10/30/2012 3:40:00 PM Ralph Schwanke seeks to be Claremont's mayor
By Tara Lindquist
There have only been a few Claremont City Council meetings since his retirement in 1996 that Ralph Schwanke has missed. He believes it's important to know what is going on in the city that he has lived in for most of his life. He is currently running for mayor of Claremont.
Schwanke grew up outside of Claremont on the Dodge/Steele line he spent four years in the Air Force before moving back to Claremont and he spent 30 and a half years working at IBM.
"I think some things could be improved upon," he explained. "I saw how a business runs for thirty years, you watch your money invest in projects that have a payback in them. The city has not been doing that." He pointed towards the RK&T Development that the city now owns. "You have to spend money frugally, prioritize the spending and do the most for the citizens that you can do."
Schwanke was on the city council from 2000-2005 and has been on the Planning and Zoning board since it began. "I want to do things to make the city grow and not hinder citizens when it comes to improving and building on their property," he explained. "Times are tough right now everyone is trying to make it and we don't need to make their costs go up just by raising taxes and water and sewer bills."
If elected he plans on keeping a tight reign on spending to keep the taxes lower and to keep spending under control. "The city needs to live within its means," he said. "We have to sustain what we have and try to make the city a better place for the people in town people should get something for their tax money."