Why are you running for this position?
Maintaining our high quality of life and small-town feel is important to the future of Prior Lake. The past four years have brought many challenges and yet much has been accomplished. I would be honored to bring that same commitment, professionalism, and resolve to the next four years of service to the residents and businesses of our city. I will work to ensure that Prior Lake remains a safe and desirable place to raise a family, and continue to encourage business investment in our great community.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
Growth: I believe development that occurs should pay for itself and the costs of development should not be passed on to our existing taxpayers. I am in favor of development that preserves our small town feel and enhances our community.
Public Safety: Safe communities are strong communities. I will remain an advocate for our public safety. The City needs to continue to reassure its residents and businesses that Prior Lake is a safe place to live and a stable place to invest.
Debt/Spending: I support responsible spending that provides the needed services and will continue to work on debt reduction.
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?
No, in the past year I have not been charged or convicted with a misdemeanor or higher, nor have I been involved in a personal bankruptcy, business bankruptcy or a foreclosure.
How will you keep citizens informed and involved in the happenings of the council?
I believe in transparency and communication. In the past four years, the city has added community input meetings, town halls, and utilized social media. The city is also making its website mobile friendly by the Fall of 2020. Online streaming of Planning Commission and City Council meetings are now available to view. This was done to make it easier for residents to be informed.
More work is needed, I would like additional notifications posted for all scheduled public hearings. This would help to engage the residents in the planning stages of projects and to ensure their input is implemented.
Are there any changes you would like to see within the city council or things you feel should remain consistent?
Prior Lake is now on a sustainable path. Over the past four years, I have worked diligently on the city council to improve our great city. Prior Lake is now in a better financial position than it previously had been; there is stability in our city’s finances and we have changed its debt trajectory, and now the city is scheduled to reduce its debt over 35% by 2025. We are listening to our residents and businesses, getting a return on the tax dollars invested, and moving forward with initiatives that has the support of the community.
Are there actions taken by the city in response to the pandemic you think should have been handled differently?
These are unprecedented times and the City of Prior Lake has handled the mandates and changing environment very well. The city council has balanced public health while also being attentive to the needs of our business community to open back up safely.
Prior Lake has prioritized public safety. Our police department has continued to handle medical calls; while many other cities have discontinued responding to medical calls during the pandemic. The city also made staffing and programming changes to reduce expenditures to ensure the city stays within its 2020 budget.
How important is protecting property owners rights to you as a city council member?
Property owners’ rights are extremely important to me. I will continue to protect those rights as I have had my own property rights, and home, threatened. Our city government needs to preserve homes, neighborhoods, businesses and the high quality of life that we enjoy in Prior Lake. Government should resist the use of eminent domain for road and development projects to fulfill long range plans or the ambitions of special interest. In America, when an investment is made in a home or a business, that investment should be valued, respected, and protected.
Do you feel the proposed private street utility surcharge is necessary? Why or why not?
I am generally opposed to fees and surcharges. Private streets are becoming a concern for many cities as the public utilities under private streets are aging and in need of replacement. There are many nonformal associations within Prior Lake that have little or no capital set aside to rebuild their private street when the public utilities are replaced. This surcharge might be a good option for them. There are also formal associations that have been fiscally responsible and saving for private road replacement, those associations should not be penalized and should receive an exemption from the city for surcharge.