Three candidates are running for two seats on the Bayport City Council. The Gazette asked candidates Trischa Heitman-Ochs, Connie Carlson and Ethan Gilmore. Gilmore did not respond to the questions by the Gazette’s deadline. Here are Heitman-Ochs responses:

Trischa Heitman-Ochs

Age: 34

Occupation: Crime Analyst

Previous political/community experience: I currently serve as a director for the DFL Senate District 39 and I have been in that role for the last several years. The fact of the matter is, I have always considered myself a “behind the scenes” policy nerd. I enjoy reading the statutes, digging into the fiscal notes and creating idea binders. I started my career working at the lowest level in the legislature: I understand the civic process and all it entails. My professional life evolved to social services and for the last several years, I have served as a crime analyst in public safety. I not only know how government works, but I know how to implement innovative strategies even on the small scale. I know a lot about co-creating and reimagining government with constituents, but all of that isn’t what qualifies me for office. My love for the community of Bayport truly is.

What will be your No. 1 program or service priority if elected?

While there are many ideas and initiatives worthy of consideration. The top priority in Bayport truly must be traffic/pedestrian safety initiatives.

What is the biggest challenge that constituents have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I think that the challenges have been completely different for constituents depending on their life circumstances. No one person has had the same experience through this. Many of our neighbors have: lost jobs, faced food insecurity, took on the role of “at home teacher,” missed their grandchildren, or have been thoroughly perplexed as the recommendations for safety that seemingly change daily.

On the other side, in our city we saw: Caring around every corner, neighbors delivering kind notes, putting hearts on their doors, writing thank you notes to the garbage collectors, sharing food and toilet paper with our neighbors in need. One of the biggest benefits to living in our town, is the care for one another. Through the many stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, our neighbors have truly shined.

How can the city help with economic recovery?

I believe the city can create opportunities to make Bayport more welcoming for new business/development. The city could also take on a more active role in facilitating CARES act funds.

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