YORK – Scott Van Esch will take the oath of office next January as the newest member of the York City Council.
Van Esch was the lone non-incumbent in the race for four seats on the city council. Current city council members Barry Redfern, Jeff Pieper, Diane Wolfe and Sheila Hubbard sought reelection – with Diane Wolfe not being reelected.
Van Esch is employed at Mogul’s Transmission and Auto Repair. When asked why he ran for city council, Van Esch explained, “We moved to York in 2005 to be closer to family and to raise our children in the York community. My children are now grown and starting their own families and lives. Because the community gave so much to us and our children I want to give back to the community. York has been through some difficult times in the past months. Because of my past experiences I believe I offer a new set of eyes to look at problems, a new set of ears to listen to new ideas, and new experiences to help York discover new solutions. I believe I can help facilitate communication between the offices and individuals of city government.”
When asked why he was seeking reelection to the city council, Redfern said, “I am a lifelong resident of York and am very proud to be a part of this community. I not promoting any single agenda but only want what is best for citizens and York’s future. The city needs to work openly with all the different groups that make York a great place to live. We need to be positive and not let negativity hold us back.”
To the same question, Pieper said the following: “I filed to run for reelection to the council to serve our community by steering our city’s governmental policies in a positive direction that strives to serve the best interests of the majority of our citizens. Like any large group of people, our community members hold differing political views and ideas of what is ‘right for York.’ I believe it is the obligation of the council to listen to all the citizen constituents and their views, and act on what is appropriate for the majority of the people. In the past four years, I have served under two very different administrations. My first two years under Mayor Chuck Harris and Administrator Tara Vasicek, I experienced what I believe was very efficient and effective city governance. Mrs. Vasicek took care of business on a day to day basis with the best interests of the city’s finances and future direction at heart. Mayor Chuck Harris was a very strong supporter and promotor of our community in many different ways and a very positive representative of our city at the state and regional level. Things were going pretty smooth my first two years. If there were disgruntled citizens not happy with how things were being run, I sure didn’t hear from them. Most of the time there were very few attendees at our meetings and city business was getting done by our administration without opposition. Back to the question of why I filed for re-election back in February. At this time, we were just over a year under the current administration. I was very frustrated with how city hall was being run and the different policies that were being proposed and changed. A part of me wanted to throw up my hands and leave it to somebody else. I decided to file for candidacy after speaking to many citizens who shared my same concerns. They convinced me that it was my civic duty to seek retention of my seat on the council to hold back the reins on some of these changes that could have negative consequences for our future, and do what is right for the majority of our citizens. I have learned a lot over the past four years serving on the council and I hope I have earned your support to serve another four. I think it’s time for me to take my training wheels off and apply my experiences in a positive way for our city moving forward.”
Hubbard responded to the same question, saying, “My parents set an example of civic service by holding various elected positions in the rural Nebraska community where I grew up. Running for my first term I was doing it to give back to the community that has been good to me. I filed to run for my second term because I want to continue to serve. With the financial strain York finds itself in today, my goal is to be the listening ear to constituents, a city council member that gathers information, develops possible solutions through citizen input, and evaluates what outcomes could be. Another goal is to always be accessible for feedback from York residents.”
Wolfe was in her third term on the city council and had said her main objective in seeking reelection was “continuing to serve the people of York and represent everyone to the best of my ability and do what is best for the community.”
York City Council vote total
Four take seats
Jeff Pieper 1,945
Barry Redfern 1,816
Sheila Hubbard 1,799
Scott Van Esch 1,581
Diane Wolfe 1,509