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NEW BUFFALO — Five candidates are running for two four-year terms on the New Buffalo City Council.

Incumbent Mark Robertson faces challengers Nicholas Holevas, Mick Lantis, Jennifer Parello and Vance Price.

Mark Robertson 

While serving on the city council, Robertson said he's focused on the downtown redevelopment and streetscape, a network of sidewalks for walkability, reconstruction of Clay Street and resurfacing of other streets

Having garnered multiple grants for different projects around the city, he said they are also in the process of updating New Buffalo's zoning ordinance language. If reelected, Robertson said he will continue to work hard for the city.

"My goals are to keep moving the city forward in a positive manner, and to be respectful to all opinions," Robertson said. "My objective is to keep looking at all sides of the issues and to make common sense decisions for the benefit of the city."

Nicholas Holevas 

Holevas said he wants to help heal the divides that exist between residents and the city council. He also seeks to “protect the rights of all property owners, including tenants, by not allowing a lot of government overreach.”

Holevas, who is a CPA and has lived in New Buffalo since 2013, said the city cannot rely on tourism as a year-round industry.

“Use actual data to determine the healthy balance of short-term rentals to full-time residents, and also use actual data of the economic impact of tourism and how we can harness it to grow a more diverse source of income," he said. "I just want to provide a different voice on the city council."

Mick Lantis

Lantis said his goal is to serve the people of New Buffalo, by learning from the incumbent members of the council and working with them. To do so, he said he wants to lower the tension that sometimes exists between permanent residents and second homeowners.

The semi-retired educator has been a university professor for 30 years. Lantis touts college degrees in business, computer technology and education. he was also elected and served as a senator to the university senate for nine years.

"I believe the No. 1 issue in this election is to try and make housing more affordable for permanent residents" Lantis said. "Parents should not have to feel that they live in a community where their children could never afford to live. While I don’t agree 100 percent with the actions of the current city council, I do support their efforts to stop the unrestricted growth of short-term rentals."

Jennifer Parello

Parello said she decided to run for city council over the bitterness between city officials, residents and business owners. After buying a second home in New Buffalo in 2003, she became a full-time resident two years later.

Parello was recruited to serve on the park board where she worked with the city council to install the beach walk, revitalize Oselka Park, and install the ice rink. Last year, she volunteered to serve a one-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

"The city is facing several difficult and sensitive issues – including regulating short-term rentals, rebuilding a struggling business community, fixing roads and other infrastructure, and the impact of ever-changing lake levels," she said. "From my perspective, we’re all working toward the same goal: we want to find practical, actionable answers to these problems to create an awesome community for all."

Vance Price

Price was raised in New Buffalo and attended both New Buffalo Public Schools and St. Mary’s Catholic School. He's been a science teacher at New Buffalo Middle/High School for the past 28 years, as well as a cross-country and track coach since 1999. 

Price lamented how divisive politics has become base don the number of lawsuits and recalls.

"As a long time resident of our city, I’m aware of the needs of the community and of the public concerns that face our city," he said. "If elected, I will take the time to educate myself on all aspects of the role of a city council member and be the best council member I can be."