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Chandik Kundiner being challenged for De Pere District 1 seat

By Press Times Staff

DE PERE – After completing her first two-year term representing District 1 on the De Pere Common Council, Amy Chandik Kundinger faces a challenge for her seat from Nathan Cummings.

Chandik Kundinger works as the director of business engagement for St. Norbert College and Cummings works as a chiropractor.

District 1 is made up of the upper east side of De Pere.

The Press Times emailed each candidate the same questions and gave them 100 words to respond to each.

Amy Chandik Kundinger

Why should people vote for you?

I represent District 1 and the city of De Pere by listening and working with people like you.

Over the last two years, I’ve had thousands of phone calls, emails, and in-person conversations with members of our community.

Your feedback is instrumental in how I serve.

I live and work in De Pere.

My children go to De Pere schools.

I am committed to working collaboratively.

I seek to understand all aspects of an issue.

A vote for me means you’ll have continued representation from a fellow citizen who is deeply invested in our community.

Amy Chandik Kundinger

What should the city do to attract new businesses?

Recently, the council unanimously voted to form a downtown recruitment program called Jump Start De Pere.

I am excited to represent the program by serving on a committee with the mayor, the city administrator, the director of development services and Definitely De Pere.

Together, we will review and provide grants to businesses who start a new business, open a second location, or relocate from another city to downtown De Pere.

The city is also working on a new online tool that will help businesses navigate ordinance requirements, land use codes and find available locations throughout De Pere.

What is the city’s role to attract a tenant into the old Shopko site?

Development of the Shopko property is tied to De Pere’s cultural development plan.

It is a privately-owned property that is currently in receivership, but there is renewed interest by investors to acquire this site.

The city provides guidance to developers on Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

TIF incentives are a tool used by municipal governments to stimulate economic development in a targeted geographical area such as Shopko.

Any zoning action for site development would either follow or be reviewed for incorporation into the Cultural District Master Plan.

How should the city handle residential development?

The city is currently reviewing the implementation of an Affordable Housing Program and a Housing Stock Improvement Program.

The programs incorporate additional incentives to include affordable units in multi-family residential or mixed-use developments.

In addition, there are incentives for renovations for second/upper story units within and around our downtown.

The programs also incorporate zero-interest revolving loans for homeowners to make system upgrades to bring them into compliance with current standards and codes.

The city is also analyzing the expansion of housing codes with a zoning code update that is expected to be reviewed for approval in late 2021.

What would you like to see changed in De Pere city government?

The City of De Pere has the continued opportunity to refine processes and communication channels for our constituents.

While I have participated in many communications with residents over my first term, many of these conversations are near-term in nature.

I will continue work to encourage both near-term and longer-term input from our residents.

Increasing citizen engagement further upstream will enable our city council to better design services for generations to come.

Nathan Cummings

Why should people vote for you?

I have strong family values and experience from past small business ownership.

I am active as a health professional in the community and interact daily with people of varying viewpoints and ages and have a good sense of common concerns.

I am not afraid to engage in conversation and ask important questions in order to take action towards a common goal.

Nathan Cummings

What should the city do to attract new businesses?

The city has a duty to create opportunities for businesses to flourish in De Pere.

We have a great family-friendly community that attracts many entrepreneurs, and it’s up to the city leadership to create a means to which these businesses can easily take up roots here and become a staple for our community.

One example would be to draw in the community to downtown through family-friendly events like the Thursday Market.

What is the city’s role to attract a tenant into the old Shopko site?

The Shopko site has been vacant for too long.

When speaking with our District 1 citizens, it is apparent that there is a void in our community as long as this building is empty.

The city should play an active role in bidding out this property for a business that will fill this need for commerce downtown. The potential is endless.

The city has a great opportunity to draw in something really unique for our community.

How should the city handle residential development?

After talking with local residents, I know there are some concerns over high-rise type of development by the riverfront.

In addition, a thriving city will always invest in residential development in the inner city areas and not just the outskirts of town.

For me, there needs to be more conversation with the citizens of De Pere to know of their full concerns.

What would you like to see changed in De Pere city government?

Honestly, I’d like to get involved in city government because I haven’t seen a lot happening over the last year.

It seems our businesses are limited and our parks are closed.

I would like to see De Pere leading the way on how we can work with our health department to get back to normalcy.

I’d like to hear those tough conversations being had and see De Pere thriving again.

As a professional health care provider, I know it is possible, even in this challenging time.

Let’s get things moving again in our vibrant city.

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