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Four vie for two spots in Frazee

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Four vie for two spots in Frazee
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Incumbent Donna Ouart is running for re-election to the Frazee City Council, and is vying for one of the two spots along with Bobby Cates, David Lee Jopp and Beth Somerville.


The top two vote-getters will serve four-year terms.

Name: Bobby Cates

Age: 67

Occupation: owner, Resource Protection; retired, Air Force.

Family: wife Karen, five children, eight grandchildren.

Q: What is your vision for the Swift redevelopment site?

A: It's already set. It's going to become a park. Any of the new councilman aren't going to be able to change that.

The mayor is not going to be able change it. It's been approved. The city even got a large grant to redevelop it.

At the current time, to my knowledge, there isn't a business on the books that has plans on coming in. The present plans are to make a park out of it.

Q: What other amenities would you like to see in Frazee?

A: Business. Our existing mayor is very good on improving the grounds and parks. He prefers to do something like that.

I think I can get the businesses to come in. Small manufacturers and large manufacturers.

They have the set aside (Tax Free Development - JOBZ) with all of the state approval.

I feel with my contacts, I can get one business to come in.

Q: Why are you running for city council?

A: As you age, you feel a little more drawn to public service.

I've always been involved in public service through the Lions. I started backing them when I was in the military. Jaycees and stuff like that.

In the past year, I was president of the local Lions.

When you do stuff like that, it makes you do a little bit more.

I think I can do it working with the city. It's not for the money, believe me.

Name: David Lee Jopp

Age: 44

Occupation: morning personality, KRCQ-FM.

Family: Wife, Alesia; four children.

Q: What is your vision for the Swift redevelopment site?

A: I liked to see something come in. I'm not up to speed with the demolition process and what they're doing.

It's made a huge impact on the city already.

I would like to see something go in there that that would thrive. Bring something in that the community could use.

Maybe something for younger kids.

Q: What other amenities would you like to see in Frazee?

A: I want to try and help grow the town smartly.

It's a small town and has a small-town atmosphere.

It can have some of the elements (of a bigger city)

Detroit Lakes has the Holmes Theatre and the Sky View Theatre was there for a long time. It brought people into town.

More of a niche-type of business that will bring people into town.

Q: Why are you running for city council?

A: I've always been intrigued by government.

I was involved in organizations that I'm to old to be in now.

I've worked for the student association with the Minnesota Community (and Technical) College. I was president of the Jaycees chapter in Nisswa.

In a sense, there is some political aspects to the Jaycees.

Back when I was in high school, I covered the city council meetings in my hometown. Just watching elected people work together, and see the contrasts, it intrigues me.

Name: Donna Ouart

Age: 67

Occupation: retired food service, Frazee-Vergas Public Schools.

Family: husband, Roy; two children; seven grandchildren.

Q: What is your vision for the Swift redevelopment site?

A: Everything is pretty much done for the infrastructure.

I would love to see business go up there.

There's been talk about a clinic (or) office buildings.

I do think that end of town is going to become the hot end of town. It's hard to say, there has been a lot inquiries.

I know our city needs another restaurant.

Whatever we do have put in there is going to be a big addition because it's going to be visible from the highway.

And above all, people have thought it out and know that it's going to be a good location.

Q: What other amenities would you like to see in Frazee?

A: More senior housing. Definitely, more senior housing.

I've been a firm believer that we do need more choices down here. We don't have that many gas stations. We definitely need a hardware store.

I would like to see the clinic to be enlarged to accommodate the Frazee people.

Above all, I would like to see the people in Frazee be competitive in their prices so that you don't have to go another town to shop.

Q: Why are you running for re-election to the city council?

A: I've been on for five and half years.

Honestly, I think with some of the projects that we've been involved in, I'd like to follow through.

I have experience that can help. It helps to have a lady in the council.

I do enjoy it. The city is moving forward nicely. We have wonderful department heads that are responsible.

People will look to Frazee and say this is a good town, good school system.

Name: Beth Somerville

Age: 48

Occupation: rural mail carrier in Pelican Rapids.

Family: husband Tim; seven children (blended family).

Q: What is your vision for the Swift redevelopment site?

A: Quite honestly, I haven't really been following that. I'm obviously aware of the road they're building and the area they want to do something with.

I've been like everyone else. I've sat on the sideline and let somebody else make the decisions.

If it's something that affects you personally, you speak up. I'm just as guilty as everybody else.

Frazee needs to bring some industry in. That's one of the things that holds it back from real growth because there aren't a lot of job opportunities here, especially for the young kids.

If we can bring some business in that can provide for the parents, especially with the gas prices, it would eliminate the traveling.

It would be nice to bring some business in that our community can support.

Q: What other amenities would you like to see in Frazee?

A: I know they've been working on the parks.

Getting people aware of these parks and doing something with them so you don't have to spend $50 to $100 for a place to go and something to do. After all, my kids grew up here.

I think (Frazee) is lacking for that 11 to 16-year-old age range. (Community education) has something for older adults and younger kids.

Two of my boys and I went to a city council meeting once, and they brought up there wasn't anything for those middle-aged kids to do.

It's not like they have a drivers license, so it's not like they can get a job in DL.

I know they have open gym at the high school, but not every kid wants to bounce a basketball around.

Q: Why are you running for city council?

A: Because I can. I haven't been to a lot of city council meetings, but there weren't a lot of people there.

It's really easy to sit on the sidelines when a decision is made or an ordinance is passed. I've done it and you don't like it, so you gripe about it.

If you're not willing to step up, put your name in the hat, get involved, find out a little bit more of what's going on, and have a front row seat have input, then you really don't have a right to gripe.

The other thing is, I've double-checked it, and the only other qualification is to live in the city limits.

It doesn't take a vast work background in whatever.

A lot of people know who I am and a lot of people don't.

I'm a just a normal plain Jane. We (Tim and I) work jobs and live paycheck to paycheck. We've had the expense of the kids and a dog.

I'm a typical person. It's showing that anyone can run for city council.

If you want to find out what's going on, what it's like to be there and what other people go through, as far as issues, they should be putting their name in and give the voters more choice..If you want to make changes, you don't do it my sitting back and griping about what somebody else decides.