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As a candidate for Blackfoot City Council Seat 1, local realtor and businessman Andy Hasselbring has a fresh and long term vision for Blackfoot.
Hasselbring is vying for the seat against longtime incumbent Chris Jensen and newcomer Kenneth Ashcraft.
A Blackfoot native, Hasselbring said, "My vision for Blackfoot is to develop a culture in the city and help Blackfoot become the' best place to live and raise a family."
Hasselbring has somewhat of a different perspective on growing the city, saying, "Blackfoot is in a unique and somewhat difficult position where it's in between the two larger cities. I believe its more about drawing people from throughout East Idaho, particularly Idaho Falls and Pocatello, to come and live in Blackfoot. If there's a good population base of people living here and spending money here - the businesses will respond."
"Our city needs people, our businesses need people and our neighborhoods need people. Blackfoot needs to outshine our surrounding cities," he said.
Hasselbring, who works for Blackfoot's Premier Technology, said that many of his co-workers (and other Blackfoot workers) commute from the surrounding cities to work here. "There are many people who work here - but they don't live here. Why?" he asked.
Hasselbring believes the city could do a better job in "creating an environment" and reflecting "pride of ownership" and that the city needs to take a leadership role in maintaining and engineering the city's infrastructure and aesthetics.
"It's about growing people and businesses. The city's decisions affect how we attract people and businesses. We need a long-term strategy to compete with our neighboring cities."
A Blackfoot High School graduate, Hasselbring moved away and attended college at University of Utah and Boise State University, earning double majors in business management and business marketing. He settled briefly in Salt Lake City, but moved back to Blackfoot to raise his family because he "knew what Blackfoot had to offer."
"People who don't live here don't know what Blackfoot has to offer. We need to do a better job selling Blackfoot," he noted.
As a realtor for RE/MAX since 2006 and business development account manager for Premier Technology, Hasselbring said his job "has been selling Blackfoot for years.
"I have a great track record. I'm educated. I'm practiced. I believe I'm the best candidate to promote Blackfoot."
Hasselbring has been active in the community with the Chamber of Commerce, various youth sports, Safe Place and the Idaho Association of Realtors. He and his wife Julie have four children.
Blackfoot City Council Seat 1 is the only seat being challenged. Council Seat 2 is held by Layne (Skip) Gardner (4-year term); Council Seat 3 is held by Bart Brown (2-year term) and Jan Simpson has declared her candidacy for open Council Seat 4.
The city election will be held on Nov. 5.