Steve Haag, an instructor with Mexico School District 59, has thrown his hat in the ring for a position on the Mexico City Council. Two seats are available for the April election. Incumbent Ayanna Shivers already has filed to retain her seat. The other open seat is held by Stephen Nichols. It is not yet known if he intends to file. Those seeking a position on the city council have until Jan. 21 to file.

Haag has been with Mexico School District 59 in a variety of positions for the past 20 years. His wife, Deb Hill-Haag, is the Mexico Middle School principal. He has taught high school social studies, was the president of the Certified Teachers Association and now serves as the district football and track coach, as well as a bus driver and credit recovery instructor. He also helps students who are behind in their studies.

"It's always good to serve your community. I've met a lot of great people and really enjoy the community and thought it would be a good service to learn a little bit more about what the city does and how it provides for the citizens," he said.

Haag hopes to take advantage of a position on the council to learn about city processes to help bridge the gap between residents and city officials in collaborating on the community’s issues.

"I know quite a few of the people that work for the city and I want to get in there and learn what their goals are first to see what they want to try to accomplish," Haag said. "A town our size always wants to bring new business and that should be the goal of anyone who is running."

Haag wants to work collaboratively and openly on any issue facing the city. Elected officials are called to be open with their constituents, he said. They also have to listen to their constituents and take those ideas to the appropriate city staff or other authorities.

"I've always been a believer we're a lot smarter together than as a single person," he said. "I'm not looking to grind any axes. Just trying to serve and hopefully improve Mexico."

Since Haag works for the school district, he already is familiar with a board structure and the collaborative work of employees and the governing body, he said.

"The school is kind of like a little city itself. The [council] works in the same parallel," Haag said.

cdunlap@gatehousemedia.com