The candidates have answered a set of questions to provide information to the voters of Sleepy Eye.

Christina Andres, candidate for City Councilor, 2nd Ward, four-year term.

Biographical information:

My family roots run deep in this Sleepy Eye community that raised me; then off to college, and gained experience in the Twin Cities Metro, before the fates directed me back to my hometown. My husband Matt is the Chief of Police and we have three children — my daughters are a Freshman and second grader at St. Mary’s Catholic School; while my son is a sixth grader at Sleepy Eye Public School.

I’ve served on the Sleepy Eye Public School Strategic Planning Committee, the St. Mary’s Church Festival Planning Committee, the Economic Development Authority, the Downtown Revitalization Committee, as fiscal agent for Bridging Brown County, and as president of Southwestern MN Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Describe your qualifications to serve on the city council:

•Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University Mankato

•AmeriCorp Promise Fellow for Camp Fire USA St. Paul

•An educator for more than 10 years, in both the public and private sector

•Elementary and high school sports coaching for over 10 years

As Executive Director for the Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce, supporting local businesses, networking organizations, and coordinating community events has given me first-hand insight to the drive of our citizens and their aspirations for Sleepy Eye’s future. I’m in my second year of Institute of Organizational Management, a national nonprofit management program, emphasizing proficiency in budgeting, governance and community advocacy.

What are the top two issues in city government, or in Sleepy Eye in general, that prompted you to run for city council?

I am running for this City Council seat because the hard working residents of Sleepy Eye deserve focused leadership from someone who emulates optimism over apathy, community representation over agenda and a respectful commitment to the rule of law over misconduct. Currently our developing Twelfth Avenue crossing and Downtown properties have cast an envious eye from many surrounding communities. By supporting diverse housing options, existing and emerging businesses, bolstering our natural and manmade amenities, I will keep their gaze on Sleepy Eye for all the right reasons.

Charles J. Forster, candidate for City Councilor, 2nd Ward, four-year term.

Biographical information:

I am 74 years old. I was born, raised, and lived in Sleepy Eye all my life. I do know Sleepy Eye. I don’t need to be coached. I was never married.

I served two years in the U.S. Army; one year in Vietnam. I contracted CLL due to Agent Orange. I worked for the Sanitation Department in Sleepy Eye for 31 years until my neck and back gave out.

I belong to the VFW, American Legion and St. Mary’s Church.

Describe your qualifications to serve on the city council:

Having worked for the city for 31 years, I think I know the city quite well. When I ask the council questions, I am shut down and threatened I will be asked to leave the meeting. We are kept in the dark most times.

What are the top two issues in city government, or in Sleepy Eye in general, that prompted you to run for city council?

I do not like inter-department promotions. A lot of Sleepy Eye people would like to have a chance at these jobs. Our City Manager has too much authority, we have to take some of it back and get rid of the “good ole boys club.”

Crystal Uys, candidate for City Councilor, 2nd Ward, four-year term.

Biographical information:

I was born and raised in Sleepy Eye. I attended and graduated from Sleepy Eye Public School. I am an active member of my church. I serve on our Fellowship Board and teach Sunday School. I served on the Early Childhood and Family Education Board for several years. I recently took a position on the Holiday Lights in Motion Board. I am grateful for a community that offers many wonderful programs. I enjoy being able to give back to these programs, however I can.

Describe your qualifications to serve on the city council:

I have held a leadership position most of my adult life, in both my career and my time serving on Boards and Committees. Through these roles, I have been given the opportunities to develop important skills, such as organization, management, and interpersonal skills. My deep roots in this community, paired with my openness and ability to connect, are excellent traits to bridge City Council with the members of Sleepy Eye.

What are the top two issues in city government, or in Sleepy Eye in general, that prompted you to run for city council?

I am a proud resident of this community and love seeing Sleepy Eye continue to grow and change. I would like to see a City Council that is approachable and transparent. I believe everyone, no matter their age, has a voice. Those voices should be heard and acknowledged with respect.

I would like to see a balanced approach to the development and maintenance of our community, especially our public spaces and community resources. There have been some very exciting projects happening in our city, but we also need to invest in some of our existing structures and programs.

Rajeana Wick, candidate for City Councilor, 2nd Ward, four-year term.

Biographical information:

•I have lived in Sleepy Eye for nearly 20 years and have four successful children and six grandchildren.

•I am a retired R.N., with emphasis in mental health (child and adolescent), operating room (neuro team), med/surg, OB/GYN/nursery, and nursing home supervisor.

•I have regularly attended open city council meetings until recent months — apparently the city manager/council can’t technically delivery audio or video open city council meetings successfully since the beginning of COVID-19.

Describe your qualifications to serve on the city council:

Because of my nursing degree and experience, it places me in a unique position to address the needs of the community during this pandemic, something that has escaped our current council, and city manager.

I enjoy talking with our citizens, hoping to pull them into community politics and a more active role in city government. This is paramount if this city is going to move forward and succeed. I will reassure citizens that I do care — I want to hear from them — their hopes, dreams, ideas, and complaints. My resolve is to move in a direction to benefit us all, all with an equal voice and input.

What are the top two issues in city government, or in Sleepy Eye in general, that prompted you to run for city council?

This council and city managers have brought negative press to our doorstep, spent our money for poorly handled allegations, demonstrating poor leadership, management, vision and direction: frivolous allegations against Councilman Larry Braun, not once but twice, costing our city over $70,000; hiring “temporary” city manager Kelli Truver and costs for her severance; hiring a head hunter to find potential candidates and then giving Bob Elston the job (we are not only over paying him, in my opinion he is not qualified and brings nothing to the table); the issue with library staff so far has cost the city $3,000 to hire outside counsel.

Six percent property increase lacks forethought. Councilman Larry Braun made a motion in April to put a freeze on spending due to the pandemic and there was no second. End of story — unfortunately we are all on a runaway train.