|Third candidate seeks Ward I council seat|
|March 22, 2012 Jerry Purvis|
Steve Koralewski, who grew up in Gering and has recently returned, is running for the city council in Ward I.
Born and raised in Gering, Koralewski is a 1993 graduate of Gering High School. After graduation, he went to work for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for six years.
“That turned out to be too hard of a lifestyle for me,” he said. “For the past 11 years, I’ve lived in the Denver area.”
While in Colorado, Koralewski was a independent contractor in the construction industry for Pella Windows, Home Depot and other companies. He also served on the master homeowners association for Parker, Colo.
“The master board later broke up into subdivisions, where I also served,” he said. “The main reason for being on those boards was to voice my opinion. If people have concerns about how their neighborhood is being run, I think they should get involved and follow through, not just show up to one meeting to complain.”
Koralewski said he recently moved back to the area to reconnect with his family. His wife is from Scottsbluff and his family still lives here. His father, Don, is seeking re-election this fall as Mayor of Minatare.
“My wife and I have an 8-year-old daughter and the Denver life was pretty hectic,” he said. “We wanted to come home and slow down a bit.”
When his family returned to Gering, a few of Koralewski’s neighbors and business associates suggested he run for the city council. After being away for 11 years, he has a different perspective on what Gering has accomplished in that time and how it’s changed.
“I know I can’t change everything, but I’d like to see what I could do to help the community,” he said.
He said the parks still look good since he’s been away and the schools are still in good shape. And he said he’d like to see more businesses choose Gering.
“The opening of Fresh Foods was a huge step forward,” Koralewski said. “It’s nice to be here and actually see that happen. But I’d like to see a downtown that has more of a hometown feeling to it. I’d like to see more people coming to the downtown area, like we see in the old photos.”
Koralewski works as an account manager for Nebraska Transport Company, so he regularly sees many of the business owners in the area. And he said he’d like to know what we could do to bring more businesses, including manufacturing, to Gering.
He added the city council could benefit from members from different age groups – the wisdom from long-time members and new ideas from younger members.
“I have the passion to get out there and see what changes can be made,” he said.
The Ward I city council race will be the only one on the May 15 primary ballot in Gering. Koralewski will face Justin Allred and Ric Johns in the primary. The two candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election on Nov. 6.