Why are you running for this position?
I am running for re-election having served on your Council since 2016.
I’m a former CPA, successful entrepreneur, and philanthropic leader. I bring a highly experiential, thoughtful, and communicative skillset to municipal leadership.
This decade Prior Lake will be navigating development of our last several thousand acres of raw land. I want to continue my legislative efforts working toward growth paying for growth. Significant forces are at work attempting to socialize costs of growth over existing residents. I’m proud of our current Council and Mayor’s leadership on this issue.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
Municipal authority for infrastructure development fees: All infrastructure costs and improvements related to growth should be shouldered by developers, builders and new homeowners not existing homeowners.
Parks and trails: Focus resources on quality parks instead of quantity of parks. Invest in trails to close gaps, connect neighborhoods, provide access to downtown, keep bikes and peds off Highway 13.
Transit: As Vice Chair of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and Director on the Suburban Transit Association, I am well positioned to lead us through coming changes with the Met Council and a potential consolidation of transit providers.
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?
How will you keep citizens informed and involved in the happenings of the council?
In 2017 we consolidated several committees into the Community Engagement Committee. I would like to see us elevate and delegate more to this committee. Council and staff are committed to greater engagement, communication and transparency. To do this we need more people involved. We have made significant audio/visual investments creating greater accessibility to our meetings. We will be launching a new website this fall. The new site will better meet constituents where they are: mobile. Functionality will improve and there will be greater access to resources. This is a good investment made by your Council.
Are there any changes you would like to see within the city council or things you feel should remain consistent?
I want more brains on our finances. I have proposed a Budget Commission, similar to our Planning Commission, that would allow for a group of appointed thought leaders from our community to focus on our budget. I am in favor of our Council size increasing from five to seven. A five-member Council seems to me to be inadequate for a community of 26,000.
Are there actions taken by the city in response to the pandemic you think should have been handled differently?
Staff, fire and police showed they were up to the task. Procedures were refined. Duty crews were created at the fire department, PPE was acquired and deployed, our response was well executed.
How important is protecting property owners rights to you as a city council member?
Very important. We are founded on the right to own property. It’s not a privilege, it’s a right. That right carries responsibility. Responsibility to follow land-use rules we agree on as a community and codify. Responsibility to be respectful of your neighbors with proper land-use. For every piece of land, property owner rights attach not just to that property owner, but also the adjacent property owners. If you’re not following land use rules you are violating the property rights of nearby property owners. Therefore, property rights of neighbors are included in my thought process when discussing property rights.
Do you feel the proposed private street utility surcharge is necessary? Why or why not?
In the interest of communication and transparency we announced this policy early. We have time to fine tune the policy. With more deliberation has come more understanding. We must have access to our water pipes that lie under private streets. And if we access those pipes, we need resources to pay for that work. Going forward my goal is to not allow private or substandard streets. To fine tune the policy I’m open to exemptions for homeowner associations that are already reserving for their street replacement. Thus far it appears there are very few of these instances.