The township of Credit River will transform into the city of Credit River after the May 11 election when a mayor and four City Council members are voted into office.

Residents will have multiple candidates to choose from for the offices, including three for mayor and four for the two, four-year council seats and five for the two, two-year seats. Karin A. Witt informed the newspaper last week that she was dropping out of the race due to business commitments. 

Candidates for the two-year mayor’s term are Christopher Kostik, B.J. Jungmann and Rob Casey.

The five candidates for the two two-year council seats are Brock Dombrovski, Paul H. Howe, Alan Novak, Andrew Stevens and Abe Zanto.

The four candidates for the two four-year council seats are Bob Hawkins, Brent A. Lawrence, Leroy Schommer and Dexter Spilman. Following are the questionnaire responses the newspaper received from these candidates. 


Two four-year seats

Robert T. Hawkins Jr. (Bob)

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Family: Married-3 Children, 4 Grandchildren

Occupation: Retired-42.5 years of public service

Education: University of St. Thomas -Master’s Degree-Police Administration, Public Education

Previous elected, appointed or volunteer positions: 37 years in law enforcement, 30 at the municipal level. Retired police chief from Burnsville.  Served as assistant commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS). Led divisions such as; Alcohol and Gambling, BCA, Minnesota State Patrol, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, State Fire Marshal, Office of Traffic Safety, Emergency Communication Networks.

Service oriented leadership style. Proven track record of developing strong relationships, based on trust and mutual respect.

1) Why should people vote for you? 

I bring three decades of municipal government experience. Our focus was meeting with community members to better understand the needs of the city and deliver the appropriate services.

As a City Council member, I would listen to the issues and concerns of the residents and business members of Credit River. Unfortunately, political leaders have strayed from representing the people who elected them and focus more on their own individual needs and ideologies. I would focus on the issues and concerns of the folks who call Credit River home.

It begins with being a good listener and an effective communicator.  

2) What experience do you have working with a decision-making group? Why should people trust that you will make decisions in the best interest of the city and its residents?

As a trusted, well respected leader, I worked closely with department heads, business leaders, and residents in the city. I forged strong relationships with the City Council and strived to create a safe and vibrant community. Burnsville was the first police department in the state, third in the nation, to deploy body cameras.  

At DPS, I was responsible for 70 percent of an $800 million budget and approximately 1,400 staff members. I was also appointed to the Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations.

I will bring the same service oriented focus to Credit River.

3) What priorities should the city have as it makes the transition from a township to a city?

This is an important question. Transitioning to a city, brings immediate added costs. We need to be financially prudent, focus on what the community wants and prioritize with specific goals in mind.   

Credit River is a beautiful, tranquil community that has a country feel, but is also located near the wonderful amenities the Twin Cities and south metro offers. We need a safe community, with sound infrastructure that provides the services and amenities the residents, business owners and visitors desire. 

I want to hear from the folks who share the same passion for Credit River.  What do they value, what are their concerns, what should Credit River look like?

Managing future growth; residential, business, community amenities, will be challenging. We must find the balance between vibrant growth and maintaining the charm and allure that brought us to this township.

This is about the people of Credit River, not politicians!  


Brent Lawrence

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Family: Spouse Deborah, Daughter Meredith

Occupation: Retired, Media and Marketing Management

Education: Attended Mankato State University

Previous elected, appointed or volunteer positions: Credit River Board of Supervisors, first elected in 2008. Board chair for five of those years.

Active working with our community on:

• DRT (Scott County Development Review Team)

• LBAE (Local Board of Appeal and Equalization) 

• SCALE (Scott County Association for Leadership and Efficiency)

• Credit River liaison to the Cities of Savage and Prior Lake

Board of Directors of Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative.

1) Why should people vote for you?

Credit River residents know that I have the time and interest in giving back to the community. One of the responsibilities of being an elected official is to listen to the constituents, help them with situations that the township or city can assist with, and make decisions that will be best for the overall good of the community, both now and in the future. I’ve been able to use communication and decision making skills that I honed during my business years to work to effectively represent the citizens of Credit River since 2008.

2) What experience do you have working with a decision-making group? Why should people trust that you will make decisions in the best interest of the city and its residents? 

Early on, my parents encouraged me to, “learn to make good decisions.” 

During my business years, I was employed by a Fortune 500 corporation. Our division management team made decisions that would benefit the stockholders and Wall Street regarding revenue growth and profitability.

In Credit River, I listen more than I speak and always consider what will be best, either for the community as a whole, often times a smaller group of residents or occasionally a single resident.

My pledge is to continue working for our residents and represent them by making good decisions.

3) What priorities should the city have as it makes the transition from a township to a city?  

• Keep our portion of property taxes low. Our recent audit completed by Abdo Eick & Meyers LLP, shows Credit River taxes per capita at less than $300, while other Cities in Scott County are upwards of $600 per capita.

• Continue providing essential services that our residents expect and consider adding additional services only after a needs-based and financial consideration study is performed.

• Establish a Planning Commission that will make recommendations to the City Council.

• Maintain our partnerships with the Prior Lake Fire Department and the Scott County Sheriffs office for Emergency Services.

• Continue holding City Council and other commission meetings that are inviting to residents for input, discussion and communication.

• Enhance Credit River website with more timely and useful information.

• Continue to ensure the City Council and staff provide timely and respectful service to residents.  

• I would appreciate your vote on May 11.


Leroy Schommer

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Family: Married for 27 years to my wife, Renee; have three children and nine grandchildren who all live nearby

Occupation: Carpenter and farmer

Education: Prior Lake High School and St. Paul Vo-Tech

Previous elected, appointed or volunteer positions: I was elected to Credit River Township supervisor in 2000 to present

1) Why should people vote for you? 

I have 21 years of experience being on the Township Board.  I know the area very well and have held different positions while being on the Board (Chairman, Supervisor, Weed Inspector, Road Supervisor, LGU).  I’ve been involved with the planning for Credit River to become a city since it’s inception and would like to see it come to fruition.

2) What experience do you have working with a decision-making group? Why should people trust that you will make decisions in the best interest of the city and its residents?

I have worked with many different agencies in my 20-plus years for planning, zoning, fire contract, soil/water and have the knowledge/experience needed to continue to do what’s best for the residents of Credit River. We listen to all sides, then we discuss different views and do what is best for the good of all.  

I like to think that I have made decisions in the past for the best interest of the people of Credit River and will continue to do so if elected. Credit River is my home and I care what happens to it.  

3) What priorities should the city have as it makes the transition from a township to a city?

Now that the annexation problem will no longer exist, 

• we can budget for purchasing property for a new multi-purpose building

• work to improve our planning/zoning

• continue to run as efficiently as we can for maintenance and capital improvements.


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