I am running because I believe in the idea of public service. I believe people in public office must put the interests of the citizens ahead of their personal interests and the interests of their friends and political allies. I demonstrated that commitment during my previous public service.
Homeowner in New Hope for 31 years
.37 years as an attorney practicing in
finance, business transactions and real estate.
Served two terms on the City Council as well as service on both the Shingle Creek Watershed Commission and the Bassett Creek Watershed Commission. Also served on the West Metro Fire District Board.
1. ACCOUNTABILITY. One of the main jobs of the city council is oversight of city government. The council must also be willing to hold itself and its members accountable for their performance in subsidiary functions such as service as city representatives on commissions and boards. The current council has demonstrated that it does not believe it needs to be accountable or hold city government accountable.
2. LEADERSHIP. Leadership requires a willingness to challenge assumptions and ask hard questions. Leadership requires challenging people to do more than they think they can. I provided leadership during my time on the council in matters such as pushing for reform of the budget process to make the city budget more transparent, initiating a review and update of city ordinances and preservation of the West Metro Fire District.
3. BUDGET. One of the major functions of the city council is the development and approval of the city budget. This requires active engagement in a cost benefit analysis of the money being spent on city government. It also requires an understanding of the cost factors impacting how we provide city services. Recent budget increases of 9% or more per year are not sustainable. The council must recognize the impact the budget has on the citizens of New Hope and be open to a discussion with the citizens about the taxes being imposed upon them.
4. CAPITAL PLANNING. New Hope has historically done a very poor job of capital planning. City infrastructure has a finite life span. Whether it is replacing the ice sheets at the ice arena, replacing fire engines, replacing city hall, we have failed to properly plan for infrastructure work we know would be coming. Too often we have found ourselves short of the funds necessary to do needed infrastructure work, requiring us to resort to debt funding. We need to develop a complete capital improvements plan for the city as a whole which includes a plan for funding.
5. AFFORDABLE HOUSING. One of the strengths of New Hope is that it has a housing stock that is within the means of young families. In recent years we have pursued a policy of giving city subsidies to builders of higher costs homes and apartment complex. This too often has been accompanied by rhetoric demonizing residents of affordable housing. Rhetoric that often has a racial tinge to it. We need to stop demonizing affordable housing and recognize the important role it plays in our city. We also need to recognize the impact city taxes has on the affordability of housing.
6. DIVERSITY. New Hope has become more diverse during the time I have lived here. Going form 95% white to 65% white. Yet our city government does not reflect that diversity. We need to do more to encourage participation in city government by citizens who represent all the peoples of our city.
7. VISION. Change is a fact of life. We live in an economic, political, social and natural ecosystem that is constantly changing. Those changes impact our city whether we want them to or not. City government must be constantly looking ahead to determine what trends in our ecosystem are likely to impact us and the demands those trends will place on city government.