SIOUX CITY | In his nine years as a police officer in Colorado during the 1970s, Denny Quinn says he learned the value of hearing out both sides of a story.
"There's two sides to everything," he said. "So when you have a problem, you just need to delve into it and get both sides of it. Get all your information and all your facts together. I'm real good at doing that."
It's that balanced approach -- further backed by his years spent as a warehouse manager, school transportation specialist and a grandfather -- that Quinn believes would make him a valuable addition to the Sioux City Council.
Quinn, 68, is seeking his first term on the council after spending the past 36 years living in Sioux City. The former police officer and retired Sioux City Schools transportation specialist received the most votes of all the non-incumbents in the Oct. 10 primary en route to a fourth-place finish.
He's now working on putting in the door-knocking and campaigning he hopes can propel him into the top three.
Quinn was originally born in Jersey City, New Jersey. When he was 11, his family moved to Denver, Colorado. Following his high school graduation in 1967, Quinn joined the Army for a three-year enlistment. He became a helicopter crew chief and spent a year deployed in Vietnam.
Upon returning to Colorado, Quinn was hired as a police officer in the nearby city of Glendale. After four years, he moved to the Denver suburb of Englewood, where he would work as an officer for five more years.
Quinn and his family relocated to Sioux City in 1981, where he spent 19 years as a warehouse manager with R & R Recycling.
In 2002, Quinn was hired as a bus driver with the Sioux City Community School District. Two years later, he became a dispatcher, and was later promoted to transportation specialist. Under that position, Quinn oversaw the routing, supervised about 90 people and was the first contact for drivers and assistants each morning.
Quinn retired at 65 but still occasionally fills in as a school bus driver. He said his position working with drivers has given him a unique perspective into the low labor supply in Sioux City, as he has seen the district and other businesses search for drivers to fill positions.
Quinn, who has three grandchildren living in Sioux City and two more in Chicago, says he thinks of them when envisioning how to improve Sioux City.
"I'd like to see Sioux City be a place where no matter what your major is in college, you graduate and there's a job for you here," Quinn said, adding that when the youth move away, sometimes their parents will follow.
He said he has heard people worried about ways residents think city dollars could be more well-spent. Quinn said he believes he possesses the clearheaded approach and positive attitude the council needs.
"A lot of what I hear is they want some new blood on the council," he said. "I don’t have a personal agenda. That's not my reason for running."