Address: 12330 73rd St. NE, Otsego, MN 55330
Family: Married to Ryan Goede, Three Beautiful Kids, Braydon, 17, Devin, 15 & Reese, 14
Education: Bachelor of Science- Corporate Community Health Promotion/Physical Education
1. Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.r
I have represented the City of Otsego for the last two years on City Council.
I became a resident of Otsego 9 years ago and have lived in Wright County for over 20 years. We have 3 kids; 2 boys, Braydon & Devin; & our daughter Reese. We are members of St. Michael Catholic Church/St. Albert’s Catholic Church. We are deeply rooted in this community. My education includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, in Corporate Community Health Promotion/Physical Education. Professionally, I work as a Sales Manager. My hobbies include working out and spending time with my family in the outdoors.
2. What is your biggest accomplishment in public life?
Since I have been in office, I have supported keeping the city’s budget lean and have voted for single digit low operating and debt service levies. I continue to be in favor of Otsego’s partnerships with neighboring cities and have voted consistently to expand on them when appropriate to reduce departments costs. Together our council has seen through several road improvements such as County Hwy 38, Highway 94, 85th, MacIver project. I am proud of these achievements our city has completed and been a part of. I will continue to support a lean operation while sustaining quality essential city services.
3. What is your vision for the city of Otsego? How would you describe your leadership style?
I am seeking the role of Mayor to fulfill a vision of both sustainment and continued advancements for our Otsego community. I am focused on our community’s future: to enhance our city by maintaining essential services, limiting tax burdens on our residents, and stimulating economic growth. Supporting our local businesses and encouraging new development will remain imperative throughout my tenure. It is my goal to see through projects which complement our Otsego community. These past few years have brought growth and change to our community. I will encourage our staff to partner with neighboring cities on collaborative efforts to save money and deliver more efficient services. I look forward to working as a council to continue the vision of improved transportation across the city.
My leadership style I would define as “Transformational,” as I will encourage, inspire and motivate residents, business owners and city staff to innovate and create CHANGE that will help grow and shape the future success of our city.
4. What are your top three priorities if you are elected?
Transportation, Roads - public transportation
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?
While serving on council I supported the decision to approve Coborn’s grocer’s development application. We are excited to see this successful grocery store plant roots in our community and hope the retailer will encourage other commercial developers to make Otsego their home!
An additional decision that warrants recognition is the cities partnership with Wright County and transportation improvements. Although these county road improvements have caused tremendous detours, when completed we will be better connected across the community.
It is essential the council works together to provide value to Otsego’s residents and business owners. One of the ways this value is represented is by pull through from city staff. This past year I disagreed with staff’s recommendation to hire externally for a Deputy Clerk as the city has a trained Administrative Assistant who had worked for and obtained a clerk’s certificate on their own dime to advance in their career. It is key our city staff feel valued and are supported in career development. A culture that supports its own employees will transfer positively to our residents and developers. I support our staff and work directly with the city administrator as we should as an elected official; however, remaining a lean operation means leadership must look within our organization as well as outside to make the best staffing decisions to deliver quality service.
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?
The school district has been very transparent with sharing information about district growth and inviting Otsego participation. I encourage continued collaboration into the future. Wright County and its cities have worked closely to utilize our lean budget to sufficiently sustain transportation demands. While several road projects have been obstacles for residents these past months the final product will be well done and utilized throughout the future.
Both Wright County and the Elk River School District success are crucial components to the successful outcome of our greater community; therefore, I will encourage council to continue collaboration with these entities.
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?
As a city we are conservative with our approximately $4 million in budget, and as shared above I support keeping our levy low, especially in this critical economic time with the pandemic. I believe even in tough economic times that it is important to keep city services functional. I am thankful for the federal CARES Act dollars and believe Otsego services will be sustained in the next year without having to make cuts to our already lean budget.
My spouse is self-employed therefore together we take budgeting very seriously as the responsibly of being a business owner means making sound financial choices. Being on the board of a non-profit organization, I have overseen the budget process for a larger organization as well. I understand the budget process is an essential piece to the success of any entity
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?
Wright county has seen tremendous growth in the last ten years. In this short time there has been a significant increase in both residential and industrial construction across Otsego. With this large population growth, these next ten years bring exciting opportunities for the City of Otsego. Consumers are becoming very savvy and have sought Otsego to be a great place to raise a family. Our community provides a safe and upcoming community yet sound decisions will need to be made to create healthy opportunities for our current and new businesses to thrive. In the next ten years I would hope Otsego’s identity to be seen as a cohesive community. One that both neighborhoods and businesses collaborate. It would be great if Otsego can be seen as a City filled with respect for its history yet flexible and fair in customer service when development requests arise.