WAVERLY — Before the current council member has made a decision, another has thrown his hat into the ring for his seat.
Randell Heine, a 24-year-old Navy veteran who drives for Nestle, announced he would run for the Ward 3 city council position up for election this fall, currently held by Wes Gade.
Heine, a 2011 Waverly-Shell Rock High School grad currently attending Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, said he thinks it’s important young people get involved in local politics.
“I’m an honest guy and I’m truly looking out for, not only the people of my ward, but the community,” Heine told The Courier. “I have no agenda, I’m not part of Wartburg (College). My agenda is exactly how politics was meant to be — for the people, by the people — and I want to be their voice at this table.”
Gade said he still hasn’t made a decision on whether he’ll run for re-election, noting he has a few weeks to file before the deadline.
One of Heine’s two big issues is making sure the Waverly Health Center keeps sufficient ambulance service for residents in the city limits. He said he’s worried the service handles calls from as far away as Chickasaw
“At times in the past, that has left Waverly without an ambulance,” Heine said. “I think it’s great that we’re helping the surrounding towns, but I want to make sure there’s always equipment and personnel available to take care of the Waverly residents in this town that they’re paying taxes for.”
Waverly Health Center CEO Jim Atty said the ambulance service does not actually receive any taxes from the City of Waverly for its operation. He did note the ambulance service’s coverage area was a needed complement to the rural, volunteer EMS services throughout Bremer County and beyond.
Heine’s other big issue is the green bridge, which he said he would have voted to keep historic, with both vehicular and pedestrian crossing options. Now that the council is likely to make it pedestrian-only, Heine said he wants to keep vehicle options open for residents.
“If that’s going to happen, then I want to go ahead with the other bridge from the soccer complex to East Bremer (Avenue) for vehicles,” he said. “If something goes down with that one bridge, we’re going to route all the traffic to Lovers’ Lane, and that’s not going to work.”
Heine thinks members of the current city council are “easily persuaded,” and said he’d stand firm on his ideas.
“The reason I decided to run is I’m a member of this community, and I think we need younger people in office with new ideas,” he said.