Posted 7/01/14 (Tue)
By Stephanie Allums
Farmer Staff Writer
Virginia Elliot has retired as Arnegard Mayor and Jeff Kindel, who was elected to fill that position, officially began his new duties last week.
Elliot has served as Mayor for four years. She is looking forward to spending more time with her family and grandkids. She plans to continue supporting the community through other avenues - such as the Arnegard Booster Club President.
Kindel is pleased to step in as Mayor and hopes to bring some fresh and new ideas to the table for the city council and community.
“When you see the need to step up to the plate, you do it,” Kindel said. “Four years ago, I was asked to consider running for a seat on the city council. And here I am today, still stepping up to plate.”
After being away for some time, Kindel and his wife, Amanda, moved back to Arnegard in 2005 from New York. They were looking for a small town to raise their family in. They have seven children - Timothy, Andrew, Emily, Abigail, Matthew, Silas and Jackson.
“I chose to live here because it was a small town,” Kindel said. “But it has grown with the oil boom. The city council went from having 30-minute meetings to all of a sudden having three-hour meetings. The first few meetings I went to four years ago were pretty quiet with no planning and zoning.”
Now, the Arnegard City Council is faced with growth and developmental issues, like much larger towns. Many of the city council members have become veterans in a short time, Kindel said.
“Going from a dying town to a booming town is huge,” Kindel said. “The dynamics of this town are so interesting. Your word is your bond.”
The city council has many committees formed to help tackle tasks, and most positions have been filled at this time. They now have a city auditor, an engineer, a city planner and an attorney - which they didn’t need a handful of years ago.
“The individuals running the city council are people caring for the city of Arnegard and concerned citizens,” Kindel said. “When the boom hit, we needed professional city planners and trained, qualified people. Now we have them.”
One of the goals that Kindel has as mayor is to solve the waste water problems within the next couple of years in Arnegard and see movement toward a new waste water facility.
“I hope to see municipal water here,” he said.
He also wants to focus on the struggles such as maintaining the future of the Arnegard Police Department.
“I hope to direct council meetings in a very clear and concise way,” Kindel said. “I want to bring things together. Emotions and opinions can get heated in the meetings. I plan to be fair, consistent and objective as Mayor.”
Aside from the city council, Kindel and his family are also very dedicated to the Fellowship Church of Arnegard.
“I try to spend a lot of time with the church,” Kindel said. “I’ve been with them since the beginning and I am an ordained minister.”