The 2019 Bloomington City Council election features three races. There are five candidates for mayor, four candidates for the at-large seat and three candidates for the District 1 seat representing southeast precincts of the city. The top two candidates following the Aug. 13 primary election will advance to November’s general election. Terms for all seats are four years. The mayor receives $2,200 per month. Council members receive $1,033 per month.

Candidates for mayor are Councilmember Tim Busse, Sharon Christensen, Rainer Einsmann, Ryan Kulka and Dan Niziolek. Mayor Gene Winstead did not file for re-election.

Candidates for the at-large seat, being vacated by Busse, are Jenna Carter, Brian “Clem” Clemens, Judy Gelina and Larry James Hotchkiss, who did not provide a photo with his profile submission.

Candidates for the District 1 seat are incumbent Dwayne Lowman, Johnathon McClellan and Al Noard.

MAYOR

Tim Busse

Busse

Busse

Address: 2909 W. 97th St.

Age: 54

Family: Wife of 30 years, Heather Dorsey, and two grown children

Education: St. Cloud State University, Humphrey School University of Minnesota

Occupation: Communications Consultant

Years lived in city: 15

Community involvement: Bloomington Heritage Days Board of Directors; Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Minnesota River Valley Chapter Izaak Walton League Board of Directors

Contact information: busseforbloomington.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

After eight years representing all of Bloomington as council member at large, I have the knowledge, experience and relationships necessary to build on Bloomington’s history of success. I’m seeking the office of mayor because experienced and effective leadership matters. A successful mayor must have a strong understanding of city government and a strong connection with Bloomington residents. A learn as you go strategy simply won’t work in Minnesota’s fourth-largest city.

Community involvement matters. That’s why I’ve put in hundreds of hours on city council-related work, and why I volunteer in local organizations like Heritage Days, the Bloomington Chamber, the Izaak Walton League and the League of Minnesota Cities. That’s why I actively support local nonprofits like Oasis for Youth and Cornerstone. A mayor should be involved and active and show a long-standing commitment to the community.

Finally, while others will tell you what they hope to do, I can tell you what we’ve accomplished in Bloomington over the past eight years. From public safety to fiscal responsibility, from parks and trails to sustainability, and from transit and transportation to affordable housing, I can point to specific city policies and actions that have created a roadmap to success on important issues.

Bloomington is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Here’s how we can make it even better:

We will continue to be thoughtful and careful with your tax dollars, while continuing to provide the outstanding city services that residents and businesses have come to expect.

We will invest in our neighborhoods, revitalize our neighborhood commercial centers and spur redevelopment along our major streets.

We will actively prepare for and aggressively adapt to the demographic changes that are coming our way. We will build on the strength of the vibrant diversity in Bloomington.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

A Bloomington Community Center should be a place for gathering, comfortable and welcoming, a place that integrates communities and for multi-economic, multi-generational and multi-cultural users

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

One result of the city council’s strategic priority of equity and inclusion has been the recently created Office of Community Outreach and Engagement. The office has the goal of developing and implementing programs that give underrepresented communities opportunities to grow stronger connections to the city, and to build awareness about opportunities for participation. Programs underway include the Learn to Lead Initiative, Students in Government Day, Citizen Survey Focus Groups and the Diversity and Inclusion in Government program for city staff.

Sharon Christensen

Christensen

Christensen

Address: 155 W. 96th St. #1M

Age: 63

Family: Spouse, Scott Christensen

Education: Harding High School, St. Paul; St. Paul Technical Vocational Institute (n/k/a St. Paul College)

Occupation: Legal Secretary, Minnesota Department of Human Services

Years lived in city: Off and on for 25 years

Community involvement: Hennepin County Mental Health Advisory Board; guardian ad litem; school volunteering

Contact information: 612-402-0122

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

My vision for Bloomington is clear. Although I have no past political experience, I do have a number of years of practical living experience. I am currently a legal secretary for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, as well as a union steward and executive board member for AFSCME Council 5, Local 2181.

My past volunteering experience has been that of a guardian ad litem for Hennepin County, a member of the Hennepin County Mental Health Advisory Board and several years of school volunteering. I am also a published author and have done public speaking, so I know the value of research and getting your thoughts and statements correct.

Bloomington has a rich heritage that we must preserve and maintain, all the while bringing it more into the 21st century in order to keep up with the demands of the needs of its citizens. Our fabulous parks, schools, numerous small and large businesses, lakes, nature preserves and a ski jump, just to name a few, are what draws people to our city.

With that said, however, there is always room for improvement, such as affordable housing, fair living wages, our parks, our roadways, the river bottom trails, building up and supporting small businesses and the community center project. Tapping into the vast knowledge and expertise of our citizens to partner with the city for these issues is what we need. It shouldn’t matter what area of the city you call home. There is no east or west when it comes to our city. Your zip code should not define you and your household where you live.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

We need to meet the people where they’re at. This community center must encompass a wide range of ages and interests. This new center should include all aspects of people’s lives, featuring the arts, cultural awareness and technology. Location and design are key factors in the success of such a center. More time needs to be put into the study of such items, along with more citizen input on the project. The city must also be fiscally responsible when making a huge investment such as this.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

Getting the word out ahead of such events is key. It’s great to read about it on social media or in the local papers after the fact, but if people would know more about it ahead of time that might boost the attendance.

Rainer Einsmann

Einsmann

Einsmann

Address: 11109 Trail West Road

Age: 79

Family: Spouse Joan, 3 children

Education: B.A. in political science and history, Jacksonville State University; graduate school major. international relations at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Occupation: Former history teacher, administrator and investigator for Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, resort owner, counseling center physical administrator, railroad track worker and art gallery owner; Owner of a limousine service

Years lived in city: 6

Community involvement: City, county and township meeting observer in Bayfield, Wisconsin, 2000-13

Contact information: 952-270-8541

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

I am running for this office to use this as a platform to push for having a barricade at boat landings on every lake in Bloomington and ideally all over the state with a gate operated by a paid inspector for invasive plants and animals to finally and truly end the invasions. The inspector would be paid by the boat owner.

Everyone I talked to loves it. I am speaking for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources people and a Bloomington park manager who cannot speak about this while they have a job.

I would like to get the police a large, easy-to-handle hybrid car like they are introducing in New York City, to save them from the leaking fumes of the Fords they are now driving, (and to save a lot of gas.)

The farm behind The Mall of America should be bought by the city to use for growing organic food with tall fences and guards, assisted at night with motion-activated lights to help the guards.

I am fully against building a paved bicycle path due to repeated flooding.

I am undecided about the new water park.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

I have asked people that go there, and they see no need to replace the solidly built building.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

In respect to proactively promoting a diverse population, the city is already doing the right things.

Ryan Kulka

Kulka

Kulka

Address: 8101 Normandale Lake Blvd., Suite 300

Age: 35

Family: None listed

Education: University of St. Thomas, Bachelor of Arts: entrepreneurship, emphasis: financial resource management

Occupation: Small business owner of 3 businesses

Years lived in city: 35

Community involvement: 2 Bloomington based businesses; Catholic Charities volunteer; Board member, Shreya Dixit Memorial Foundation

Contact information: kulkaformayor.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

Bloomington is an incredible place to live. We can make it better by listening to the citizens of Bloomington and getting more people involved in the city’s decision-making process. That is why I’m running for mayor of Bloomington.

Having lived here my whole life, I love this city. I’ve founded two successful businesses in Bloomington and am invested in making sure Bloomington thrives as a community, excels as a financial entity and remains an affordable place to live and conduct business. My first-hand experience creating jobs, managing finances, motivating people and working as a team toward growth and a common goal makes me uniquely qualified to be the next mayor in Bloomington.

My first priority is to increase transparency to ensure that city council is listening to the citizens of Bloomington and working to get more people involved in the city’s decision-making process. Second, we need to make sure that Bloomington remains an affordable place to live. This isn’t just about affordable housing. We need to take a holistic look at housing, business, transportation and taxes in order to truly approach this issue effectively. Third, we need to be exemplary stewards of our assets and financial resources. While Bloomington’s bond and credit rating is excellent, our investments and resource allocations should ensure financial stability and prosperity for the future of all Bloomington residents, not a select few.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

Many of our community assets, not just the Creekside Community Center, are in dire need of capital improvements. Bloomington is a large sprawling city and although I am not against building a new community center, the idea of building an $80-90 million centralized facility at the Valley View location seems excessive, inconvenient and lacks sense. Bloomington already does an excellent job and offers a vast array of community services all across the city. I propose that we improve and expand existing facilities that offer community services and improve some of our neglected parks, schools, public works facilities, fire/police stations and roadways.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

I applaud and understand the importance of exposure, celebration and education of our diverse cultural makeup in Bloomington. We shouldn’t shy away from our cultural diversity; it is a strength of our community. However, the city should and can do better to increase our social media, letter surveys and email reach to residents for input. Better engaging residents is one of the top three reasons why I am running for mayor.

Dan Niziolek

Niziolek

Niziolek

Address: 10125 Drew Ave. S.

Age: 56

Family: Wife, Heidi; Children Maddy and Nick

Education: University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Arts

Occupation: Deputy Director (City of Saint Paul)

Years lived in city: 6

Community involvement: Winchester Pond Restoration Project; Jefferson Band Booster Club; program leader of Middle School Future Cities Teams

Contact information: votedanformayor.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

We live in an amazing city – strong schools, incredible green spaces and great neighbors. However, our city government needs a course correction. Currently, many committed residents and businesses are not part of the conversation and work of our city. I will work to more fully engage the incredible talent of our city.

My 27 years of full-time city government experience taught me that great neighborhoods and cities are built when committed residents, businesses and city staff work together. I experienced this in my work in numerous city departments (police, planning, business licensing, animal control, code and construction permits) and at many levels (frontline staff, management and elected official).

As your mayor, we will reestablish neighborhoods, where residents, businesses and city staff work together. We will create city processes that not only listen to community members, but engage them in the development and implementation of solutions.

As your mayor, I will prioritize transparency, safety on our roads and in our neighborhoods and focusing limited economic development dollars to increase small business opportunities, affordable housing and living wage jobs throughout our city.

Together, we can create a community-engaged government that focuses on ensuring we have a safe, affordable, sustainable and equitable city that prioritizes transparency. Together, Bloomington works.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

Let’s start fresh and create a resident engaged project to build true community centers that meet the financial realities of our city (and schools).

Community Centers should be located in our neighborhoods. This will increase their use and the connections between neighbors.

Community Centers should maximize the use of existing city and school buildings. We need stronger city and schools partnerships to more effectively use limited tax dollars and resources.

One potential outcome could be renovating and expanding existing city and school buildings. This would create cost sharing between the city and schools (better use of tax dollars), support stronger connections between neighbors and provide better facilities for students and community members.

But that is just one idea. Let’s start the conversation and see what we can create, together.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

Successful city governments effectively engage and work with residents and businesses. In my daily work, I see the amazing results of community engaged governments. Residents and businesses do more to improve their communities, and city staff adjust their work to more closely align with the neighborhoods/communities they work with. Neighborhoods are safer, as well as more affordable, sustainable and equitable.

AT-LARGE

Jenna Carter

Carter

Carter

Address: 8813 Beard Ave S.

Age: 33

Family: Husband Mike and children Dylan (8) and Evelyn (5)

Education: Bachelors in nutritional science, Iowa State University; Master’s in public health, University of Minnesota; Humphrey Policy Fellow 2018-2019

Occupation: Senior Policy and Advocacy Program Manager

Years lived in city: 2

Community involvement: Serve on Board of Directors for VEAP, a local nonprofit; the leadership team of the Bloomington Housing Coalition; the city’s Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH)

Contact information: jennacartermn.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

I am running for Bloomington City Council because I believe community matters and as incredible as our city is, we can do even better.

Growing up in a military family, I have always felt called to public service and giving back to my community. My first priority is to address inequities because people in all stages of life and from all backgrounds deserve the opportunity to live healthy and well in our community. This means safe and reliable transportation options, affordable housing, clean and vibrant parks and job training and living wage jobs.

Second is redevelopment in the places we live – our neighborhoods. We have done a great job enhancing South Loop and some areas off I-494, but our neighborhood corridors need more to thrive.

My third priority is community engagement and connectedness. We need to do a better job engaging our neighbors and partner organizations in a respectful, meaningful and coordinated way. The needs of our community will be better met when we listen and learn from each other and work across our differences to find solutions for Bloomington.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

This investment in our community should serve all segments of our population. The existing senior programming and resources must be continued. We also need a place where families with young children or teenagers can go to play, gather and learn. We also need to strive to preserve the amenities that are heavily used by the neighborhood and ensure long-standing community events continue.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

City staff, city council and the mayor all have a role in engaging residents. The city cannot effectively meet our diverse needs if they are not in our neighborhoods, talking with our residents, always striving to listen, learn and understand what is important and what is working well and not working well. This starts with being in community, building relationships with neighbors in all parts of the city, and from all backgrounds, and increasing transparency in processes and decision making.

One example is on our boards and commissions. These are important and powerful roles for residents and we need more diverse representation to reflect our community. As a city councilwoman, I will prioritize engagement and will work hard to build bridges across our differences so we can create community-driven and common good solutions for Bloomington.

Brian Clemens

Clemens

Clemens

Address: 11111 Vincent Ave S.

Age: 44

Family: Wife Shereen, children Sydney and Vaughn

Education: M.B.A.

Occupation: Consultant, business owner

Years lived in city: 44

Community involvement: Bloomington Fire Department; school volunteer; charity fundraising

Contact information: clemforbloomington.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

I have lived in Bloomington for 44 years. I grew up here, played BAA sports and attended six Bloomington schools. I bought a house, attended college, joined the Bloomington Fire Department and got married here. I started my business here and am raising my kids here. I love Bloomington.

I want to focus on revitalization and redevelopment of blighted neighborhoods, improving transportation and travel across town and ensuring we maintain a reasonable city budget.

My experience as both an efficiency consultant and developer will benefit the city council.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

I believe we should consider replacing the Creekside Senior Center first at a much lower cost. Bloomington needs to scale up services for seniors as that generation is a large part of our population. While that happens, we can continue to investigate the community center.

We also need better communication and transparency around the process of deciding what to include, how much to spend and where to put the community center.

The cost structure of the community center plan will require annual subsidies that are larger than current amounts for the pool and Creekside combined. We will get more amenities but at a greater cost. That number has yet to be identified.

The existing community center plan also includes the removal of the majority of Valley View Park, something I and many community members disagree with. There are other options in town that won’t take away a neighborhood park, could improve a blighted area or could fit a smaller version of the project.

I still think we need a community center. It must be designed with clear purpose, an acceptable budget and not remove existing amenities.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

Municipal services are meant for all citizens. The city is responsible for delivering these services and creating an environment that helps citizens feel comfortable engaging the resources they need.

Our city should also work to create a welcoming community in the neighborhoods we live in and offer continuing public education and exposure to all cultures. This should include teaching other cultures about Bloomington’s history and heritage.

Judy Gelina

Gelina

Gelina

Address: 9500 Collegeview Road

Age: 74

Family: sister Wendy and cousin Ingrid

Education: B.A. – political science/English; graduate work in counseling and student personnel psych

Occupation: Retired, Northwest (Delta) Airlines and University of Minnesota – Human Resources

Years lived in city: 26

Community involvement: Developmentally challenged adult program; condo association officer; church volunteer activities

Contact information: jgelina@gmail.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

After many years of career and family responsibilities, and having majored in political science, I am now ready to take on additional civic responsibility and participate in the priorities of an ever-evolving, growing city.

Past employment with VEAP and South Hennepin Services Council helped me prepare.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

I support a new Bloomington Community Center. I do not support tens of millions of dollars for this project.

I am concerned about the health and well-being of Bloomington residents participating in programs at Creekside Community Center – it was built in 1959 in the days of heavy asbestos use. I think it would be cost-effective to re-purpose spaces such as the empty Herberger’s and/or Toys “R” Us at Southtown in central Bloomington. We have indoor and outdoor pools and other workout facilities in our high schools and middle school.

We need a spacious, clean, healthy environment with plenty of parking, but it doesn’t have to be a Taj Mahal.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

Inclusion in an ever-changing community. Although the city welcomed new citizens over the years, there are still pockets of underserved and underrepresented neighborhoods. Outreach is essential, and the good news is that resources already exist. Our schools, churches, and human services groups need to step up, under city leadership, to alert new citizens, seniors and general populations to the possibilities – right here, right now and in the future.

Larry James Hotchkiss

Address: None listed

Age: 52

Family: Divorced; one son

Education: None listed

Occupation: USAF Reserve; Trader Joe’s

Years lived in city: 52

Community involvement: Civil Air Patrol; Bloomington VFW; Minnesota Air National Guard Museum

Contact information: None listed

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

I’d like to see Bloomington, benefactor of my 20 years military experience and 18 years with Federal Express Corporation, to be recognized as an innovative model that really knows how to integrate technology into its economies environments and policymaking.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

A new facility that meets the needs of potential members of a community center, all people from cradle to grave, is not going to be easy or economical, but good minds planning rationally here in my hometown should be able to accomplish it.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

Bloomington should obviously recognize and applaud how being here has enhanced us all rather than strengthened only our differences.

DISTRICT 1

Dwayne A. Lowman

Lowman

Lowman

Address: 11217 Ewing Circle S.

Age: 41

Family: Wife

Education: Bloomington Public Schools, Kennedy graduate; Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Sweden, international business; Augsburg College, B.A., political science/metro regional planning

Occupation: Operations Analyst

Years lived in city: 41

Community involvement: Bloomington Volunteer Firefighter Pension; Sustainability Commission; Oasis for Youth

Contact information: dwaynealowman.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

In 2018, 96% of first-district respondents in a citizen survey said they recommend living in Bloomington.

I want to thank residents of Bloomington for electing me twice as a council member. I’ve learned council requires teamwork, institutional partnerships and outreach/engagement to the broader community. With that in mind I am happy to report that I have gained endorsement from the entire Bloomington City Council, mayor, Bloomington State Sen. Melissa Halvorson Wiklund, State Rep. Andrew Carlson and many Bloomington first-district residents.

Bloomington is transforming from the boom times of the last century. Our commercial nodes, infrastructure and homes are aging. Market forces such as e-commerce are impacting our core. We will need experienced leaders for this next chapter. or those reasons, I am focused on creating a community of choice: Protecting Bloomington’s future.

The council developed six strategic priorities: Community image, equity and inclusion, community amenities, high-quality services, focused renewal and environmental sustainability. If carefully executed, in partnership with the broader community, we will create a community of choice and protect our city’s future.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

Sixty-five percent of residents in a survey indicated they would be interested in a new facility. As we consider this key new community amenity, it is important we focus on high-quality service and fiscal responsibility.

According to the Bloomington Corporate Report, “Bloomington is one of only 40 cities out of more than 19,000 municipal governments in the U.S. that have achieved three triple-A ratings. Bloomington is currently the only Minnesota city to hold all three highest ratings. According to the agencies, our triple-A status reflects the city’s conservative fiscal management.” Partnerships with Bloomington Public Schools, YMCA and others could add value.

Innovative ways to integrate current facilities, as Councilmember Shawn Nelson has proposed, is important. We must also review the findings from our staff and city-appointed taskforce around a variety of issues around affordability, senior/youth (intergenerational) involvement and sustainability of the facility.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

Studies show that those cities that are able to harness these opportunities are some of the most economically prosperous cities.

In 2013, my campaign priorities were the creation of the new Outreach and Engagement Office, town halls and Learn to Lead Initiative. Engaging residents is key and that is why I led the effort to reintroduce our welcome dinners across Bloomington and establish our Veterans memorial taskforce. Neighborhoods are gathering places and by considering neighborhood groups, we have the opportunity to build one Bloomington, where all are welcome.

Johnathon McClellan

McClellan

McClellan

Address: 3900 W. 102nd St.

Age: 40

Family: Married, 4 children

Education: B.A., magna cum laude, community leadership, management and pre-law, Metropolitan State University; highest honors, business, South Central Technical College; continued studies in fire science, hazmat, arson investigations, legal writing and research

Occupation: Retired firefighter; consultant

Years lived in city: 10

Community involvement: State legislative advocate for public safety and restorative justice; Bloomington Human Rights Commission; Richfield Human Rights Commission, vice chair

Contact information: mcclellanforbloomington.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

I am seeking election because I believe that it is time for Bloomington to chart a course for our city that focuses on respect, dignity and authentic listening. My vision for our city is an engaged diverse community that leads by example.

My top priorities for Bloomington involve: Renewable energy, protecting green spaces, creating a thriving downtown at 98th Street and Lyndale Avenue, providing affordable internet and ensuring that city policies are responsive to the needs, budgets and comfort of every resident.

The city needs a commission for small business to encourage development and remove obstacles to local growth.

I believe in a local government that serves the people, not special interests or self-interest. I am committed to being open and available to Bloomington residents, listening to your ideas and concerns, giving honest answers and keeping promises.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

The point of any community center is to create community, and we must consider many ways to do that. Bloomington needs to serve its seniors, working families, youth and children, in its housing options as well as in developing a new community center.

Creekside Center is a home away from home for many Bloomington seniors, and it is more than just a building. It needs to be replaced in a way that honors its existing senior community.

We also need to consider the lost revenue for the Bloomington schools from the activity centers and classroom rentals. Fiscal responsibility, as well as community involvement both, are priorities for me. This means making sure we do what the people of Bloomington want and need. The money spent must serve all of Bloomington, not just a part, and serve the public instead of enriching private interests.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

Most people in Bloomington value the growing diversity of our city. Every person has unique needs, yet everyone values safety, stability and opportunity.

As the city council member from District 1, I will advocate for the equality of those who are marginalized due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, income level, disability or any combination thereof.

The city council’s commitment to inclusion should continue and expand to embrace the Diversity Festival in October 2019.

Nominations to the advisory boards and commissions, as well as city hiring and promotion policies, should include direct outreach to diverse communities across Bloomington. My goal is to meet people where they are in their lives, and build a community where people uplift each other.

Al Noard

Noard

Noard

Address: 10317 Columbus Road

Age: 51

Family: Dawn Noard, wife; son Jackson, 18, daughter Abby, 16

Education: Kennedy High School graduate; attended Hennepin Technical College

Occupation: Owner of Ross Wheel Service, a metal fabrication business located in Bloomington

Years lived in city: 51

Community involvement: Coached BAA youth baseball, volleyball and basketball; volunteered at multiple Bloomington events

Contact information: alforbloomington.com

1. Why are you seeking election to the Bloomington City Council? What are your top priorities for Bloomington, and how would you address them?

I am running for Bloomington City Council to represent the vast majority of Bloomington residents who would like to have more of a voice in how we are governed but are too busy with work, kid’s activities and family responsibilities to do so. Those who after a long week at work don’t want to then discover a new ordinance that may adversely affect their lives.

A few of my top priorities as your Bloomington City Council member would be to preserve private property rights for all residential and commercial property owners. I would also look for ways to reduce restrictive regulations to help attract new businesses and help existing businesses grow and provide more living-wage jobs. Finally, I would be a voice of fiscal responsibility to maintain current property tax levels.

I am a second-generation business owner of a metal fabrication business that opened in Bloomington in 1970. I have successfully operated this business since 2000. Through the ups and downs of the economy, I have learned the importance of budgeting and allocating funds properly to maintain the business and recognized when processes needed to be streamlined, and others eliminated. I understand the challenges that small businesses face and I believe that my experiences will be beneficial in making decisions for our city.

2. The city is looking to spend tens of millions of dollars to replace its existing community center. What are your priorities regarding a new facility?

This issue is very important to me because of how valuable the Creekside Community Center was to my parents. When my mom was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, my dad would take her to the adult day care at Creekside to get a well-deserved break as a caregiver. Knowing firsthand the worth of this community center, I would support a strategic redevelopment plan to meet the current and future needs of Bloomington residents.

3. The city hosts a variety of cultural events and has proactively promoted its diverse population. What should the city’s role be in engaging its residents?

The city’s role in respect to engaging its residents should be one of inclusion. Bringing people of all backgrounds and cultures together to celebrate the events and traditions which make our city a great place to live, work and raise a family.

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