With a career in real estate and having lived in west Hastings for 37 years, as well as having the time available, Theodore “Ted” Schroeder believes he is the right candidate for the Ward 2 vacancy on the Hastings City Council.

Schroeder, 64, of 911 Briarwood Ave., is running for the Hastings City Council seat being vacated by Sarah Hoops. His opponent is Margaret R. Marsh of 1515 W. Seventh St.

Ward 2 includes west Hastings.

Schroeder is an original owner and broker of Hastings First Choice Real Estate and still is an associate broker there.

“I really feel like I have the time, the energy,” he said. “With the real estate part and my business background, I really have the knowledge to possibly help in city government.”

As a candidate, Schroeder has a handful of platform issues — addressing debt, supporting businesses, and also allocating tax money wisely.

“They’ve already got a good start at getting Hastings out of debt,” he said. “I think we need to do everything in our power to get ourselves out of debt. One of the main things is to put a push on quality growth in the areas of manufacturing retail and the service industry.”

Hastings needs to maximize its coal-fired power plants to cover the more than $90 million debt owed on Whelan Energy Center No. 2, Schroeder said. However, the community also needs to move forward with renewable energy projects.

“The key is we do have two power plants that we’re involved in there. We do need to support those completely right now. Sometime, and it may not be in the near future, but in the foreseeable future, we need to see when we transition at some point. I don’t know what that time frame would be. I think that’s what the utilities is going to emphasize now.”

One of the most pertinent issues in west Hastings, as well Hastings in general, in the future of the Imperial Mall. Schroeder attended four of the seven visioning meetings in July that looked at the future of the mall property as well as adjacent properties — including the Hastings Municipal Airport.

“There’s some very good ideas; we just need to get some local ownership going, potentially, out in the mall,” he said.

He wants to be part of that solution because he’s lived in Ward 2 for 37 years.

“I’d like to see something there,” he said. I’m not sure it’s retail necessarily, but there was a lot of things brought up at those meetings. I think we just need to get a strong focus on moving forward on something instead of just delaying it.”

While Schroeder is running for a spot on the Hastings City Council representing West Hastings, he said it’s also important to look at downtown, Burlington Avenue and South Hastings.

“I don’t think we should leave anybody out,” he said. “We should support the businesses we’ve got and just really do a better job of pursuing some new possibilities.”

He graduated from Sandy Creek High School and Hastings College. Living in Hastings with his wife, Lori, Schroeder has two children and five grandchildren.

He’s an alumnus and past board member of Leadership Hastings, serves with Hastings Diplomats, is a past Teammates mentor and board member, and is a member and trustee of First Presbyterian Church.

He has lived in Hastings for 43 years.

Schroeder formerly had a job where he used to travel for sales.

“I traveled the whole state and I felt like we had as good, if not the best, community to live in in the state of Nebraska,” he said.

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