Otsego City Council: Jason Warehime, incumbent

Jason Warehime

Jason Warehime*

Age: 46

Address: 9149 Page Ave. NE, Otsego

Family: Daughters: Taylor, 11,  and Jessica, 7  

 Education: Alexandria Tech College, Law Enforcement

1. Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.

I have lived and owned a business in Otsego since 2002, I have been on the cities police commission six  years and on Otsego city council eight years.  I have background experience in law enforcement and fire fighting. I have experience with budgets, human resource, transportation, business, vehicle and equipment purchasing, rental properties, land acquisitions, helping resolve disputes, and so on which makes me well-rounded when dealing with city issues and assisting residents and developers.

2. What is your biggest accomplishment in public life?

I have had the opportunity to make unbiased informed decisions for the city of Otsego. My biggest accomplishment to date is getting an independent fire study completed for Otsego, planning for the communities safety needs today and into the future. This effort took two years of prompting.

3. What prompted you to run for Otsego City Council?

As a resident and business owner I found it to be a way to give back to my community and would like to continue to serve.  I also received several phone calls from residents and business owners requesting my continued service when my term was up.  I would like to thank them for their support.

4. What are your top three priorities if you are elected?

1. Bring new businesses to Otsego which would equate to lower residential taxes.

2. Law enforcement study. Make sure we have the protection needed today and plan for the future growth.

3.  Make sound financial decisions today to help keep taxes lower for tomorrow.

5. What decision of the Otsego City Council have you liked most and why? What decision of the Otsego City Council have you liked least and why?

The decision I liked the most is when the council agreed to do an independent fire department study. As the city grows we need to have a plan and a budget in place for basic needs and public safety.

The decision I have liked the least would be spending money and time to find a city administrator to fill a vacancy only to scrap the plan at the end, split the finance director and city administrator to a shared position held by one individual without full council discussion.

 6. How would you rate the level of collaboration and partnership with the Elk River Area School District and or Wright County? What do you see as opportunities for increased collaboration between either of the two or both?

There is always room for improvement but, overall we have a good working relationship with both.

7. What experience do you have working with large budgets? What would be your approach to budgeting for the city? What city services would you consider reducing to balance a budget or cover new expenditures deemed necessary or important?

I have experience with a corporate budget and taxes as well as 8 years of city budget. The city has a conservative budget but, there is room for improvement. I have learned in business that it is the “small” purchases that can throw off a budget.  When the city deals with a $4 million budget spending $10,000 here or there doesn’t seem important but it is very important. $10,000 equates to roughly 4 median home price taxes for one year. With astute planning we won’t find ourselves having to cut extras like parks and recreation to continue to provide residents with basic services.

8. What do you see as the most significant changes to Otsego in the last 10 years, and what do you hope could be said about Otsego in another 10 years?

Otsego has grown in population and park and recreation services and amenities. This growth will continue and we need to be proactive vs. reactive moving forward including attracting more commercial development and business’s to keep a financial balance and provide services to our residence. In 10 years we could be heavy on residential homes and higher taxes or we could have more business’s along with those homes keeping taxes low or lower for residents.

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