Hastings council: Fong, Rosenberg, Schroeder win seats

November 9, 2018

Three new members were elected Tuesday to the Hastings City Council.

In Ward 2, which includes west Hastings, Ted Schroeder defeated Margaret Marsh with 1,311 votes or 67.44 percent compared to 626 votes or 32.20 percent for Marsh.

“It’s very exciting,” Schroeder said. “I always told people I never thought I would run for any office at all, but I decided (to run for office) early in the year, before the primaries. I got encouraged by enough people and I was very excited to give it a run. I’m excited to see how I can help Hastings in the future.”

He attended a lot of Hastings City Council meetings leading up to the election as well as the city’s Airport Advisory Board meetings and Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce activities.

“I really wanted to get my knowledge prepared,” he said. “I’ll really work on it the next two months getting prepared, so when I go into the first month I’ll feel pretty comfortable looking at the issues and helping the current City Council members.”

He thanked family and neighbors who helped with campaigning.

In Ward 3, which includes central Hastings, Chuck Rosenberg defeated Matthew Jones with 1,344 votes or 67.23 percent compared to 643 votes or 32.17 percent for Jones.

“I think we can be very effective as a City Council moving forward,” Rosenberg said.

In addition to attending council meetings as well as Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce activities, Rosenberg continued to campaign heavily leading up to Tuesday, walking door to door meeting with voters.

“I’ll tell you my feet are still sore from Sunday,” he said.

He will have to step down from his position on the Hastings Planning Commission for which he was elected chairman in October 2017.

For Jones, the campaign was a learning experience.

“I think even though I didn’t win, it’s hard to say it’s a loss when you get 643 people voting for you,” he said. “I think that’s a voice for what I was talking about.”

Jones campaigned for greater support for mental health services in the community. He also would like to see the community’s rate of teen suicide attempts decline.

He has served on city committees in the past.

“Moving forward, I don’t see that changing,” he said.

He will continue working on issues important to him.

Later this month he will attend a meeting about mental health with Mary Lanning and South Heartland District Health Department representatives.

“Even though I’m not going to be on the City Council, I’m going to continue working for the city moving forward,” he said.

In Ward 4, which includes east Hastings, Matt Fong defeated Charles Holmberg with 890 votes or 55.66 percent compared to 701 votes or 43.84 percent for Holmberg.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity and eager to get started,” Fong said.

He said he isn’t surprised by the closeness of the race.

Holmberg, who is 68, said he probably won’t run again for election. Even if he were to win Tuesday, Holmberg said he probably would’ve served just one term.

“It’s the way voters went,” he said. “That’s just the way it is.”

All three races were open seats, as no incumbent filed for re-election.

In Ward 1, which includes south Hastings, incumbent Ginny Skutnik ran unopposed and received 951 votes or 97.44 percent.

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