The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 3. Residents will be able to vote for their city election, as well as other state and federal government elections between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Up for election in Rogers is the two-year mayoral term, and two four-year city councilor terms.

On the ballot for mayor are Gregory Bownik and incumbent Rick Ihli.

Those candidates running for the councilor seats are Daniel Bownik, Greg Hoseth, Kevin Jullie, and incubment Shannon Klick.

The candidates were asked to include their thoughts in statements. Each were asked to include a short biography of themselves and their backgrounds as well as their personal and professional experiences. They were also asked to comment on two questions that were asked. (See questions belows in each statement).

The responses received include:

MAYOR

Greg Bownik

Biographical information:

Address: 21713 Rouillard Blvd. Rogers, MN 55374

Education: MA degree in Organizational Leadership from Bethel University.

Occupation: Was a college instructor for 20 years and am currently studying to become a civil mediator.

Community Involvement: I have been a candidate for public office multiple times since 2000.

Contact info: 763-428-4353

Questions for city council candidates

1. What adjustments, if any, should be made to the city’s budget?

 I would like to increase the budget for youth sports and senior housing.

2. What are you plans for the city taxes for residents?

I would like to see tax incentives used to attract TV and film production in Rogers.

Rick Ihli

Biographical information:

Address: 14092 Gadwall Lane

Education: Attended St. Cloud State and Brown college

Occupation: I work with Wayzata Bay Spice company in Downtown Rogers

Community involvement: 20 year member of the Rogers Lions Club and former President and am on the board of Directors

Contact information: rihli@rogersmn.gov

Questions for city council candidates

1. What adjustments, if any, should be made to the city’s budget?

We have worked very hard over the years to maintain a low tax rate and a consistently low tax levy. Keeping the levy low at times is difficult due to demands on city departments by the state.

New programs for Police and Fire, and every new program calls for increased spending on public safety. We also have kept spending in check on transportation due to Franchise Fees. Any new program puts a strain on the budget. Also we still have to contribute part of our budget to fiscal disparities. We are the largest percentage wise in the seven-county metro area.

2. What are you plans for the city taxes for residents?

This year so far in our budget process we will have a 5-6% decrease in our tax rate and intend on having a 0% levy increase. We still have work to do.

COUNCILOR

Daniel Bownik

Biographical information:

Address: 21713 Rouillard Blvd. Rogers, MN 55374

Education: Certificate in Building Inspection Technology from NHCC

Occupation: Writer/Musician

Community involvement: Running for city council in the past three election cycles. Establishing a network for people who like to play Pokémon Go in Rogers.  

Contact information: 763-428-4353

Questions for city council candidates

1. What adjustments, if any, should be made to the city’s budget?

I believe with the continuing growth Rogers is going through that it is important to be looking for ways to improve public safety and infrastructure.

 It would be beneficial to see an increase in crossing guards or safety officials in hot spots like downtown Main Street on a hectic Saturday afternoon where confusion and cars are everywhere which leads to clumsy interactions with drivers and pedestrians. We should always be striving to make Rogers more walkable and safe.

It is also important that Rogers keeps furthering ways to host more arts and recreational events that help enforce a positive community culture.

2. What are you plans for the city taxes for residents?

Regarding tax policy Rogers should remain even-keeled and similar to other cities in the area. It’s a delicate balancing act; it wouldn’t be fair to residents to unjustifiably raise them and it wouldn’t be fair to residents to drastically lower them and go backwards in the positive ways Rogers has grown. A good city should be ever mindful of this balance.

Greg Hoseth

Biographical information:

Address: 12025 Tucker Road

Education: High School and one year of college at Gustavus

Occupation: Partner in Mpls Water Taxi

Community involvement: 15 years Planning Commissioner of the former Hassan Township, 30 year member of Word of Peace Lutheran Church, and musician at Seniors monthly gatherings at the community center

Contact information: hosethg@gmail.com

Questions for city council candidates

1. What adjustments, if any, should be made to the city’s budget?

No comment was provided.

2. What are you plans for the city taxes for residents?

The 2021 budget calls for a 3.84% increase. Cities like St. Paul and counties like Hennepin and Ramsey are asking for a 0% increase. Senior citizens increase has been averaging a little over 1% increase. The city tax rates have not mirrored the economy. Many people have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 virus.

Shannon Klick

Biographical information:

Address:  13656 Superior Court

Education: Highest level of degree - Bachelors, University of MN

Occupation:  Regional Technology Consultant and Rogers City Council

Community involvement: Rogers City Council, Rogers Park Board, Rogers Lions Club, CROSS Volunteer

Questions for city council candidates

1. What adjustments, if any, should be made to the city’s budget?

Managing and adjusting the city budget is a key part of our role on the Rogers City Council. We closely review and analyze our budget and financial management plan annually, and that process takes multiple months before we pass the final version. We also review new proposed expenses at each meeting to make sure that new spending fits within our vision for the city and does not negatively affect our taxpayers.   

As our city grows, it will take discipline and careful planning to maintain a balance between growth and fiscal responsibility. This balance may cause me to vote against some opportunities that come before us, like requests for more staff, requests for government assistance on development projects and new community amenities that do not have a fiscally sound plan to finance them. I will always be an advocate for our taxpayers by keeping our tax rate low, but also for developing our community in a way that it continues to thrive for generations to come.

2. What are you plans for the city taxes for residents?

Since I took office in the Rogers City Council in 2017, the Rogers City Council has reduced the property tax rate from 38.3% to 34% (prelim 2021), we have used our under-served municipalities distribution to repay debt and put us in a cash position for equipment and capital purchases. We have the lowest city tax rate in recorded history, but we also have a dedicated funding source for transportation through franchise fees (enacted before my time) and a .25 temporary sales tax for parks and trails (tax payer referendum). Those two dedicated funding sources will allow us to keep our tax rate level and still improve our transportation networks and park amenities long term.

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