"Our community needs a strong leader who can positively communicate with City and County officials and staff alike. We also need a representative who will listen to residents and business owners. I will strive to arrive at decisions in a timely manner to maintain and elevate the quality of life for those who live, work and play in Ramsey County."
What concerns you?
TOPICS OF INTEREST
Most all of us have heard or spoken the words “Safety First”. I hold high respect for officers who put their life on the line for the sake of safety. The best we can do is to provide those who work in Public Safety professions the necessary resources, so that our free will is not compromised. While on the CIPAC committee, I fully supported the allocation of funds to replace police radios which will result in much better communication that will ultimately save lives.
Health and Human Services
I am a strong proponent of people getting the help they need when they need it. During a CIPAC Committee meeting, it was presented that the need for placement of people to Boys Totem Town has diminished over the past several years to the point the facility may no longer be needed. This could result in a more shared and centralized location so that needs can be cared for in a more efficient manner, which I am in favor of. I have supported Northeast Youth and Family Services for several years and will continue to do so. Having a healthy community means more happiness – and that I can get behind.
Community and Business Development
There is a fine line between maintaining existing infrastructure and developing anew. It’s not nearly as glamorous to remodel an old building as it is to plan a new development. Both are needed and require a delicate weighing of priorities when considering funding. The Capital Improvement Program Advisory Committee (CIPAC) that I serve on as a representative from District 1, reviews projects of various scope and makes recommendations to the County Board on how funds should be allocated.
While there are many improvements needed to existing buildings, there are two large-scale re-development projects in the works: the downtown riverfront project and the Rice Creek Commons development (formerly Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant or TCAAP). I took a strong interest in the TCAAP property while on City Council. I learned a great deal about its history and heard first hand accord from residents who live in the plume of the contaminated groundwater. I was fortunate to have toured the parcel prior to the buildings being razed, and captured a short video from atop the 7-story building at the highest point in Ramsey County (search TCAAP on YouTube and it will show up).
Along with countless others, I too have strong opinions about this massive re-development project. I’ve heard many different people express their feelings about how it should be developed. It is obvious that this project is not happening overnight. It has been decades in the making and will take an unknown timeframe for it to be completely re-developed.
This project is my primary reason for seeking the office of Ramsey County Commissioner in District 1. Decision makers have and will be paving a way for future generations who will live work and play here. Wisdom from elders paired with the vision of younger generations will bring vitality to this on-going process. I am in favor of the mixed-use development that is a planned product from thousands of hours of communication between The City of Arden Hills, Ramsey County and adjacent cities as well as the committees, developers and numerous individuals who have contributed thus far. I am familiar with the pain points that are being experienced at this juncture. My credentials and experience with Arden Hills and Ramsey County puts me in a position where I will be able to hit the ground running when I am elected.
I understand there is more to the position than just one development project, though I feel a strong calling to be the person in place who can effectively listen and help communicate the best path for this project. Not only Arden Hills, but Shoreview and Mounds View will be directly impacted by this development as well as surrounding cities. The economic impact of this is far reaching. I see this property virtually every single day. I’ve watched the progress of soil remediation, the re-routing of Rice Creek to its original meandering waterway, as well as the construction of the interchange at 35W and Co Rd H. This project needs stronger advocacy and outreach so that more people draw positive energy to it and give it wings. The time is NOW!
I have learned countless learning lessons while operating a small business for the past 29 years. There are all types of people with many different communication styles! It is through some type of communication that ideas are created, shared and set into motion. Ongoing discussion allows for modification and change so that we can arrive at mutually beneficial decisions that positively impact most-all parties involved. My goal is to participate in lively discussion that helps get opinions out in the open so they can be used to arrive at best case scenarios. As Commissioner, I plan to be active in the County and specifically with the cities in District 1, while attending Council Meetings and local events.
I learned long ago that not everyone will be happy with a decision. Providing a prospective that offers some benefit to all is why I believe bipartisan politics is the best policy. While I am not seeking formal endorsements from a particular party, I intend to represent our community with an independent viewpoint and build bridges, not walls. I believe it is this type of leadership that is needed today. The party bashing that goes on during many political campaigns as well as throughout the year is just not my style. If you want someone who takes sides and belittles others – I am not the right person for you. If you want a team-player with an open mind willing to listen to different perspectives, I’m you guy!
Steven Covey coined a very accurate phrase: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Offering insight is a necessary act of communication. However, what is equally or more important is acute listening skills. People want to be listened to. The primary job for public officials is to listen to people are help represent their interests. I have my ears on.
Transportation / Public Works
We joke (or not) about our potholes and the two seasons of winter and road construction but our transportation system is pretty amazing. Snow removal operations are top-notch in our area. Moreover, utility maintenance including stormwater management, wastewater management and potable water management are vital services that often go un-noticed or unappreciated. My father spent much of his professional career working at the Twin Cities Metropolitan Water Treatment Facility, so I am familiar with what happens after a toilet is flushed! If you ever wanted to inconvenience your life, spend a few days without indoor plumbing. Appreciate the little things that could easily turn into a major problem. Maintaining good working equipment and training people to serve in this department is a high priority.
Parks and Recreation
I’ve spent most of my working career as well as much of my leisure time in the outdoors. I experience first-hand the benefit of our parks, beaches and lakes, golf courses, as well as off-leash dog parks and the many miles of trails that connect our neighborhoods.
I believe it is important to maintain and develop additional green space to continually improve the quality of life for those who take advantage of the facilities. As we move faster and faster towards a technology-dominated environment, it becomes even more important to present opportunities to people to take a break from their phones and enjoy a simple walk in the park or a boat ride on White Bear Lake.