2020 vote

Two seats on the Eden Prairie City Council will be on the ballot in the Tuesday, Nov. 3, General Election.

The candidates are incumbent PG Narayanan and Ryan Miske and Lisa Toomey.

The candidates were asked to provide biographical information and answer two questions. Their answers were edited for length and clarity.

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Ryan Miske

Address: 8803 Cove Pointe Road

Education: JD and MBA from the University of Minnesota

Occupation: Partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Community involvement: Board member, Northern Star Council BSA; Minnesota Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth; Minnesota Law Review Alumni Advisory Board; and owner of the Innovation Center at 7500 Office Ridge Circle

Contact information: ryan.miske@ryanmiske.com

Affordable housing has become a hot button issue across the city and state. How should the city address this issue in light of the decreasing number of available lots in the city of Eden Prairie?

Having a healthy mix of high-quality affordable housing can foster a resilient local economy, and as a City Council member, one of my priorities will be our city’s recovery from COVID and economic growth.

Unlike many neighboring cities, our city does not have an affordable housing policy, so each project is individually negotiated. I support the creation of a written policy to set expectations; A policy that is balanced and works for the good of the whole.

Our strategy should make it possible for empty nesters to downsize and continue living in our city. We also need to ensure that any new project is in the right place. And, we need a strategy to preserve and prevent the decline of existing affordable housing.

A group of residents has been investigating high-quality affordable housing opportunities and challenges in our city. They will present their report to the city council soon. I look forward to hearing their recommendations, which represent many months of investigation and benchmarking.

Do you feel the Eden Prairie Police Department is funded adequately, and if proposed, would you support the reallocation of police funding for other departments within the city?

One of our city’s fundamental responsibilities is protecting our residents and as a City Council member, one of my priorities will be to ensure public safety, including police protection. It is important that we properly support and prioritize our police department, including through the use of technology advancements, so that they receive the equipment and training that they need to prevent incidents and quickly respond to incidents when they do occur.

With proper support, our police department will be able to stay ahead of developing trends and will be prepared for tomorrow’s challenges so that we remain safe and secure.

The city council is currently contemplating a 4.2% increase in the budget for the police department in 2021, which I would support, and I do not support the reallocation of police funding for other departments within our city.

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PG Narayanan

Address: 17995 Cascade Drive

Education: Master’s degree in electrical engineering

Occupation: Business owner, Eden Prairie City Council Member

Community involvement: EP Foundation past chairman; EP Foundation board member last five years; SW Transit Commissioner (20 months); EP AM Rotary member; EP Human Rights and Diversity Commissioner and past chairperson; TPT Public Television board member; past president of India Association

Contact information: PGforEP@gmail.com

Affordable housing has become a hot button issue across the city and state. How should the city address this issue in light of the decreasing number of available lots in the city of Eden Prairie?

Serving as a current City Council member, working with nonprofit organizations and having served as the Human Rights and Diversity commissioner and chairperson, I understand the complexity of addressing affordable housing issues. I was a big proponent of starting the Affordable Housing Task force.

The task force consists of Realtors, developers and community leaders to work together in coming up with suggestions, ideas, and solutions. We are in the process of finalizing the report and will come to the council for approval later this year.

As a City Council member, I will continue to solicit solutions and ideas from the residents to solve complex problems like this one and it is my goal to listen and implement the recommendations of the task force. Some possible solutions include using federal grant money, which could convince developers to allocate some affordable housing units or starting a nonprofit fund that focuses on affordable housing goals. 

Do you feel the Eden Prairie Police Department is funded adequately, and if proposed, would you support the reallocation of police funding for other departments within the city?

After serving almost two years as a council member and working with city staff for more than 10 years and building a relationship with our police chief and staff.

It is important to note that we are unlike many other police departments. Our police are trained to address mental health calls and community support (e.g., helping with car lockouts, animal control, participating in city events). Unlike many other police departments, ours also try to include mental health professionals during mental health response calls.

Mental health calls are increasing and if this trend continues, we may have to add people to our police department and expand our mental health response.

As of now, our police department is funded appropriately, and currently, I don’t support removing police funding. If new information came up to show that reallocating funds to other departments is appropriate, I would support looking into and researching those options.

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Lisa Toomey

Address: 14302 Stratford Road

Education: BA, Spanish and Business, Eastern CT State University; Graduate Certificate in nonprofit management, Harvard University

Occupation: Community volunteer/nonprofit management

Community Involvement: Eden Prairie Planning Commission, member; Crime Prevention Fund, president; PROP Shop, treasurer; EP Lioness and Optimist Club, member; Meals on Wheels, Past Executive Director

Affordable housing has become a hot button issue across the city and state. How should the city address this issue in light of the decreasing number of available lots in the city of Eden Prairie?

Affordable housing has been an issue for Eden Prairie for quite some time.

It is vital to have more affordable housing in our community. Many people that have grown up in Eden Prairie cannot afford to live here, and I believe there is something wrong with that, which is why this is an issue I plan to address if elected. We also need to have space for all generations of people, regardless of socioeconomic status. With more affordable housing will come more diversity. An inclusive, diverse community is a healthy community.

There are different ways the city can approach affordable housing.

Redeveloping existing areas is one. Senior housing, an apartment building and new retail shops are planned. Substantial new and redeveloped building along the light rail should offer more opportunities for affordable housing.

Do you feel the Eden Prairie Police Department is funded adequately and if proposed, would you support the reallocation of police funding for other departments within the city?

Eden Prairie is an exceptional place to live and work. There are many reasons for this, one of which is safety. We have one of the best-trained police departments in the state regarding mental health crisis, de-escalation, inclusive relationship building, and community involvement.

Currently, each police officer in Eden Prairie is also a trained EMT. To reallocate any funding earmarked for the police would be irresponsible.

Through my volunteer work in the city, I have worked closely with the police department for several years. I can tell you that they are some of the kindest and most professional people that we have. Everyone from the command staff to the patrol officers to the reserve unit are extremely caring people that put their hearts into their jobs.

We are beyond fortunate to have them serving in our community.

ep candidates

PG Narayanan, Lisa Toomey, and Ryan Miske are on the ballot for the two open seats on the Eden Prairie city council seats.

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