Vote for Eric Nystrom or Zach Deeds on Tuesday to fill an open Pratt city commission seat.

Pratt city commissioner Lucas Kumberg will not run for re-election this year, after serving 4 years as commisioner and 4 years as Mayor of Pratt. His commission seat will be filled by the election of either Eric Nystrom or Zach Deeds. The Pratt Tribune conducted an information question and answer session with the two candidates and those answers are provided to help Pratt citizens who cast their votes on November 6. Eric Nystrom answers are designated EN; Zach Deeds answers are designated ZD.

1) Why are you running for city commission?
EN: I have had a lot of peer pressure to come back as a City Commissioner.  Plus I am very concerned about the future of Pratt and the direction we are currently headed.
ZD: I am running to ensure Pratt is a place where families thrive and flourish; so many local issues will be improved if this is the case.  I see a need for leadership that humbly listens to people and groups to gain their perspective.  Then bring them together in a positive and progressive manner to accomplish great and challenging feats.

2) What experience do you bring to the board?
EN: Nine years City Commissioner and three terms as Mayor.  Three years commissioner for planning and zoning, currently serving a three year term on Economic Development Corporation. Six years as a board member for Pratt County Historical Society. Sixteen years as a business retailer on Main street.
ZD: In 2003 I graduated from K-State with a masters in agronomy and I was then hired as the Ag Extension Agent for Pratt County, where my love for Pratt began.  From 2008-2011 I worked for The Roy and Elsie Blythe Foundation where I was project coordinator for the very challenging  task of bringing Blythe Family Fitness to fruition.  In 2011 I began my two current LLC business, one in residential and commercial athletic flooring, and the other in real estate properties.  I have served on the Trinity Evangelical Church Council since 2013 as a Deacon where we conduct the business of the church.  Also of note, I participated in Leadership 2000 Plus where I later served on the Board of Directors for many years.

3) What are important issues facing Pratt leaders at this time?
EN: The rapid decline of our population in the last three years. Working cooperatively with Pratt County leaders to strengthen our Economic Development master plan by recruiting and hiring an Economic Development Coordinator.
ZD: In general Pratt is doing well, that being said, I see a real need to pursue economic development opportunities, particularly with manufacturing.  We need to facilitate downtown business by any reasonable means.  We need to stay cognizant of our aging infrastructure and develop a comprehensive plan to adequately address each facet.  We also need to do everything we can to recruit and retain young families.  All this needs to be done with sound, just, and frugal spending.

4) What interesting fact might people of Pratt might not know about you already?
EN: I recently accepted a job with Home Lumber in Pratt in outside sales and assisting customers with floor covering and cabinetry design.
ZD: I am a proud christian.