Holland mayoral candidates on the issues

Elections

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The mayoral race in Holland is heating up as a local attorney prepares to face incumbent Mayor Nancy DeBoer.

Nathan Bocks of Central Park Law announced his candidacy for mayor in November 2018. He describes himself as a community leader, having previously served on several commissions and boards. Bocks most recently served as the chair for the Civic Center fundraising board.

His opponent, DeBoer, has been serving the city as mayor since 2015. Prior to that, she was on the city council for 10 years.

News 8 sat down with both candidates separately to ask their perspective on key issues facing the city. Below, find their answers.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

“It’s certainly not adequate at this point,” Bocks said. “We have low supply and high demand. One of the ways you drive those costs down again is to increase the supply that we have and we’re going to need to think creatively and work collaboratively.”

DeBoer said it’s an issue facing all tax brackets, not just low-income families.

“We need housing at every price point,” DeBoer said. “We want quality in Holland not just quantity. Whenever we’re going to build something at an affordable rate then you’re going to have to involve philanthropy and the donation of the land.”

IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY IN HOLLAND

“I think it makes us a lot stronger as a community and I think we always have a responsibility to continue to reach out to people and find places that we agree and work on things together,” DeBoer said.

Bocks said it’s an area where the city needs to do some serious work.

“There’s certain parts of our community, certain subgroups that simply do not feel welcome. They do not feel included and they do not feel heard and that needs to change and I think that change needs to start at the mayor’s office,” Bocks said.

WHAT SETS YOU APART?

“I’ve got a lot of experience with small business in Holland as well as all of my legal experience in Holland. I think the thing that sets us apart is that I’m somebody that not only is looking at this from a position of being a ceremonial leader in Holland but somebody who is actually going to be out there and working hard to get things done in the community,” Bocks said.

“One thing is experience because I’ve been serving the city for 10 years, studied it and worked on it. I’ve watched other mayors handle things and go through good and bad times and I didn’t rush to leadership,” DeBoer said. “I came into the community because I loved it and wanted to give back to it.”

Watch more from Bocks and DeBoer:

Voters will cast their ballots Nov. 5. You can find your polling place and check out a sample ballot online at the Michigan Secretary of State’s Voter Information Center.

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