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Longtime aldermen leaving

Another has yet to reveal election plans

MORRISON – Longtime Morrison City Council members Pat Zuidema and Guy Hayenga are not seeking re-election.

Another longtime member, David Rose, has yet to take out petitions for the April 9 election. He couldn’t be reached for comment on his plans.

A fourth member, Sarah Thorndike, is running for mayor. Alderwoman Marti Wood, former Alderman Bob Snodgrass and resident David Jindrich also are mayoral candidates.

Candidates have until Dec. 24 to file petitions.

Zuidema, who has served on the council since 1985, said it’s time to step aside.

“I love Morrison,” she said Wednesday. “My husband and I would like to enjoy our family and do other things.”

She said she was glad she could help make the sports complex a reality.

“It’s a new venture and a new business,” said Zuidema, 73. “It’ll bring us a hotel sometime. People come for tournaments and want to know whether there are accommodations. There aren’t a lot.”

In the past few years, she said, the council has attracted bigger crowds to its meetings. Many protested the sports complex and the city’s spending on a partially collapsed Main Street building.

“You find out in life that you can’t please everyone,” Zuidema said. “Everyone has a right to their thoughts.”

Zuidema worked for three decades at General Electric in Morrison, retiring in 1995. For the past 7 years, she has been a part-time cafeteria worker for the Morrison schools.

Asked about her preferences in the mayor’s race, she said she hadn’t endorsed anyone but that she was glad Thorndike had entered.

“Sarah is very up on the rules and regulations,” Zuidema said. “She never loses sight of the future.”

She cited Snodgrass’ time as police chief, adding that he has Morrison’s best interests at heart.

Zuidema said Wood needs more experience, and Jindrich, who joined the race after protesting a proposal to put a sewer plant near his home, “jumped in when there was an issue affecting him.”

“I don’t know enough about David,” she said.

Hayenga, 77, noted his 14 years on the council and 25 years with the fire department.

“I think I have served the city well. The last couple of years, things changed,” he said, referring to the opposition to the sports complex and Main Street building. “I thought we did well for the city.”

During an interview, Hayenga, like Zuidema, focused on the sports complex.

“The sports complex is great. Hundreds of kids use it. Parents are out there,” he said. “Visitors to town go to the complex and then go to Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, gas stations. That brings money into the community.”

As for the Main Street building, he said the city could have received state money to help with much of the cost, but a petition by some residents ended that chance.

“We practically had the grant in our hands – until the petition was started,” Hayenga said. “The state got news of it. When [the state] got ahold of that, they figured the people in Morrison didn’t want to do it. That stuck in my craw.”

He said he was proud of Morrison.

“It’s a great little town to live in,” he said. “Just in the last month or so, I have talked to two total strangers, and they said it’s a nice town.”

Who's running?

Listed are the people who have taken out petitions for Morrison city offices in April's election.

Mayor: Sarah Thorndike, David Jindrich, Marti Wood and Bob Sondgrass

City Council

Ward 1: David Zigler, Cheryl Bush and Jim Britt Sr.

Ward 2: Brian Zigler, Nancy Riggen

Ward 3: Curt Bender

Ward 4: Michael DeSpain

Ward 4 (2-year unexpired term): No candidate yet

City Clerk: Melanie Schroeder

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