ST. AUGUSTA (WJON News) -- As voters in St. Augusta go to the polls in November, they'll be choosing from four city council candidates to fill two seats.

Incumbents Justin Backes and Brent Generaux are being challenged by Mark Skaalerud and Marlin Hommerding.

(Photo: Lee Voss)
(Marlin Hommerding - Photo by Lee Voss, WJON)

Hommerding wants to improve communication between the city and its residents. He cites the controversial sand pit project that had residents angry and taken by surprise...

We didn't know there was a gravel pit coming and all of a sudden there is a permit for a gravel pit. Well, that's just going to be, essentially, shoved down our throats. Don't we get a say in the matter? Well, you do get a say but it's not highly advertised. Your voice will be heard, but that was the hard part because nobody knew that stuff. That's where I say bridging the gap between the community and the city to make people aware of what is going on in the city so they're not so upset right away.

Hommerding would like to see the city try to attract more businesses to town, like a hardware store while also adding amenities to attract families to town like a splash pad.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Brent Generaux - Photo by Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Generaux wants to continue the work they started when he was appointed to the council four years ago and help guide the city through growing pains and requests like the sand pit permit...

It's going to come back, right? It's an issue. The sign ordinance is another one. You know, that has been on everyone's hearts and minds, I think. You know, it's come up...what about this and the sign is too low and it's too high and what can you do and what can't you do? Those are two things. And then, we've got a lot of land open on the main drag there that some businesses could come in. We'd really like to see some new businesses come in.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Justin Backes - Photo by Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Backes is vying for his second term on the council and he wants to continue the work to get the city's roads up to par...

I think our roads are where we lack at the moment. And, I wouldn't say are roads are bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's kind of a high priority for us. It takes up the majority of our discretionary budget. We're getting them taken care of road by road, but I would say that's among the leading things I hear from the people in our community.

Backes says he learned a lot over the last four years about how city government works and he wants to continue serving the people of St. Augusta for another four years.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Mark Skaalerud - Photo by Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Skaalerud is new to politics but he says his family loves the community and so he wants to get involved to make it even better...

There are things we could bring to town that I think would be good for the residents and the town itself. Is there a possibility of attracting a grocery store? I mean, we have lots of land on the west side of town. The town keeps expanding out to the west and the south so, if we could somehow get a grocery store or restaurants. Maybe (build) a splash pad to make it a more family-friendly environment.

Skaalerud says he'd work to lower the speed limit through the downtown, especially around the neighborhoods where kids are playing.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th.

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