Why are you running for this position?
I love this community and hope our kids choose Carver County to call home as adults. Many encouraged my run citing a County Board unchanged since 2006.
After thoughtful consideration and research, I found many voices not represented. What the board has in longevity, it lacks in perspective. I’d directly represent:
- 40% of households with school aged kids.
- 78% who are <55.
- 35% who have lived here.
- Non-politicians (current makeup 25 years in politics).
- Technology background.
A balanced board is a better board. I would bring voice to these unrepresented areas and balance to a board unchanged since 2006.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
- Navigating impacts of COVID-19. Financial/ budget gaps and burdens, mental health surge.
- Providing needed vision and blueprint for success. The next 20 years will shape the next 200 years, a culture focused on empowered staff, as well as bringing unity to a divided community (Republicans vs. Democrats, yes vs. no, mask vs. no mask).
- Adapting social and physical infrastructure to address population changes. New build/young family increases, diversification — race/ religion, alleviating congestion on 5 and expanding 212, a focus on diversified business tax base, and forging better relationships (individuals, not for profits, place of worship and civic organizations).
How will you involve, and communicate with, residents during your term?
I’d invite you to read "100 Things I’d do as Commissioner" — Find on Facebook (rb.gy/lxvvbx). Examples include:
- Deliver annual county update/report.
- Continue "Chat with Matt" sessions (transparent sought and shared insights for stakeholders).
- Establish annual "Smarter Spending Session" for employees and stakeholders (to surface, discuss and address potential savings to redeploy to other programs).
- Seek input from each county employee annually, establish confidential inbox for employees concerns or suggestions 24/7/365.
- Pre-established Report Card residents can hold me accountable to (rb.gy/lxvvbx).
- Continue attending city of Chaska, Victoria, and District 112 School Board meetings.
What areas would you adjust in the budget?
Budgets are complex, but boil down to expenses and revenues — I’ve handled $500M+ budgets for F100 companies so I know budgets well. Our revenues will go up (more rooftops, higher property values and more diversified tax base from business) as we’re the fastest growing county in the state. However COVID has increased expenses and reduced revenues. Effectively managing the revenues/ expenses is critically important to keep taxes in check. Here are three key areas I would focus on:
- Removing non-value layers (by empowering staff solutions).
- Maximizing partnerships.
- Growing and attracting diversified business tax base.
What role should the county have in assisting people and businesses in the pandemic?
These are three things I’d lead, not only in a pandemic, but during regular course of operation too:
- Get out of the way. Let families run their families and businesses run their businesses, most do so better than the government.
- Make support available. Specifically for distressed businesses/families (food, mental health resources, deferred fees, etc.).
- Help remove and navigate layers. With clarity and best practices; help fill out documents, share best practices from peer businesses/families, and reduce hoop jumping and frustrating layers of unnecessary confusion.
What is your long-range vision for Carver County?
- The best place to live (for a lifetime). A county all people would choose to call home for a lifetime including best-in-class schools, parks, amenities, services and infrastructure.
- The best place to work. Great jobs don’t need to be 30 minutes away. Expanding well-paying public and private jobs right here in our community would enable residents to spend more time on the things they love, and less time commuting.
- The best place to build a business. Offering support, but staying out of the way — the right businesses bring jobs, tax base, and amenities close to home.
What is your favorite part of living in Carver County?
I’m an Iowa native, and my wife is a lifelong resident — we both agree we want to call Carver County our home for many, many years to come. We’ve had multiple opportunities to relocate for new jobs, yet the money and opportunity do not compare to the community of people we’ve built here.
We also love the parks and trails, community events, and our ever evolving and diverse neighborhood in Clover Ridge. We love local businesses like Red Bench Bakery, Ruby Roost, Schram Haus, Enki, The Social, Patron, Carver Junk Company, Churchills, Floyds, and so many more.
Have you been charged in the past year, or ever been convicted, of a misdemeanor or higher, or been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy or foreclosure?