Why are you running for this position?
My decision to run for mayor is similar to the way I think about any job I’ve applied for. Do I have the right skills and qualifications to do the job? I don’t have an axe to grind or a political agenda. Those who came before me did a great job helping shape Victoria into the city we have today and I intend to be a good steward of that past work. As mayor, my role is to be an advocate for the residents and businesses of Victoria and an ambassador of this beautiful city.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
Downtown parking. Victoria enjoys a vibrant business and entertainment district where people want to be. That popularity can create parking challenges. Parking is expensive and a delicate balance of just enough, but not too much. We have opportunities to improve parking as Downtown West develops.
Downtown West is the development of the 13.5 acres west of downtown. It is important to work with developers to envision a beautiful extension of our current downtown that adds services and housing inventory.
Development of the County Road 10/11 corridor. Diversifying the tax base to include business development will help offset taxes.
What role should the city have in assisting people and businesses in the pandemic?
To the extent they are able, cities should be flexible in helping businesses remain viable in a really challenging environment. In Victoria, council voted to extend outdoor seating for restaurants onto the streets to accommodate more diners and waived liquor license fees for the time restaurants had to be closed.
Staying connected and being open to suggestions from businesses and people on how the city could be helpful is probably the most important.
What areas would you adjust in the city budget?
The budget process is the vehicle we use to determine priorities and we run out of money before we run out of wishes. Trail connections and additional dollars for infrastructure to help kick-start development would top the list of wishes for me.
The city of Victoria enjoys a AAA bond rating and is well-managed. The City Council has a responsibility to the taxpayers of Victoria to ensure the services the city provides are a good value.
As the city grows, my hope and goal would be that the growth in the tax base pays for the additional services required.
What is your long-range vision for the city of Victoria?
My vision for Victoria is to continue to be a vibrant and beautiful community where people want to live and business want to locate.
Describe your leadership style.
I would say I am a consensus builder and collaborative in my leadership style. I appreciate input and find value in council discussion and perspectives.
What is your favorite thing about living in Victoria?
I can’t name just one! My neighborhood and the friends we’ve made over the years, the vibrant downtown and great variety of entertainment options, the trails, the proximity to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Carver Parks and the number of lakes all within a 10-minute drive.
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?