Voters in Superior head to the polls on Tuesday to narrow the field of candidates in the running to lead the city.
Four candidates stepped up to finish the remaining two years of retiring Mayor Bruce Hagen's term in office; voters will reduce the field to two in Tuesday's primary.
City councilors Brent Fennessey and Mike Herrick, city Plan Commissioner Kalee Hermanson and Douglas County Board Vice Chairman Jim Paine are all vying for an opportunity to lead the city. The top two vote-getters move on to the April 4 election.
It's the second time Paine has sought the office; he first ran for the seat two years ago.
"Integrity for me is the first line of my leadership resume," Paine said. "Integrity to me means doing the right thing even when no one is looking. I really expect everyone around me to hold me accountable for all of my actions so that I am being honest and open about everything that I am doing."
Herrick first ran for mayor in 2007, but turned his attention to serving the City Council until two years ago when he again made a bid for the city's highest elected office.
"I value the input of team members and peers because contributions from them will help in the decision-making process," Herrick said. "This will help when a decision has to be made in a short period of time."
For Hermanson, who first ran for office two years ago, creating a family-friendly community is her motivation.
"My leadership style is one filled with dedication and passion for this beautiful city," Hermanson said. "I'm not afraid to work hard every day for the citizens of the community. And I'm willing to ask tough questions and make tough decisions for the betterment of our community. I believe in leading by example."
Fennessey, who joined the council last year, said leadership isn't about holding power.
"I believe true leadership can be summed up into one word: influence," Fennessey said. "Influencing people for the good, or the common goal - inspiring them to be the best they can be and inspiring them to action ... if the whole foundation is built upon power, it won't last."
Each of the candidates has a different vision for the city.
"Growth. Simply put, we need to grow," said Fennessey, 34. "That's growth in new businesses coming to Superior, growth in the economic climate for current industries to thrive, growth in new housing development, growth in the maintenance of our current housing stock, growth in jobs, growth in our population and growth in the pride we have in our city."
Fennessey said the city hasn't see growth for a long time, yet "we are sitting on a foundation that's ripe for growth."
Hermanson, 31, said her vision for the city is to create a family-oriented community that works together.
"Together, with a can-do attitude, we can make our neighborhoods safer and our community stronger," Hermanson said. "We can make Superior a place where we all desire to live, work and play. Superior is a beautiful city and with so much potential. Leaders must always remember (in) working for the city we must have the best interest of our citizens, and that their No. 1 job is to serve this community at all times."
Herrick, 58, envisions a city where people are the highest priority.
"My vision for Superior would be first and foremost to be a city that welcomes all citizens with respect and dignity, and ensures a safe community for all, to encourage a broad business base and promote high-quality development that leads to good, living-wage jobs (and) to have citizens invest in their community by getting involved with its growth," Herrick said.
Paine, 35, said that there are many opportunities in Superior "for us to build on (and) we really should reach for the sky and make some big goals here.
"Really, what I want this place to be is a place where you can live either a peaceful or adventurous life, a place that's safe to grow up, raise a family, or retire - more importantly, a place where it's affordable to live and still have a high quality of life," he said.
Find more information about the candidates on the Superior Telegram website, www.superiortelegram.com.