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Ward 2 Council candidate Emme says involvement has prepared her

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of two candidate profiles for Mitchell City Council Ward 2 election, which will be decided during the June 5 election.

Ward 2 candidate Debbie Emme talks during a city election candidate forum hosted by the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this month at Mitchell Technical Institute. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Ward 2 candidate Debbie Emme talks during a city election candidate forum hosted by the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this month at Mitchell Technical Institute. (Matt Gade / Republic)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of two candidate profiles for Mitchell City Council Ward 2 election, which will be decided during the June 5 election.

Debbie Emme isn't an elected official, but she believes her experience living and working alongside the people of Ward 2 makes her qualified to represent them on Mitchell's City Council.

"I am very community-involved," Emme said. "It might not be on boards like most of the (Council) members, but that just means I'm open to listening to what others want."

Emme, a Colman-Egan graduate who has lived in Mitchell for 12 years and works at the Davison County Veteran Services and Welfare offices, is running against incumbent Kevin McCardle. She said her experience working within the community has made her more attuned to what the people in Ward 2 want. Her involvement includes serving as leader of Girl Scout Troop No. 57005 and as committee chair of Cub Scout Pack No. 75, and she is a member of both the Women of the Moose and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Emme also cites her perspective on life as a reason to vote for her. "You've got to have fun with life," she said. "That's the other thing I bring to the table: the upbeat, positive attitude. But I'm also not afraid to say my opinions."

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Like McCardle, Emme wants to work on infrastructure and cleaning up Lake Mitchell, but those issues aren't what initially inspired her to run. A mother of three, she said she instead wants to focus on providing more activities for lower-income families.

"It's really disheartening because we want these kids to be involved, to potentially lower drug rates," she said. "If we can't afford it, how can we put them into anything?"

If elected, Emme said enlisting community support, such as recruiting volunteers to lead fitness and arts programs, would be her first step in trying to solve that issue.

"I know there's service organizations that are always willing to help out, and it's just a matter of just asking," she said.

Emme also said that in order to bring more publicity to a range of businesses around Mitchell, she opposes the business improvement district (BID) plan and said she would work to allocate funding to other areas of the city before funneling it exclusively toward the businesses on Main Street.

"Instead of trying to get it done now, just sit and wait for a little bit, rather than pressuring all these (Main Street) businesses right now. There's time to just sit and wait," she said. "What about the building on Third? Let's fix that up first and get Third (Avenue) open."

The Ward 2 race between Emme and McCardle is one of three contested city races that will be decided in the June 5 election.

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