Mayoral races will offer voters a choice in Lidderdale and Willey
November 4, 2013
Only two mayor's races in the area will be contested during this year's election.
Nathan Pudenz and Tammy Thompson will seek to replace current mayor Randy Ayers.
Pudenz, 29, has been on the city council six years.
He hopes to bring more young families into Lidderdale. He'd also like to add businesses, such as additional restaurants and another gas station.
"I'd like to improve our ball field that has been vacant for many years, and I'd like to see Lidderdale have its own team to utilize the field," he said.
Pudenz grew up near Breda and went through the Kuemper and Carroll school districts. He has lived in Lidderdale seven years. He owns a business - Nate's Lawn Care and Repair - and works full-time at New Hope Village doing maintenance. He enjoys hunting, camping and working on small engines. He and his wife, Heidi, have two children - McKenzie, 4, and Evan, 2.
If he is elected Lidderdale's mayor, Pudenz also hopes to repair the city's streets and keep up its appearance.
"I don't want it to become just another has-been ghost town, when you're driving down the highway and nobody knows it's there," he said.
Tammy Thompson, 41, has lived in Lidderdale 12 years and wants a more active role in the city.
"I care about the community, and I just want to step up to the plate," she said.
Thompson has spent two years on the Lidderdale City Council and ran for mayor in the last election.
"I just want to keep on making the town progress and hopefully get some young blood into town and get more young couples and families in there," she said.
She and her husband, Mark, have two children, Bryanna, 19, and Ross, 12. Thompson works at Billmeier's Clothing. She enjoys gardening, reading and biking.
"I care about the community," she said. "That's why I want to run."
John Guinan hopes to oust Randy Huegerich, who has been Willey's mayor more than 20 years and is running for re-election.
Guinan, 66, has lived in Willey about a year. He and his wife, Rose, own the Santa Maria Vineyard & Winery.
Although he hasn't served on the city council, Guinan said, his work experience has prepared him for the job of mayor.
"I've managed businesses all my life," he said. "I have familiarity with the (county) Board of Supervisors, and I've been active in the community."
Guinan said that if he is elected, the first thing he'll do is thank Huegerich for his decades of service as mayor.
"He's done a nice job," Guinan said. "I'd say it's time to make a change. I want to see what everyone's up for."
Guinan hopes to resurface Olympic Avenue in Willey and complete work on a lot the city owns at the corner of 260th Street and Olympic Avenue.
He and his wife, Rose, have been married for 41 years. They have six children - Deividas, Aiviras, Kamil, Viktor, Emily and Michelle - ranging in age from 21 to 34.
Guinan grew up in Council Bluffs and lived in Europe before planting an Iowa vineyard in 2006, selling his first wine in 2007 and opening Santa Maria in 2009.
"We've traveled all over, and it's like being on vacation, living in Willey," he said. "People don't even realize what they have. People help each other, and they expect a lot of each other."
Huegerich, 58, owns two businesses in Carroll - Home Care Options, which provides home services to residents and works with people who have disabilities, and Career Options, a full-time employment agency. But for more than two decades, he has also run the city of Willey.
"I ran at first because nobody else wanted it," he joked. "I thought the town could really show a lot of improvement, and over the last 20 years, we've really cleaned up the town."
And every two years, he asked voters to head back to the polls for him.
"There was always another project I wanted to do, so every election, I ran again," he said.
Huegerich grew up in Carroll and has lived in Willey for about 30 years. He enjoys woodworking and antiques. He and his wife, Madeleine, have been married 35 years. They have six children - Sarah, John David, Mark, Daniel, Jessica and Kristin - ranging in age from 24 to 35.
During his time as mayor, Huegerich said, the city has cleaned up dilapidated properties, built new mailboxes, installed new water lines, and gotten new playground equipment and a new town shed.
In the future, he hopes to get the city's main road re-done; he's been working with the county to prepare for the project and said it's about ready to happen.
Huegerich said he is proud of what he has accomplished in Willey, and he wants the chance to continue.
"There are a lot of small towns that are dying out, and Willey isn't," he said.