Hooper Mayor Tommy Dentler speaks about election, community projects

HOOPER — Mayor Tommy Dentler recently spoke about the upcoming election and other projects slated for the rural town in 2024.

Dentler said the next town board meeting will take place on March 17, and there will be a meet and greet for the trustee candidates. The town board has four trustees. All four trustee seats are up for election.

Five people will be vying for the four seats — three of the incumbents and two newcomers. Interested residents can meet the candidates at the next board meeting where the meet and greet will be held on March 17.

“This is really up to the people as to how this turns out,” Dentler said. “We are really excited. The good thing is that in the past we had been trying to reach out for people to become trustees, but now we have more applicants than in the past. We have residents reaching out for these positions. It’s exciting that we have people wanting to engage in the community.”

Also, on the ballot for this election year, is measure that would allow recreational and medical cannabis sales the town with a population of roughly 100 people. A similar measure failed 25-18 in 2022.

“Two years ago, it failed miserably, so they tried to put it on the ballot again this year. It passed to be on the ballot. We are going to have it on the ballot to see if it actually goes through,” he said.

Dentler said a ground fowl measure will be on the ballot as well.

“We are going to see if we are going to be doing any type of regulation for chickens or things of that nature,” he said.

Dentler also spoke of the projects that are currently going on in the community, including a project that was started at the Hooper Town Park with new playground equipment last year.

“We want to apply for another grant for the park, to continue with the completed project of finishing up the park,” he said. “The playground equipment was a great addition, but we want to add more. This includes things like getting power to the park, which is something we have been lacking for a very long time. A camera system is going to be put into place. We have our lights that are going to be put up; they are solar powered. A fire pit is going to be added as well.”

Dentler also said couple of town clean up days were in the works. He added that he would like to talk with the town trustees to organize projects that were low cost but could help the community in other areas.

“I am excited to hear from the trustees about this, to see what they have come up with, and what ideas they have about this,” he said.

Dentler also spoke about Hooper’s three major annual events.

“We have our Hooper Picnic on June 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. The trustees and I do this for the community, with lunch for everybody in the community. We also do face painting and other fun things too. So, we are excited about that.”

Dentler said Hooper Fest is set for Oct. 5 from 1 to 5 p.m.

“This is our fall festival. We have vendors that come out and sell merchandise. We also have taco trucks that come out. That’s always a fun time for everyone,” he said.

To wrap up the year, Hooper has a holiday party.

“This year it will be Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. We always try to give back to the community right before the holiday season. We are excited about that too,” he said.

Dentler said his vision for 2024 is community.

“Having each other’s backs in the community and looking out for one another is really important to me,” he said. “What happens is, we don’t know our neighbors, or our neighbors’ neighbors. We also don’t talk, even though we live so closely together. So, having that camaraderie again, and having people talk and get out of their houses and hang out together again. This is something that I really want to draw towards in the community. This is one of the reasons that I ran for mayor, with such a small community I really thought we could make a difference and have an impact on the community, you know.”