Address: 112510 Ramsey Court, Chaska, MN 56318
Family: Married to Suzette for 37 glorious years, four children, six grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
Employment: Carver County commissioner
Education: Associate of Applied Science Broadcasting, Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting, Master of Science in Vocational Marketing Education, Post graduate studies at the University of Minnesota
Hobbies/Interests: My greatest interest is my children and grandchildren. The loss of our grown daughter has enhanced our appreciation for time spent with family.
Previous experience that would prove helpful in position: Four years on Chaska City Council; two year Carver County Parks Commission; nine years on the Carver County Planning Commission
We are turning the page as to who we are as a county, as a community, as neighbors, and what our families expect now and for their children in the future. The challenges ahead with the effects of the pandemic will need solid experience for us to flourish as we have in the past. All decisions must be weighed to include data, facts and special attention to those devilish unintentional consequences that can cause hurt and waste the taxpayer’s dollar.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
Transportation infrastructure, comprehensive and inclusive housing, improved mental health services.
How will you involve, and communicate with, residents during your term?
This has become an ever-moving target with new digital technology. Occasional columns in the local newspapers are not enough. We need to continue to use text, e-mail, websites, and social media group communications and make them more effective. We started streaming board meetings, but must move forward with more digital live public engagement. The old coffee shop chats are useful, but not as effective as utilizing progressive digital format to gather people’s comments and ideas. My commitment would be to perfect more communication channels.
What areas would you adjust in the budget?
The budgeting process is comprehensive with the commissioners involved at the correct level in budget minutes. Department leaders justify why and what they plan to do. The commissioners review that data and facts and opt to fund what is needed for the correct county services delivery model. I see no need for any substantial changes. If there are concerns on the budget due to the pandemic, we will employ the proven strategies as we did in the last recession.
What role should the county have in assisting people and businesses in the pandemic?
Our first role is to maintain the best county services possible under the circumstances. I am proud of the way county employees have met this challenge and through empowerment have found better ways to serve during these times. The commissioners have decided to work through our partners at the Community Development Authority to help folks maintain their mortgages and to provide assistance to our Main Street businesses with the federal pandemic funding.
What is your long-range vision for Carver County?
To meet the service requirements and the special needs of our residents in a fiscally responsible and caring way. We will plan the county’s growth to preserve its uniqueness and will encourage rural and urban compatibility. We will protect our history while planning for a dynamic future. We will keep Carver County a great place to live, work, and play for a lifetime.
What is your favorite part of living in Carver County?
I love interacting with such a diverse population of folks who lives are based on the unique traditions of Carver County and now with the new residents bringing different ideas and experiences to our collective culture and the community.
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?
Never charged or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. We filed bankruptcy 31 years ago just before leaving active military service on the advice of doctors and attorneys. I accept responsibility for the circumstances that lead to this troubled time for me and will always regret the need for this decision. A voluntary foreclosure was exercised with the bank shortly after the bankruptcy.