Former Spencer Mayor Reynold Peterson is vying to get back into city government, this time as a city council member.
Peterson is running for the Ward 3 city council seat that was left vacant earlier this year when Steve Bomgaars resigned due to a move out of the ward.
Peterson, who has lived in Spencer for 36 years and served as the city’s mayor for 14 years until 2017, said he has a couple of reasons for seeking the seat.
“I just had that desire because there were a lot of good things that were started during my tenure as mayor,” he said. “I want to see them completed. A lot of good things are going on in Spencer. I’d like to be a part of that completion.”
The other reason, Peterson said, is that he has heard from “a lot of citizens” who say the city government and council may not be spending money as wisely as it could be.
Peterson cited costly change orders to the new city hall and engineer estimates on other projects that he said have turned out to be inaccurate.
“It just seems like our estimates are way out too lunch anymore,” Peterson said. “What can we do to tighten up those a little bit so the council has a better idea of what it’s going to cost?”
Peterson did note that Spencer is “in great shape” financially.
“However, it could be better,” he said. “There’s always ways to improve efficiency within the city if you look. We don’t always have to spend all the tax asking that we’re entitled to, either. But Spencer has a long history of being financially sound and, yes, it still it is.”
If elected, Peterson’s other priorities would be creating jobs, bringing in new businesses and helping existing businesses expand.
“First thing is to retain the jobs that we have in town,” Peterson said. “Second thing is to somehow incentivize the retail sector to help build that back up and the third thing is, with economic development, to attract new jobs.”
He also would like to see a bit of a spark return to Spencer.
“I just think that in the last couple of years with the economy and the change over with the council that we’re kind of sluggish a little bit in regards to economic growth and business and so forth,” he said.
Peterson said he borrowed with permission the “Igniting Spencer” theme from the Spencer Chamber of Commerce for some of his campaign marketing.
“We need everybody in town to think about ideas on how we can get this community going forward again and pass them along,” Peters said. “Just don’t sit there and complain. Sometimes, well, if you’ve got a good idea, pass it along. It might be something that might ignite Spencer and turn into something big. We’re all in this together.”
Peterson is running against Tracey Larsen for the Ward 3 seat.