Time to commit to the job and enthusiasm for Galva. Those are the two primary reasons Alderman Rich Volkert has thrown his hat into the city’s mayoral race.

Time to commit to the job and enthusiasm for Galva.

Those are the two primary reasons Alderman Rich Volkert has thrown his hat into the city’s mayoral race.

“I just think I have the time to do it now. It’s hard to have a job and do that,” Volkert said of the mayor’s office. “It is a full-time position.”

Volkert made his mayoral intentions known at the October city council meeting — the same meeting that Mayor Rich Nordstrom announced he will not seek re-election. 

Volkert’s no stranger to service in his community as he’s been a member of the fire department for 27 years, has served on the Galva School Board five years, the Galva High School Wall of Fame Committee since its inception, the Church Council and Property Committee at Messiah Lutheran Church, and also the Hook and Bullet board. He’s approaching two years as an alderman on the city council, as he took over the seat vacated when Derrick Glisan moved from town.

As an alderman, Volkert said his approach has been to listen to the concerns of citizens and steer them in the right direction for an answer. 

Through the efforts of residents and the community group Galva: Ready to Grow, Volkert said the city is “starting to turn the corner, but there’s still a long ways to go.”

And he believes it takes the talents of a number of residents to get that corner completely turned.

“I think to get people to realize that, yes, you elect the mayor and council to run the city, but everybody needs to participate,” Volkert said.

“Galva does a real good job of rising to the occasion when something happens, but sometimes we kind of let things slide until things fall apart,” he added.

Volkert encourages residents to get involved in just one more organization — whether it be their church or something in the community. He noted Galva has many great events — the Freedom Fest Fourth of July and Ol’ Fashioned Christmas celebrations, the Back Road Music Festival and Levitt AMP Galva Music Series — but added those are all grassroots efforts and that the city also needs to get involved with new efforts and attractions.

If elected mayor, Volkert wants to focus more on the needs and ideas of the current Galva business community.

“I feel that personally I want to talk to every person that runs a business in Galva two or three times a year,” Volkert said. “Too many times, you’re always looking outside of town and you should talk to the people in town a little bit more and see if they need help.”

“I think we need to sit down as a city and community and plan ahead,” he added. “We have to stop looking back and look ahead.”