Age: Will turn 43 before Nov. 8
Educational background: Bachelor’s degree, St. Cloud State University
Occupation: IT project manager, Stearns County
St. Cloud Planning Commission, 2009-2020; St. Cloud Park & Recreation Advisory Board, 2010-2020.
Why are you running?
I’m running to be a consensus-builder, bringing reasonable people together to find
solutions to our shared challenges. I’m running to be an actively engaged council member — meeting with residents on a regular basis and serving as a liaison between city staff and constituents as a way to improve relationships and communication. My experience on both the planning commission and park board has given me a good understanding of the challenges we face as a city. Those experiences also gave me the opportunity to work with people of differing views and backgrounds, which I feel are invaluable as a City Council member.
What are the top two or three issues facing the city of St. Cloud?
St. Cloud faces a number of public safety challenges, some real and some perceived. Certain parts of our community have seen an increase in certain violent crime. This has been fueled, in part, by an increase of fentanyl on our streets. It isn’t a problem unique to our community. With that said, we are generally a safe community. We also have some real budget challenges approaching in the years ahead that will require careful and transparent planning. Residents — like anyone — don’t like surprises and the city needs to be upfront about the challenges. Finally, if we want people to invest in our community as either a business or a resident, the city must show it is willing to invest in our overall quality of life.
What are your plans to address those issues?
We need to invest smartly in our public safety by ensuring we have sufficient staffing with competitive wages. It’s all about recruiting, training and retaining the best public safety professionals. Public safety also requires an active and engaged community. We need to foster and leverage better relationships between the police and the community. As a council member, it would be my job to help facilitate and nurture those relationships. For our budget challenges, we should expand on our existing capital improvement program by using tools like interactive mapping that could show the age of infrastructure
and potential project dates. Finally, we need to invest in our parks and the aesthetics of our community. We want to grow and have investments made by the private sector; we need to show the private sector we invest in ourselves to have a good quality of life for everyone.