FDL City Council Candidate Profile : Derek TerBeest
The spring election is coming up April 2nd, and voters across the state will be going to the polls to cast their votes in a number of races. Locally, voters in the City of Fond du Lac will see six candidates running for three spots on the City Council. One of those names on the ballot is Derek TerBeest, who previously served a two-year term, but was not re-elected during the last cycle. TerBeest says he’s running again to help serve a community that means a lot to him – and enjoys working with topics that people might not find so exciting. “Honestly, the part that interests me is what a lot of people might consider the ‘boring’ stuff,” he said. “I want to get into the nuts and bolts of negotiating budgets, negotiating how ordinances are drafted. That’s something that I don’t think everybody cares a lot about necessarily, but it’s something that I had an interest in.”
TerBeest says his previous experience on the council is what sets him apart from the other candidates in the race. “Having the experience of working budgets and having relationships with the department heads. Always being respectful with department heads has really created good relationships for working back and forth with council issues,” he said. “The other part of it is working with the other people on council, some of them I will have experience working with, some of them if I would get re-elected would be new people to work with – just establishing fair report with them.” TerBeest points to his time serving on different committees, including Plan Commission, Parking and Traffic Advisory Board and Historic Preservation Commission, among others, as experience that gives him an edge over other candidates.
TerBeest identifies responsible budgeting and keeping spending in check as a key issue going forward for the council. “The city used to borrow debt in a way that I would say wasn’t as responsible as the way we’re borrowing now, so we’re still paying off older debts,” he said. “At the same time, we’re paying off faster terms on more recent borrowing, so that’s why we’ve had to raise taxes a little bit.” He says when those older debts come off in a few years, the city’s debt servicing will come down – and to make sure they don’t have to keep raising property taxes, the city needs to keep their spending in check now.