BEATRICE – Off and running, for the Beatrice City Council. The 2022 election races saw the first candidate file this week.

Duane Ruh will seek the Fourth Ward position now held by Councilman Joe Billesbach.  Ruh is retired, and returned to Beatrice after living in Omaha and Minneapolis…then living in Kearney before moving back to Beatrice. He has prior city council experience.

"It was in the small town of Sargent, Nebraska...and then when I was in Kearney, I served on the Board of Adjustments out there. I ran for city council, but luckily, I lost out by about 200 votes to all of the incumbents. I ended up having to move back to Beatrice to take care of my folks, so it was actually a good thing that I didn't win."

During his working career, Ruh was employed by the former Store Kraft Manufacturing company in Beatrice and was a member of the fire department. He worked within the store fixture industry elsewhere….and previously operated a screen printing and embroidery business in Kearney.  Ruh said he’s concerned about a drug problem in Beatrice…something he says many communities face. His main concern, though, is bringing more business to the community.

"Most people have to go to, it's easy to get to Lincoln to do shopping. The town (Beatrice) is a good town, and we used to have a lot of department stores and things where people could shop and get clothing and things lke that. If you really look at it, there isn't too many places, especially for men, to get clothing and other items...things like that."

Ruh says the recent discussion of food truck regulations is an indicator that the city needs to do more to reduce regulation and make it easier for business to operate.  "You've got businesses that want to come in, and when they come in and set up at places, businesses around them do well. A good example is down there by the Brewery. When the food trucks are there, the businesses around the brewery do better. We shouldn't be discouraging things like that. We should be trying to make it easier for people to do business in town."

Ruh says he plans to speak with other council members to help learn about problems, formulate ideas and lay out a game plan.