A look at the Austin Mayor race - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Kerry Klatt

A look at the Austin Mayor race

AUSTIN, MN (FOX 47) -- We've been profiling key races throughout southern Minnesota in order to aid you in learning as much as possible about those who want to represent you.

We bring you a glimpse at the Mayoral race in Austin.

Candidates Tom Stiehm and Mark Nagle differ on their wardrobe style and personality, but putting those aside, the biggest issue between them is how to deal with the Mower County Justice Center.

Austin's Mayoral race has two distinct candidates: the retired police officer who wants to lend a hand -

Tom Stiehm says, "The reason I'm running for mayor is because I want to help. I said that the first time."

- and the small business owner who wants to lead -

Mark Nagle says, "I'm running on a common sense leadership platform. I can bring leadership because I have to lead in my business and delegate."

The controversial issue in town, for years, has been the Justice Center. Candidate Mark Nagle opposes building it downtown.

Nagle says, "I don't believe in tearing down square footage when we're trying to build up commerce in the community and now we're going to lose a lot of square footage."

Incumbent Tom Stiehm says he understands people's concerns about the Justice Center.

Tom says, "The Justice Center is going to cost a lot of money, and that scares them and it scares me too, but the city isn't the one building that. We're not saying you need a Justice or you don't need a Justice Center, all I've said is if you're going to do a Justice Center we want it downtown."

Stiehm adds that he's talked to the experts, and is doing what the people want. Still, Nagle, whose retail store is just blocks from the controversial site, says it's a mistake.

Nagle says, "I just think, it's somewhat ill-planned. If it comes down, it comes down and we'll move forward and come up with a better plan and a better solution."

Stiehm argues that this is the solution the city has wanted.

Stiehm says, "The city has made concerted effort to keep Main Street alive, and the heart of town and obviously with the justice center going downtown it's going to be huge, I mean huge for the downtown.

Nagle argues that the city needs change.

Nagle says, "The bottom line is you have to make some change, and to keep people excited you've got to constantly trying to move forward. It doesn't necessarily have to be big change but every day you've got to get up and you've got to look in the mirror and say what have I got to do to make it better today than it was yesterday."

The polls open Tuesday at 7:00 in the morning. We'll be here following the race, and will bring you live results as soon as we know them.

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