Newport City Council candidate Q-and-A: Katy McElwee-StevensNewport City Council candidate Katy McElwee-Stevens answers questions posed by the Bulletin.
Why are you most qualified to serve as a member of the Newport City Council?
My qualifications include working in the accountant track and as an accountant at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for 10 years. I am in my seventh year as a member of the Newport Planning Commission. For the past 14 years I have been a trusted volunteer and employee at Newport Elementary. I am not new to Newport, its codes, culture, ordinances or its residents. My years of service to this community have been preparing me for this responsibility.
What is the biggest issue facing Newport, and how would you propose to address it?
Newport has challenges to overcome; however, we have many positive offerings as well. Right now we need to intentionally seek economic development. With the advent of the transit station on the northwest end of town, the time is right for Newport to spend time and funds on making developers/businesses aware of the potential that lies within Newport. Newport’s location, with immediate access via rail, road, air (and possibly river) transportation, is a valuable asset we need to build upon.
Regarding recent potential financial oversight issues that were raised, are you satisfied with the city’s finances and the current controls in place? Why or why not?
I was alarmed when I found out about staff not being required to turn in receipts for purchases made with city credit cards. I’ve been a steward of public funds when I was working at the University of Minnesota as an accountant, when I was a member of the South Washington County Schools School Board, and as the treasurer for the various parent-teacher organizations I’ve been a part of. I have always required receipts for anything I’ve paid out on no matter what the amount; if an item was worth getting reimbursed for, then it’s worth it to the payee to turn in a receipt. I would like to review all the financial policies and controls in place to make sure we are following the generally accepted principals of accounting.
Occupation: High needs paraprofessional, Newport Elementary School
Lived in Newport: 24 years
Family: Husband Rick; son Connor; daughter Callie