Neuendorf running for Chelsea mayor position
Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2016
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
CHELSEA – Continuing to improve public facilities and addressing road issues throughout Chelsea are among Chelsea City councilman Dale Neuendorf’s plans for the city if he is elected mayor this year.
Neuendorf, who is currently serving his second term on the City Council, said he had been considering running for mayor for more than a year and made the final decision in early fall 2015.
“It’s just because of a passion for Chelsea,” Neuendorf said. “Chelsea has a unique flavor of being a rural community with a very slow pace, but also modern conveniences for shopping. The schools are just excellent.”
Neuendorf said the construction of the new community center is one of the city’s most significant accomplishments recently, and his plans, if elected, call for additions to the roughly 30,000-square-foot facility, including a splash pad for children and outdoor basketball courts that would be available after the center closes at 8 p.m.
“I would like to develop a comprehensive plan for the community center that would increase all the amenities we foresee,” he said. “I would love to see us build a couple more tennis courts at the center, and then to have a walking trail around the property. We have 39 acres there, and the center only takes up 9 acres.”
Other additions he wants to see at the center include exercise stations along the walking trail, a small dog park, a pitch-n-putt golf green, Frisbee golf and picnic pavilions with fire pits.
Another accomplishment and ongoing project for the city is the new sports complex located off Shelby County 11. The first phase with three youth ball fields, paved parking and a concession stand and press box is nearing completion, Neuendorf said, and he wants to see the next phase – the six competitive tennis courts – completed shortly after.
Neuendorf said challenges Chelsea continues to face involve streets and roads. Streets in subdivisions belong to their respective developers until the final seal coat is applied, but for various reasons, some streets in local subdivisions remain uncompleted.
In addition, Neuendorf said six or more subdivisions on Shelby County 36 in Pelham city limits could be de-annexed from Pelham and annexed into Chelsea city limits.
“They want to be in Chelsea,” he said of the subdivisions. “I plan to work as hard as I can to make a way for that to happen.”
Also, reworking the intersection of Shelby County 47 and Shelby County 39 in front of Chelsea City Hall is a “top priority,” Neuendorf said.
“I have a plan to remove the one traffic light at the current intersection in front of the old Weldon Store and straighten County Road 39 so that we have a modern commercial roundabout that has no traffic lights, so traffic moves continuously except when we have to stop for a train,” he said. “The roundabout would have sidewalks, green spaces, modern lighting and some type of feature in the center such as a fountain or a reflecting pool. This could be the beginning of a city center for Chelsea.”
Points of Neuendorf’s platform are more citizen involvement with citizen advisory committees; better communications to all residents of Chelsea; recruiting new businesses and completion of city projects; exploring building a business park; enhancing schools for the future; and continuing to enhance emergency services in Chelsea, including fire and rescue, law enforcement and the COP Program.
“I really want to do the things in Chelsea that the citizens want done,” he said. “I want to have a town hall meeting right after the first council meeting of each quarter, where every citizen is invited to speak about any subdivision and ask any question (and) discuss what they like and what we could do differently.”
Neuendorf described himself as “a fiscally conservative person” who promises the city “will never borrow money for any projects without a sound, responsible way to pay it back.”
“We want Chelsea just to be a community where people enjoy life and look forward to getting off work and coming back every afternoon,” Neuendorf said. “Chelsea is just a great place to live, and we don’t want to change any of the things that are nice about it now. We just want to enhance those.”
Neuendorf and his wife of 49 years, Mary, have three children and seven grandchildren.
Since he is running for mayor, Neuendorf is not seeking re-election to the place 1 seat on the City Council.
For more information about Neuendorf and his mayoral campaign, visit Daleformayor.com.