Why are you running for this position?
I am not a career politician or bureaucrat. I served in the military for 10 years, worked as an engineering consultant for a year, and for the last 20 years have worked in the private sector as an engineer. I entered the race for City Council after repeatedly being disappointed in their decisions on our taxes, debt, and how the property in our own neighborhoods should be used. Our City Council should work for the people.
What are the top three issues you would face during your term?
Reduce our property taxes. With everything going on in the world, families in Shakopee need all the relief they can get. Listen to our community’s concerns and help provide real solutions. Our community is growing but we have to keep neighborhoods involved in their development. Shakopee deserves empathetic council members, not career politicians that steamroll our communities and no longer listen to our concerns.
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?
In the past year, I have not been charged, convicted of a misdemeanor, or higher, or been involved in a personal or business or business bankruptcy or foreclosure.
About how many city council meetings have you attended?
I have attended multiple City Council meetings, mostly online.
With what do you most agree or disagree with in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan? Is the overall plan in line with your values and vision for Shakopee?
I agree with the need for affordable housing, access to a stable and diverse job market, and diversifying the tax base. I disagree with 2040 growth just to say we have grown versus other cities. I chose to raise my family in the existing Shakopee versus the proposed 2040 Shakopee, primarily for the small town atmosphere. I have lived on two continents and within nine states and the District of Columbia. From my experience, aggressive growth with no balance will get you a Shakopee 2040 but there will be a quality of life cost.
The city’s tax levy, if approved, will decrease by 2.08 percent next year. Do you want to maintain the current level of services in the city, increase them, or scale them back?
I would maintain the current level of services in our city. Increasing the current level of service for no justifiable reason and growing the budget accordingly is not being a good steward of our city finances.
This year, several issues have been on display between Shakopee Public Utilities and the city. In November, residents will have the opportunity to dissolve the utility completely and bring it back under the city’s umbrella. Do you support this decision? What solutions do you envision for repairing the problems the city is facing with the public utility?
If moving SPUC under city control will not reduce my monthly utility bill, my answer is no. If moving SPUC will provide the city access to funds that are not presently accessible or provide a means to regulate rates to obtain funds for city projects; then it is not being pursued for the people of Shakopee and my answer is no. If the move is baseless and an attempt to grow our city government, my answer is no. As far as solutions to the reported nitrate and salary cap problem? Those can not be resolved by the November vote.
Racial equity has been a topic of national interest in recent months. How do you feel the city can do better for its residents of color?
Shakopee has as diverse community of race, color, religion, sex, gender/gender identity, nationality, age, physical or mental disability, and sexual orientation. We are Shakopee strong when we stand together as one community that recognizes and celebrates all of our many differences and similarities. The city can do better by fostering more community activities such as a Taste of Shakopee and Derby Days to allow us to come together as neighbors and celebrate the many aspects of our community. We as neighbors can do better by looking beyond the surface and by taking time to get to know each other.