Steiner will run again for city commission
DICKINSON - When Carson Steiner first moved to Dickinson in 1980, he never entertained the thought he would be here 20-plus years later. "But getting involved back then with the park district and now the city commission, I couldn't even think of ...
DICKINSON - When Carson Steiner first moved to Dickinson in 1980, he never entertained the thought he would be here 20-plus years later.
"But getting involved back then with the park district and now the city commission, I couldn't even think of living anywhere else than Dickinson," he said this past week.
Steiner is running for a third term on the Dickinson City Commission, as his is one of three seats up for re-election this year. Also up for re-election is Mayor Dennis Johnson, who is seeking another term, and Rhonda Dukart, who is not seeking a third term.
"The community has just been so supportive of me and I appreciate that fact," Steiner said. "This is one of the ways I can contribute possibly back to them for the support they have given me. I think they expect honest and fair decisions. I hope that's what I am giving them."
Steiner remembers participating in his initial candidate forums eight years ago and talking about changes people wanted to see.
"One of them was, let's get the attitude of Dickinson going in a different direction. Let's try to make it positive," he said. "I think with the positive people on the (commission), you're going to have a positive community."
He thinks the community has done a 180-degree turnaround with its thinking since he first ran for office. That's not to say there still aren't challenges ahead.
"I think a lot of projects will get looked at closely. But I think the community is going to look at them positively and put a lot more of their thoughts into it," he said. "I think they have become more and more comfortable with us. I've had so many people in the last two to three years just walk into my office and say 'It's nice to come in and just sit down with you.'"
He said the commission lives its "open door" door approach.
"At the end of every meeting, we ask if there are any concerns from the citizens out there, so they know they can come," Steiner said. "And we've had some people there."
He said the city has a full plate waiting over the next four years, and thinks his experience is going to help address some of the issues ahead. One such issue is the fact there have been 334 single-family building permits, 162-multi-family building permits and 64 commercial building permits from 2000-2006.
"Our infrastructure has to grow with that, our water and sewer and all of that has to be taken into consideration," Steiner said.
The commission is preparing to construct a new water tower immediately north of Interstate 94 along State Avenue to address the growth that's expected there.
"Of course, everyone is talking now about the hospital. My view on the hospital is that is something we're going to have to take a look at," he said. "That is a decision that the board is not going to make. That is going to have to come from the community."
There also are such things as the proposed renovation of the Dickinson State University Whitney Stadium, possible expansion of the Dickinson Days Inn and other projects.
"I think the next four years, we might have a lot of public participation in our meetings," Steiner said. "When you have a plate full of things like that, that's good, we're going in the right direction. The worst thing is for me to sit here and say there is nothing, we're status quo, let's go on."
He also points to the city's improved position in recruiting police staff by increasing salaries, the improved relationship among the city and rural fire departments, the library expansion, the continuation of a city tax service, the new baler building and improved waste management system and continued increases in sales tax revenues as big positives for the city over the past four to five years.