SIOUX CENTER—This might be Sioux Center resident Cary Bandstra’s first run for public office, but Bandstra said he has the perspective and experiences the city council needs.
He is one of the three men running for two seats on the Sioux Center City Council up for vote Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The 42-year-old has lived in Sioux Center along with his wife, Susie, and three children — ages 14, 13 and 9 — for two and a half years. He and Susie have been married for 16 years, and they attend First Reformed Church in Sioux Center.
A native to Pella, Bandstra attended Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny before going into an electrical apprenticeship.
Sports have been an important part of his life, and he’s assisted with children’s sports activities for years. Since coming to Sioux Center, he’s helped with his youngest daughter’s softball team.
Bandstra is an employee of Interstates, where he works as an automation technician.
Here’s a closer look at why he’s running for a city council seat:
Q: Why did you want to run for city council?
A: “I wanted to get more involved in the community. I have a different perspective with my background. I’d have a different side of input. I grew up around farming and construction. It’d be a different viewpoint.”
Q: What challenges do you see Sioux Center facing?
A: “There is a big challenge for a lot of families right now with day care. I know there are families here looking for day care. Figuring out how we can help them is one of the bigger challenges for younger working families.
“The housing market here, too, with additional needs for housing and planning for that.
“One of the other challenges that we have in Sioux Center is gyms, practice space for all of the sporting events and looking at how we can improve that.”
Q: How should those challenges be confronted?
A: “I don’t have any ideas on that right now. I know there have been talks about partnering with different employers on day care, but I haven’t really been involved in researching that yet.”
Q: What is your vision for Sioux Center?
A: “Growing our community while keeping the values that we have, our small town values, while growing our town and keeping the economy moving.
“It’s a community where you don’t worry about where your kids are going. Riding bike to the pool, it’s a safe, small town community where you can trust your kids to go to the pool and ride bike or walk to the library, and you don’t worry about them getting there safely or anything happening to them.
“That’s a big thing for me.
“And we are a strong Christian community with the large number of churches here, and our kids can plug into multiple things with that.”
Q: What skills do you bring to the table? What can you uniquely contribute?
A: “With my previous work experience, I’ve been in the maintenance and electrical fields at manufacturing companies. So, balancing knowing what it takes and thinking about the predictive and past and preventive maintenance on different things and thinking of the running of things along with the planning of future costs for improvements and what we’re going to need for those things. That’s from being on the technical side.”