus Driver's Association, and member of its negotiation committee to the school board;
Enlisted in the Army Reserve at the age of 17 when I was a junior in high school, as a Military Police Officer with the 79th MP Co., out of Rochester, Minn.;
Graduate of Morris Area High School, Class of 2001;
Activated for Post security at Ft. McCoy WI shortly after 9/11;
Deployed to Iraq, January 2003 to April 2004;
Honorable discharge after eight years of service, February 2008;
Engaged to be married to my fiance, Lori Mohr, in June 2009.
What qualifies you for a seat on the council?
My service in the military taught me how to be a leader. And owning my own business has taught me the importance of fiscal responsibility and management, which is exactly what this city needs right now.
Local governments are increasingly having to raise property taxes to balance their budgets while state aid, in many cases, is falling. What will you do about this situation?
Strictly analyze the city's needs and requirements for operation and cut out unneeded luxuries that this city doesn't need or require in order to keep a lower tax rate for the citizens of Morris.
What is the city's role in economic development and job creation, and what would you do as a council member to keep the city an attractive place for businesses and residents?
I will closely watch the property tax rates and assessments. Keeping taxes low encourages businesses and people to move here and stay here. With the amount of taxes we pay now, it is cheaper for those future residents and businesses to locate to neighboring cities than to come to Morris. And I would like to change that.
What other issues do you plan to make priorities if you are elected?
I plan to do something about lowering or eliminating property tax assessments! Just because a new road may be put down in front of your home, doesn't mean you should get the entire bill for that new road. Everyone benefits from that new road, not just you alone. An example being the road construction going on now, when it is completed. It obviously affects almost everyone in town, not just one person.
Also, I will look into renewable energy and conservation for the city. We have an awesome model in our own back yard with the things the University of Minnesota, Morris is doing with its wind turbine and bio mass facility. If the city buildings and street lights were powered by turbines, we would save money on power. And could then sell the excess power not being used onto the power grid and make money for the city.