Address: 209 Norfolk Ave. NW, Elk River, Minnesota 55330
Family: Wife (Jeanine) and three adult daughters (Erin, Ellen and Shelby)
Education: High school
1. Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.
I have lived in Elk River for over 50 years and attended Elk River High School. I have a wife and three adult daughters who have also grown up in Elk River. I am a licensed plumber, own a small home inspection business and work for a property management company in Minneapolis. I am a member of Gateway Church, Gideon’s International and the Elk River Golf Club. I also volunteer with YoungLife, and most importantly, I love spending time with my two granddaughters and seeing them also grow up in Elk River.
As for my qualifications, I bring a strong perspective as an Elk River resident for more than five decades and have a true passion for the continued growth and success of the city. Professionally, through my role as a maintenance property manager, I have key experience in creating annual budgets for more than 400 properties across the Twin Cities and am accountable for working closely with my team to implement new ideas and ensure high-quality customer service.
2. What are your top three priorities if you are elected?
•Protecting tax dollars.
•Improving communication between the City Council and the ISD 728 School Board.
•Promoting the proper growth for Elk River.
3. What is your biggest accomplishment in public life?
Starting a small home inspection business in 2007 amid the housing recession and having it still be successful today.
4. What prompted you to run for Elk River City Council?
This really goes back to my personal background – living here for more than five decades. It’s a place I’m truly proud to call home, and I want to see it continue to thrive as a place for families and businesses to call home.
5. What decision of the Elk River City Council have you liked most and why?
Giving the voters an opportunity to approve the half-cent sales tax. I think this is a good example of hearing directly from our community, and ultimately, I think they made a great decision that’s right for Elk River.
6. What decision of the Elk River City Council have you liked least and why?
(No answer given to this question.)
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 manage an annual budget for more than 400 properties across the Twin Cities. As in this role, my approach to the budget would be to examine each item to ensure that it’s truly needed, in the best interest of the city and that the funding is coming from the most appropriate source. It’s all about being the best steward of the city’s and community’s dollars. I’m not looking to make any cuts but want to make sure future expenses are strategic and carefully planned.
8. Finishing touches have been made this year to a host of Active Elk River projects made possible by voters’ approval of a local option sale tax. How are you feeling about the improvements and how well the community has embraced them?
I love driving by and seeing the community out using these new amenities, especially at Orono Park. I think the usage of these facilities tells the story and is helping to create that small town feel we all love in Elk River.
9. What challenges do you foresee with the management of the Furniture and Things Community Event Center and other new facilities and amenities going forward?
I feel that the Event Center is going to be a challenge to draw in the public and be profitable until the economy stabilizes. We need a strong marketing plan to generate interest in the facility – within and outside of the city.
10. Elk River has worked hard to create a more active Elk River. How important will it be to continue to sound that drum? Are there other areas you would like to see the city play a more active role in?
It is very important to make improvements for our residents to continue to use the amenities we have in our city. Specifically, I would like to see improvements made to Hales Field to draw in the public to watch town team baseball games.
11. The conversion of Highway 169 into a freeway in Elk River has begun. What do you see as the biggest opportunities this will usher in? What are the biggest challenges that will have to be addressed?
The 169 project is going to allow the city to bring bigger brand name businesses to our community and stimulate local economic growth. Some of the biggest challenges will be getting through the completion of the project, managing traffic along 169 and getting utilities to the north end of town. The long-term challenges will be determining how to attract these larger businesses while trying to maintain that small town feel.
12. Elk River has grown considerably over the years, and many would argue it has maintained a small town feel in many ways. How can Elk River hang onto its small town feel as it grows in population, the number of amenities and diversity? What role should the city play in ensuring Elk River is a welcoming community, and one that maintains its small town feel people like?
I believe Elk River can add some great programming to the downtown area and west side to keep that small town feeling. Just one example of this is the farmer’s market downtown. Through this program, we have met many new friends that I look forward to seeing every time we go. I know there are more opportunities like this out there.
13. The Elk River Housing and Redevelopment Authority in the early 2000s led the charge in getting Granite Shores and Jackson Place built in downtown Elk River. During the pandemic, a redevelopment project was proposed by Jesse Hartung, the owner of Modern Construction and Tipsy Chicken, to construct a mixed-use commercial and housing development for downtown Elk River that came with a long list of amenities surrounding a three-story parking ramp that looked to include two stories of underground parking. The project proposal didn’t go anywhere. How would you assess where downtown is currently, and what redevelopment would you be willing to consider or support?
I believe the downtown area needs to utilize the parking on the north side of Highway 10 and also take greater advantage of the riverfront. Elk River needs to work with businesses that may allow more parking or access to the downtown area. A green space and public restrooms are also a must for this area.
14. What would you like to be able to say about Elk River 5-10 years from now that cannot be said now?
That Elk River is a place where people and businesses come together to form a city that has a clear dedication to and strong spirit for creating a better life.