Four candidates for two Akron seats

Posted October 19, 2017 at 6:59 pm

By Julie Ann Madden

It’s a true contested race for the City of Akron on the Nov. 7 ballot.

With Councilor Gerry Stowers not seeking another term and appointed Councilor Alex Pick’s seat on the ballot, four have thrown their hat into the electoral ring.

Candidates are Ryan Bergman, Marcell Edward Hyer, Alex Pick and Joseph Small.

Ryan Bergman

For the first-time ever Ryan Bergman is seeking public office.

“There are some things I’d like to see,” said Bergman about why he’s seeking a seat. “The relationship between the school system and the city has broken down a little bit and I’d like to see that repaired. We’ve gotten a few businesses that have moved out of town and I’d like to see how we can fill some of those buildings back up.”

“I moved here in 1999 and fell in love with this community,” he said, “and I’d like to see it keep prospering with the school system and the things we have going on here.”

“We have a beautiful community,” said Bergman, “but I’d like to see some kind of plan to get our streets fixed.”

“I’d love to see the community relationship with the police department built back up,” he added. “I’ve had a few chances to talk with (Chief) Bill Young, and I think with Bill and Nathan here we have a couple of really good guys — how do we get the relationship back with the community that used to be here.”

This Hampton native has lived in Akron since 1999.

Bergman graduated from Eldora-New Providence High School in 1993 and then completed paramedic training through Hawkeye Community College.

For the past 19 years, Bergman has been employed at Wells Enterprises Inc. in Le Mars.

Bergman and his wife, Sue, have seven children: Garrett Waterbury of Washington; Alex Waterbury and his fiancee, Amber Childress of Fayetteville, Ark.; Jacob Bergman, an Iowa Air National Guardsman currently deployed to Puerto Rico; Brady Bergman, an Akron-Westfield senior and a member of the Iowa Air National Guard; Cameron Bergman, an A-W sophomore; Trenton Bergman, an A-W fifth grader; and Peyton Bergman, an A-W second grader.

Sue is employed at Casey’s General Store in Akron, and the Bergmans are members of Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Bergman enjoys working on vehicles, golfing and hunting.

He is a firefighter with the Akron Fire & Rescue Department and an Akron-Westfield volunteer football coach.

Marcell Edward Hyer

“I’ve always had an interest in government and politics,” Marcell Edward Hyer told The Akron Hometowner. “The reason (for seeking a seat) is not only because I live here. I see a lot of ‘Yes’ people who just agree with things that come across the board, just to agree with it.”

“There needs to be more of a discussion,” said Hyer, noting he knows councilors get together and discuss things. “But a lot of decisions are made without a lot of thought process put into it. That’s not only my opinion but the opinion of lots from the community as well.”

It appears that after a vote is taken, the discussion ends, he said. “What’s next? How is this going to apply? How is this going to work? The information is very, very limited.”

“I want to bring that out more,” said Hyer. “When I disagree with something or agree with it, it’s very thought through. I don’t just say yes because someone else did. I don’t just say no unless I have a very good reason.”

There is a lot of concern in the community with the city’s finances,” he said, noting when he began hinting of seeking a seat last year people shared their concerns with him.

“Where are the finances going,” they’d ask and he’d respond, “It’s printed in the paper. That’s where it’s going.”

“We want to know what’s being spent,” they’d say and Hyer responds, “Read the paper. Go to the meetings.”

“What’s the use of going to meetings, nothing gets done,” they’d say; and Hyer counters, “It’s because you aren’t there.”

“I want to bring their voice up to the table,” said Hyer, “and of course, it’s impossible to make everybody happy but we can make the community happy and that’s what I like seeing. That’s what council members are there for.”

“I want to make sure the information is out, finances are going where they are supposed to be going because I know in the past they haven’t,” he said. “That decisions are sound and not just agreed upon.”

“I want to bring more housing and beautification as well,” said Hyer. “I know there are people who’d like to see Akron explode into this big deal but we’re a small rural town. That may or may not happen. If it does, great. If it doesn’t, we work with what we have.”

“I’ve always applied that in my life, in my decisions, in raising a family,” said Hyer, noting he volunteers every chance he gets. “I’m not afraid of work.”

“They want these things to happen,” he said. “Sometimes the city cannot afford to do a lot of things but the community can. If you want something done, don’t sit around talking about it. Get off your butt and do it. If the community wants it, it needs to work for it.”

“If you want things to get better, to change, you have to do that,” said Hyer. “You have to have a voice to do that. I’m not afraid to be that voice.”

“When it comes down to concerns and facts, your feelings actually don’t matter,” he said. “I’m not afraid to make people happy. I’m not afraid to make people upset. That’s why they call it the cold hard truth. This is what it is.”

“Talking in a discussion, if it upsets me, it upsets me,” said Hyer. “I will share my opinion, my facts. That’s it. I’m not going to hold any grudges like a lot of people do.”

“That’s one thing I want the council to understand,” he said. “I think a lot about the lack of information in discussion is people don’t want to hurt others’ feelings. I don’t care about your feelings when dealing with an issue. I care about your concern. I care about making things better but in a discussion, there are no hurt feelings. It is what it is.”

“A lot of people only say what people want to hear, and you don’t get anything accomplished,” said Hyer. “It’s your opinion. It’s my opinion. We come together. Here’s a solution. That’s how it’s supposed to work — how government is supposed to work.”

Born in Nashville, Tenn., Hyer was raised in Plymouth County. His family moved here to be close to his mother’s family. Therefore, Hyer grew up living six miles west of Craig.

Hyer graduated from Le Mars Community High School in 1994 and enlisted in the U.S Marine Corps. He served six years, earning the rank of Sergeant. He also studied business and psychology courses in college.

Since serving his country, Hyer has been working and raising his family. For the past two years, he has been employed at Masaba Inc. in Vermillion, S.D. Hyer also works part-time at Chubs Country Store in Akron. Prior to joining Masaba Inc., he worked 13 years at Gus Pech Mobile Drilling Equipment in Le Mars.

Hyer and his wife, Teresa, moved to Akron three years ago. She works as a groomer at the Akron Veterinary Clinic. Together they have six children: Sabrina Hyer, a University of Iowa student; Victoria Hyer of Sioux Falls; Jazmin Waite, a University of South Dakota student; Jillian Hyer, an Akron-Westfield junior; Jadin Hartman, an A-W eighth grader; and Drake Hyer, an A-W fourth grader. They have one grandchild, Soja.

Hyer enjoys hunting, fishing and building “stuff,” creating art — especially with metal fabrication. He also loves cooking.

The Hyers are members of Rejoice! Community Church in Le Mars. He is a past member of the Brunsville American Legion Post and is interested in the Free Masons.

Alex Pick

Alex Pick had been a write-in council candidate in the November 2015 election, then was appointed to fulfill the term of Councilor Sharon Frerichs who had been elected to serve as Akron’s mayor.

“I believe in community involvement and have a heart for public works,” said Pick about why he’s seeking another term. “I’d like to inspire others to be involved in the community and to know you don’t have to be on city council to be involved in betterment of the community.”

“One of my top priorities is to keep the progress going with renovations of buildings,” he said. “One of my greatest successes was the decrease in property taxes — the lowest it’s been since 2004.”

The Remsen native moved to Akron in 2015. He and his wife, Mallory, have three sons: Benjamin, an Akron-Westfield Kindergartner; Oliver, age 2: and Max, four months.

Pick is a 2003 graduate of Remsen Union High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resource Management with a minor in Business Administration from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City.

He served nine years in the Iowa Air National Guard, earning the rank of E6 Technical Sergeant, and is currently employed at XPO Logistics in Sioux City as an account executive.

Pick enjoys fishing, hunting and spending time with his family.

He serves on the council’s Finance Committee and is the council’s liaison to the Akron Care Center Inc. trustees. He is also a member of the Akron Health Care Inc. Board.

Joseph “Joe” Small

Joseph “Joe” Small was born and raised in Akron, graduating from Akron High School in 1975.

Small worked for Heyl Truck Lines as a mechanic and truck driver as well as owned his own truck, leasing it to Heyl’s. He also worked for Sioux City Kenworth as a mechanic.

In 1985, Small became a firefighter with the Sioux City Fire Department, and completed many courses on leadership, firefighting, electrical and building construction, and Emergency Medical Services. He retired from firefighting in 2006.

Since then Small has had a variety of jobs, including owning and operating a trucking company; building customized motorcycles; working for Rohde Trucking in Homer, Neb.; and in maintenance at Hawarden Regional Healthcare.

In March 2016, Small and his wife, Angela, moved to Akron.

Since June 26 this past summer, Small has worked in maintenance at LG Everist in Akron.

They have three children: Trevor Small of Sioux City; Erin and her husband, Darin Marks of Sioux City; and Samantha Mohr of Des Moines. They have two grandchildren, Liam and Hazel.

The Smalls enjoy collecting antiques and building and repurposing things. They also have a drag car they race at Marion, S.D.

Small is a member of Akron Parks & Recreation, Akron Gun Club and the First Baptist Church in Akron. He also is a member of the International Association of Firefighters Union.

“I would like to see the city improved,” is the reason Small is seeking a council seat. “Bring in more jobs, more businesses.”

“We work hard at trying to get business here,” he said. “It’s just hard to get a business going here. There are not a lot of people to draw from for a workforce.”

“I don’t want it to grow too big because I really like the small town,” he added.

Poll Information

Absentee voting is already underway. To do this, contact the Plymouth County Auditor’s Office at 712-546-6100 Ext. 1.

Akron voters may also cast their ballots Noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at the Akron Public Library Meeting Room.

Westfield voters may vote from Noon to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 7 at the Westfield Community Center.

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