Nappanee City Council to see two new members in 2016

 

NAPPANEE — Keeping a high quality of life in Nappanee is one of councilman Jeff Kitson’s main goals.

Kitson, the councilman representing the city’s Fourth District, is a Republican running against challenger Dana Hollar in the primary. 

Kitson was born and raised on the southeast side of the county but moved to Nappanee after he married his wife, Brandi.

Other than serving as a councilman, Kitson is also the director of the Nappanee Redevelopment Commission and executive director of the Nappanee Chamber of Commerce.

He said he was asked to consider running for the city council position about nine years ago and has had two served terms so far.

“This time, when I look at my children being 13 and 9, and the quality of life we have in Nappanee, I want to continue to raise them here and serve not only the citizens but my family as well,” he said.

He also said he wants the city council to have strong leadership next year with a new mayor in the city. There are more improvements to be made in Nappanee and Kitson said he wants to continue finding ways to manage the budget so that the city maintains good infrastructure and services.

“Our citizens have come to expect high standards, and I enjoy trying to meet those high standards,” he said. “We’re very well-educated down here, and they’re very well-informed.”

Kitson said he would like to find ways to increase pay for the police, fire and EMS departments.

“Our police, fire and EMS put their lives on the line for us,” he said. “They would tell you probably that they’re paid OK, but I do believe that if we can incentivize them, we will have a better community.”

But Kitson said he is also aware that tax caps have put some restraints on the city’s budget.

“I believe we need to make sure we are fiscally responsible and not spend money foolishly and make sure we continue to provide that quality of life for all citizens of Nappanee,” he said.

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