Albert Lea man says city needs more accountability

Published 10:29 am Thursday, June 2, 2016

An Albert Lea man has filed his bid for 1st Ward councilor.

Craig Havener, 69, of 2007 Brookside Drive, filed May 26.

Havener, a retired corporate executive, said he is running as a businessman, not as a politician.

Craig Havener

Craig Havener

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As an executive for Thomas & Betts Corp. — a Memphis, Tennessee, based global company — Havener was responsible for acquisitions, procurement, transportation, travel, real estate and facilities.

Havener, who regularly attends Albert Lea City Council meetings, said Albert Lea city leaders have forgotten that taxpayers are their customers, noting he thinks city leaders could have developed Freeborn Bank Building for less than what they have already spent.

He said he has noticed city officials are not getting into too much detail on projects, noting he does not think they are practicing best business practices.

Havener said Albert Lea city government, among with most

other government entities, are missing accountability, noting he thinks city officials need to track metrics to see how they are doing in specific departments to improve efficiency.

He said government and business are alike, noting companies are expected to sort through details and find out how to make projects more efficient to make a return on an investment.

Though in businesses customers will leave immediately if they are not satisfied with the product, in government it can take years for dissatisfied citizens to leave the community, he said.

He described himself as a direct person, noting it is important not to confuse effort with results.

“If you don’t get the job done, you have failed,” he said.

He said if elected, he would like to gather what people are thinking and put together a coalition to ensure needed changes are met.

Havener and his wife, Peggy — director of Albert Lea Public Library — have two children and two grandchildren.

Havener will face off against Rich Murray, George Gillespie and Harold Kamrath.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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