Robert (Robbie) Whipps
Address: Declined to provide.
Family: Wife, Stephanie; kids Lincoln and Luella
Employment: Assistant Le Sueur County Attorney; Associate with Christian, Keogh, Moran & King; and Volunteer Firefighter with the Jordan Fire Department
Education: BA, Political Science, Augsburg; JD, William Mitchell College of Law
Hobbies/Interests: I love spending time with my family. We enjoy getting our kids outside and camping. I also like to cook, do DIY projects, and fish.
Previous experience that would prove helpful in position: My present service on our council will benefit my future service. My legal education and career experience have prepared me to solve difficult problems.
I am proud to be from Jordan and proud to raise my family here. I care about this town and always welcome input from our citizens because it is important that we all have a voice in Jordan’s future. I enjoy being on our City Council and believe I have been positive and effective in serving our community.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
First, we need to continue working towards the completion of the 169 overpass so that Jordan is prepared for future commercial development. Second, we need to think critically and evaluate projects for “smart” growth that meets our community’s needs while ensuring that Jordan maintains its small-town feel. Third, we need to evaluate and verify our contracted professional services are providing excellent services at a competitive and reasonable cost.
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?
What resources should the city use to attract new businesses to town? How is your idea different from past approaches?
The downtown Master Plan and EDA grants are effective tools to attracting new businesses to town. While we need to continue using these tools, we also need to shift our focus to place an emphasis on providing additional commercial space. Our current industrial park is near capacity. We need to ensure businesses interested in locating to Jordan have a place to operate and that our city provides appropriate services to meet business needs. Completing the 169 overpass and Southwest Interceptor projects is a priority and necessary to attract new businesses to Jordan.
If the Minnesota Renaissance Festival changes their location to the potential site near the Scott County Fairgrounds, do you think it would be a positive or negative for the community?
My wife Stephanie is fortunate to work full time for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival as their Marketing and Events Director. I have worked as the Festival’s Concessions Manager for many seasons. For many, the Renaissance is a family tradition filled with artisans, entertainment, and good eats. While I personally think the relocation will be a positive for our community, the ultimate decision to approve any potential relocation rests on St. Lawrence Township and Scott County. At the present time, I have a recognizable conflict of interest and would not participate in a vote related to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
When it comes to the city budget, what changes would you propose during your term, if elected?
Much of our yearly budget directly relates to our city staff and debt service. We do not need to make drastic cuts to our budget. Rather, we should focus on eliminating unnecessary spending on future projects that do not meet our community’s needs. If we reduce expenditures, our debt service will decrease. Keep in mind that our city’s tax capacity has risen. With a tax capacity increase and debt service decrease, we can cut the tax rate, reduce taxes and provide relief for families and businesses. I am proud that our 2021 budget provides a lower tax rate for Jordan.