Write-in candidate enters NY Mills Mayoral race
Kevin Cederstrom firstname.lastname@example.org A new candidate for mayor in New York Mills has jumped in as a late entrant to the race. Lynn Kasma announced last week she is running as a write-in candidate against Chuck Fredley and Larry Hodgson, who both filed...
A new candidate for mayor in New York Mills has jumped in as a late entrant to the race. Lynn Kasma announced last week she is running as a write-in candidate against Chuck Fredley and Larry Hodgson, who both filed earlier for candidacy and will have their names on the official ballot.
Kasma hadn't originally given much thought to running for mayor, but after some consideration decided to make the move for the city's top political spot.
"I have a vision of New York Mills where people no longer see themselves as 'haves' or 'have nots'," Kasma said. "A recent seminar on eliminating poverty brought into focus ideas on how we, as a community, can create our own opportunities, giving everyone hope for the future. My inexhaustible Pollyana attitude is contagious, and sometimes annoying, but nonetheless will keep me fueled to find new solutions to old problems. Moving forward with a common goal we can accomplish anything and become an example of how small rural communities can thrive and take care of their own."
Last week the Herald profiled Fredley and Hodgson, featuring questions and answers on issues like economic development and the city's current priorities.
Kasma addressed some of the same issues, saying there are two ways to approach economic development. The first involves the solid assets New York Mills has in place to attract new residents and businesses, and finding ways to effectively market them. One simple way, she says, is to produce a comprehensive brochure extolling the community's attributes and engage everyone, including businesses, churches, residents and the public sector, to spread the word on what a great place this is to live.
The second approach is economic development through economic stability for current residents.
"We need to find grass roots solutions to national problems our state and federal governments have failed to provide," she says. "Imagine living in a model city providing alternative fuel choices using locally produced bio fuels, affordable health care coverage, low cost housing and stabilized local service fees. We can work together to make the working poor among us a thriving working class with equal opportunities for advancement."
Kasma moved to NY Mills 10 years ago as a way to "escape the exhausting cycle I was caught in in the Cities". By moving to Mills, Kasma wanted to provide a better, less hectic and materialistic focus towards life for her daughter, who is the center of her universe. She picked Mills because she had family here and there was a cultural center for arts and a public library.
Kasma says although she had landed in the middle of paradise, there was a sad side too. She realized it is hard to make a living wage and the jobs that are "good paying" are not appropriate for middle aged women. She says there is a distinct working poor and the "have nots" resent the "haves". To combat this she became the Mills IMPACT Coordinator where she says her empathy helped to clearly outline how IMPACT could, at least, have a positive effect on benefitting kids.
Her concerns are shared by most. How do we stabilize or reduce heating costs, city fees and property taxes without adversely affecting our current expectation of services? Kasma says it would be unfair to fault current or past administrations that have struggled with aging infrastructure, reduced state aid and escalating fuel prices beyond their control.
"I personally feel they've done a great job," she says. "What I can bring to the table are 30 years of management experience, 32 years of volunteering and creative, thoughtful alternatives that fall outside the box.
"I am educated, hardworking, fearless and willing to give countless hours to a community I've come to love since moving here 10 years ago. As a single working mother, always struggling to get ahead while providing opportunities for my daughter, I can empathize with economically challenged households who simply need a break. If there is a break to be found, I'll find it or find a way to create it."