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City of Grand Island, City Council, Ward 1

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  • Michelle Fitzke

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    Jack Sheard

Biographical Information

If elected, what are your priorities for economic development in your city/town/village?

If elected, what would be your top priorities in an extreme weather event?

If elected, what would you consider your top three priorities? Please detail.

What is the biggest challenge in your community and how would you address it?

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Occupation Marketing Strategist, IdeaBank Marketing (as of 9/1/20); previously GIPS communications coordinator
Education Bachelor’s Degree from UNK, 2000, in Journalism/Mass Communications; Waverly High School graduate, 1996
Current Public Office, dates held None
Past Public Office, dates held None
Military experience None
Volunteer experience Leadership Tomorrow Board of Directors, past board chair GISH Band Boosters Junior Achievement board of directors Downtown Grand Island BID Gates Elementary PTA Grand Island Can-Do Committees, Community Clean-Up Committee Mr. Habitat contestant
Address 3819 Meadow Rd., Grand Island, NE 68803
Marital Status Married for 20 years to Melissa Sheard. Two sons: Drew, 19, US Air Force; Calvin, 17, GISH senior
Age 42
Twitter @jacksheard
I’m excited to be working with organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation to partner on innovative ideas for growing new and existing businesses. Innovation is the key. It is more than simply giving money as an incentive, though some financial support programs can be useful at times. Developing workforce growth and education can be just as important. Listening to people who do this for a living and helping them put solutions in action is also very wise. I strongly believe it is important for Grand Island to consider an investment or partnership to promote young and diverse entrepreneurs who have typically been passed on for support. We need to be a place where all of our citizens have an open opportunity to create jobs and add to the value of the community.
1. Safety: Ensuring safety for everyone, including making sure our city workers have what they need to get essential workers working and roads ready.

2. Communication: Making sure a plan is in place for internal and external communication so everyone knows what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and when we’ll be doing it.

3. Budget: Keeping an eye on the budget to make sure we are able to maintain and recover quickly financially.
Public safety: The community’s ability to grow and thrive is dependent upon its ability to feel safe and secure. It is time to broaden the traditional definition and investigate ways to diversify the knowledge base of public officials to include mental health support as well as police, fire and medical.

Fiscal responsibility and transparency: We must consider long-term growth and vitality of the community. Major investments need to be made, but they need to be made openly and with a big picture in mind. Spending cuts may be beneficial today but cause undue headaches tomorrow. Similarly, once we spend money, we may not be able to get it back.

Communication: People fear what they don’t understand, and typically they don’t understand what they are not informed about directly. My philosophy is simple: If you are ashamed to communicate about it, you shouldn’t be doing it. I truly believe through proactive, open communication you can avoid unnecessary confusion.
Smart growth. As we grow, we need to think about how we can continue to do so without sacrificing quality of life, public safety and infrastructure now - and city revenues in the future. Whether through tax increment financing or other incentives or programs, we need to analyze the long term sustainability of our growth plans. As we grow, we need to figure education into the equation. We also need to keep our sights on diversity and the makeup of our great community. Whether cultural, socio economical or however else we see diversity, we need to understand our community looks differently than it did 20 years ago, and will look differently in 10 years than it looks now. We need to plan for that.