Why are you running for this position?
I’ve served on the council for four years and have built great working relationships with county commissioners, county staff, and officials and staff at the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. I want to leverage those relationships at the county to improve traffic and pedestrian conditions on our roads. I believe the partnership we’re building with the MCWD has and will continue to pay huge dividends for the residents of Victoria. The MCWD were instrumental in helping build Lake Wasserman Preserve, (grand opening in October) and I also believe they will help us make our trail system the envy of the region.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
Managing the growth area south of Victoria is proving to be very challenging. We are struggling to find adequate water supply. We have drilled several (very expensive) test wells without success. Several developers have given serious considerations for developing but have declined for one reason or another.
We have similar challenges developing Downtown West (13 acres east of the Dairy Queen). This project will require substantial investment from taxpayers and we will need to weigh the value of return on investment.
We will continue to work with business owners to improve downtown parking.
What role should the city have in assisting people and businesses in the pandemic?
These are challenging times for everyone. City Manager Dana Hardie, Fire Chief Andrew Heger and staff have done an awesome job navigating us through this pandemic. If anyone has any questions concerns or is in need of assistance, the staff at City Hall has been a great resource. Also allowing restaurants to utilize parking spaces to erect tents for outdoor dining has been a great success. We call it Eat Street 2020. Let us know if you want us to continue this next year!
What areas would you adjust in the city budget?
For the past four years we have kept our tax capacity rate flat. At the same time we have made substantial investments in the community. We have built Wasserman Lake Preserve; we have built or reconstructed many roads including Steiger Lake Lane east and Marsh Lake Road. I am very proud of the work our City Manager Hardie and Finance Director Trisha Pollock have done fine-tuning our budget. We will continue to keep tax rates low but also making sure your tax dollars are being spent wisely while continuing to invest in the community to make Victoria shine.
What is your long-range vision for the city of Victoria? Victoria is already great! I believe the work we are doing to expand our downtown to the west is going to special. Many things need to fall in place to make that happen. We have three or four undeveloped properties in our current downtown, which I hope we can partner with developers to improve our downtown parking. The commercial/office/retail area at the intersection of County Road 11 and Engler Boulevard will be critical in diversifying our tax base and will bring well-paying jobs to Victoria. We need to work with county to improve congestion on Highway 5.
Describe your leadership style.
I am pretty easy going. Listening and learning are the best attributes for this job and I think I do those well. I am so proud of the work we have done at City Hall the past four years. I have lived in this city all my life and believe City Hall has never been in better shape than it is today. Dana Hardie has been our manager for about a year and half and has built a great team. Morale at City Hall is high and the staff is incredibly positive, professional and excited about the future of Victoria.
What is your favorite thing about living in Victoria?
People, places and things. People make the community. The motto at St. Victoria Church is “All are Welcome” and I think that motto resonates through whole community. We are all blessed to live in a city with so much natural beauty. We are the City of Lakes and Parks and it is hard to imagine a city which can come close to matching the natural beauty of Victoria. Between our lakes, trails and our downtown there is something for everyone to love. We are all truly blessed!
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?
I was involved in an auto accident and a ticket was issued at the scene, but later withdrawn.