CLEAR LAKE — Two candidates are running for the at-large seat on the Clear Lake City Council. Creighton Schmidt served as the city’s finance director for three years but resigned earlier this year to take a job with Marriott International Corporation. Christopher Hogg is a lifelong Clear Lake resident who currently is a principal operations consultant for Xcel Energy.
Hogg currently serves on the city’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. “My time there has given me an opportunity to see the inner workings of the city. It allows me to bring the public input that I get, take it, put it into an idea, work it with our board members of the Park & Rec Board, and then see the project actually develop.”
Hogg says the city’s connections with organizations needs to continue to be solid. “I’d like to continue to work with our organizations. The Association for the Preservation of Clear Lake, it’s an amazing community that they are doing there. The lake is our lifeblood of Clear Lake. Everything we do is about Clear Lake. That’s how we draw our tourists in, and that’s what we get to do for our recreation, so that’s a dual use for us. We’ve got to make sure we maintain that and keep that good.”
Hogg says working with the school district as well as making sure the city’s public works department is solid are also keys for the city in the next four years. “We need to keep working with the school district and just to make sure we use those synergies with these organizations so we can continue to grow. The Wellness Center is a great example of that on how we paired with them. Finally we need to make sure we are working with our public works department, our safety department. They have an always changing environment. We can grow from 8000 people today and have 40,000 people here for the Color the Wind and be back to 8000 people the next day.”
Schmidt says despite leaving his city job, staff let him know he would always be welcome to help the city in any capacity. “Those that worked for the city, those who served the city, they let me know that I would always have a place here, and that I would be able to serve in some capacity, whether that capacity is on different boards in the city, whether it’s just volunteering for certain things, I would always be able to serve in this community. That meant a ton to me, I couldn’t have made that decision without knowing that.”
Schmidt says one of the key things for the city in the next four years is positive economic growth. “We have great facilities ready to go for those out in Emerald Edge, the development out by the Fairfield. We have the infrastructure in place. Continued growth in that area. Our existing businesses need more people to come here to fill their jobs, which is why housing and putting people first is something I believe in in anything I do, and that’s our associated and that’s our citizens.”
Schmidt says partnerships within the community help promote community growth. “When you think about growth, there’s these different groups that have come up since I’ve been here that we weren’t thinking of that. It’s not anyone in here that comes up with this, it’s the community that comes up with these ideas. You think about pickleball that wasn’t happening anywhere here, and now they’re going to be building courts. They already use the Wellness Center. The Bash at the Lake was a new event. That wasn’t something dreamed up in here. That was something dreamed up out there by the people that want to see it happen.”
Two other council seats on the ballot are uncontested elections as First Ward councilman Mark Ebeling is running for another term, with political newcomer Beth Ann Schumacher running for the council’s Third Ward seat.
The candidates made their comments during a candidate forum sponsored by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce and KGLO News last week. Head to this story at kglonews.com to watch the entire forum.