ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Stillwater Mayor KEN HARYCKI DAVE JUNKER www.kenforstillwater.com www.davejunkerformayor.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Occupation: Self-employed as owner of several businesses, Occupation: Vice President, Business Banker, Bremer Bank two of which are located in Stillwater. Ken Harycki CPA and in Stillwater Customized Payroll Solutions Education: Associate Degree, Liberal Arts at Lakewood Col- Education: University of Wisconsin, BBA Finance, 1985; lege, focus on Economics & Finance University of Minnesota, Masters MBT, 1992; CPA, 1991 Previous Elected Offices: Stillwater City Council, including Previous Elected Offices: Stillwater City Council Vice Mayor, 3 years; Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, for- Campaign Endorsements to Date: None mer President Campaign Endorsements to Date: None Why are you running for office? wards completion. Our annual city budget is another top pri- HARYCKI: As Mayor I have instituted financial reforms ority. Prioritizing the demands and wants of our city to keep that result in contracts being bided out on a four year cycle, the great services we provide and taxes flat. hiring and salary freezes and the payoff is our budget has remained flat. We have formed a neighborhood traffic com- What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local mittee to address traffic issues in neighborhoods and have businesses and how will you work on their behalf to the worked endlessly on the new river crossing. A new 10 year resolve the issue? comprehensive development plan has been completed. Most HARYCKI: Local businesses need to continue to project a importantly, the city received 1 of 8 awards from the state for positive image for our many tourists that support both the excellence in surface water management. While I am pleased downtown and other businesses throughout the region. We with our many accomplishments, much remains to be done. need people to understand that there are many attractions in JUNKER: I really believe the traits and qualities for the the area, that the city is easily accessible and it is a fun and Mayor of Stillwater are integrity, passion and commitment. I safe place to go. The Convention and Visitor Bureau has have been working hard the last 29 years on many city com- played an important role in getting this message out. It needs missions, and community organization earning the respect to be renewed for 2011. In addition to tourists we need to and trust of business and community leaders and residents. I involve our local residents in supporting our many shops and will do the homework, research and listen to residents before attractions. I make decisions that will impact our city. I will bring a JUNKER: Surviving in these tough economic times is the teamwork concept of leadership as mayor working together challenge. Trying to sell products and services to people with department heads and city staff. I will work hard to when confidence levels are low. Everyone is trying to stretch make Stillwater a great place to live and work. We will be their dollar value. I will work hard to stress the importance of proud to say we live in Stillwater. supporting our local businesses. If elected, what will be your top priority? If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recom- HARYCKI: The greatest challenge is in controlling spend- mend to help our local economy start to grow and create ing and providing for transportation. A citizen benchmark more jobs? group to help the city understand and analyze spending HARYCKI: The single greatest thing that a local govern- trends was initiated. We implemented a hiring freeze and a ment can do is to reduce spending thereby reducing taxes and capital-spending freeze. City salaries are frozen at a zero work to create a positive business environment. Since taking increase for the next two years. The city has increased road office I have halted spending, resulting in a flat budget, for resurfacing to over four miles per year which is up from the the first time in at least eight years. We have worked with 1 ½ mile that we did four years ago. This is all while spend- local businesses to eliminate regulations such as fire inspec- ing the same amount of money as we did four years ago. tion fees and sandwich board fees. The Chamber has a stand- JUNKER: Traffic is one top priority. I will be very active in ing invitation to speak to the full council on matters that are the newly formed St Croix Crossing Coalition. We need to important to them every month. clearly demonstrate the need of a new river crossing to more JUNKER: I will work with the Chamber closely on projects than just the people in Stillwater. We will work with commu- such as Grow Minnesota and the Itasca Project which are nity leaders, government officials, business owners and resi- already in place and are focused on creating jobs. Short term dents from both Mn and Wi to move the river crossing to- Local economy, continued... JUNKER, continued: I will work with business owners, building owners, organizations and residents to look for ways to fill the vacancies throughout Stillwater. Downtown Stillwater is the engine that really drives people coming to our town, and we need to focus on getting people there 12 months of the year. The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to be- gin in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a re- cent National Park Service decision. Do you support the project? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it be- gins on schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support the project, please explain. HARYCKI: Yes I support the project. We formed a bridge coalition made up of government entities from both side of the river, as well as businesses and citizens. This will allow us to speak with one voice in support of the project and pro- vide for more coordination on our effort to build the bridge. In light of Friday’s National Park Service ruling it is appar- ent that it will take an act of Congress to build the bridge. I am prepared to work with the coalition to get this done. Last year I successfully led the effort to remove large trucks from the bridge. JUNKER: I am very much in favor of a new river crossing. I will work hard on the newly formed St Croix Crossing Coalition to get our message out of how important this river crossing is. We need to get government officials , business leaders, community organizations and residents from both Minnesota and Wisconsin fully onboard with this coalition. We will convey our message of need and how important this river crossing is. Private sector businesses and local governments have faced similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, and are challenging government to do the same through service redesign and spending reform. How can government be more pro-active in reducing the per- unit cost of programs and services? HARYCKI: First off my record speaks for itself. Go to my website www.kenforstillwater.com and you will notice the sudden halting of spending that I brought about as Mayor. To achieve further savings we are talking to other government entities to look at combining operations, sharing of services and equipment. In addition, the Fire department recently applied for a grant to look at sharing services with three to four other fire departments. Every department is being chal- lenged to look at services and find more efficient ways. Re- cently the Parks department reassessed park maintenance schedules. JUNKER: We need to spend within our means. We balance our budget every year. I will work with department heads and city staff to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep spending within our means. We will still maintain the high quality of city services we the residents expect. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Stillwater City Council, Ward 1 DOUG MENIKHEIM STEVE RUSSELL http://dougmenikheim.wordpress.com www.steve4council.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Occupation: Argosy University, Adjunct Faculty, Leadership Occupation: City Planner/Community Development Instructor; Small Business Owner, Centre for Applied Director, 35 years; 20 years as Stillwater City Planner Leadership, since 2003; Retired Captain, USN (28 yrs); (1986-2005); retired Adjunct Professor, University of St Thomas, Hamline Education: Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Luther University and Argosy University Graduate Business Schools College, Decorah, IA; Master of Science, City Planning, Iowa (26 yrs. and counting) State University, Ames, IA; American Institute of Education: BS, Naval Science –United States Naval Certified Planners, AICP Academy; MS, Personnel Administration, USN Post-Grad Previous Elected Offices: Telemark TIOA, Board of School; Completed course work for PhD, Organizational Psy- Directors chological, University of Minnesota Campaign Endorsements to Date: Rob Gag, Jim Bradshaw, Previous Elected Offices: None Heidi Rosebud, Gary Kriesel, Orv Johnson, Luke Schlosser, Campaign Endorsements to Date: Innumerable Ward 1 Terry Zoller, Nile Kriesel, Chris Aamond, Adam Nyberg, Deb Residents Chail, Bob Hagstrom, Abby Brine Dean, Tom Thueson, Dave Middleton & many more (see website). Why are you running for office? application to restore Ward 1’s confidence in city government. MENIKHEIM: Serving is how I lived my life. First my RUSSELL: My top priority is to improve the economic vi- country for 28 years in the Navy, including command of ability of our businesses and quality of life in our community three combatants and a shore station, then my students as a by improving traffic conditions. Existing congestion on our faculty member for 26 years at 3 business graduate schools highways is having an increasingly negative effect on local (St Thomas, Hamline and Argosy Universities) and currently businesses along the Highway 36 corridor and Downtown. my clients in small to medium size organizations who want The proposed new river crossing and 36 improvements will to develop their executive team’s leadership skills. Because upgrade business access, improve safety and reduce conges- of my previous nomadic life in the service, I never had a tion resulting in improved economic health and increased chance to serve a community. I see being elected to city business activity. Traffic calming measures on our local streets council as a way of continuing my life-long journey of ser- impacted by cut through traffic will increase pedestrian safety, vice. protect property values and increase our quality of life. RUSSELL: I am running for Stillwater City Council be- cause I will be an excellent council member with my knowl- What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local edge, experience and understanding of Stillwater from a 20 businesses and how will you work on their behalf to the year career as Stillwater City Planner. I enjoy working with resolve the issue? people; residents, business owners, property owners, busi- MENIKHEIM: The biggest challenge facing local businesses ness groups (Chamber) to find creative solutions to common is the decade’s long gridlock downtown Stillwater has found challenges and make a difference. I have a passion for Still- itself in because of two things: (1) A deteriorating, outmoded water and want to help make it the best it can be, a special and potentially dangerous Lift Bridge which dumps 15-18,000 place to live, work, shop and play. cars a day into our city with few benefits, but great cost in road repair, aesthetic degradation and neighborhood traffic If elected, what will be your top priority? problems and (2) An inability of stakeholders – business own- MENIKHEIM: After walking the Ward five times and ers, citizens, Chamber of Commerce and city government - to speaking with over 1400 individuals (and counting), they tell come together, collaboratively, to develop a plan in the best me their greatest concern is lack of transparency in dealing interest of Stillwater, then setting about working that plan to- with the city. Their stories describe inconsistent application gether. After years of unsuccessfully addressing the symptoms of city ordinances, perceived favoritism and the existence of (traffic management, etc.) of a larger problem, it is time to go an “Old Boys Network.” They also describe a city they see after the big problem - gridlock. I would not sit passively by as less than “user friendly.” Because this is a consistent saying the Feds and State won’t allow us to close the bridge, theme from the people I want to represent, I will go out of but rather engage those concerned so our collective voice my way to ensure decision transparency and equitable policy grows louder…squeaky wheels get the oil…and leverage the issue of safety. We’ve all experienced one bridge dropping in sized bridge because there is clearly a need for a newer, safer the water. Do we want that to happen in our city? Concurrent crossing. Thirty years+ of waffling has gotten nowhere; isn’t it with pushing for bridge closure, I will work to bring all the about time to take a different tact? The developing Valley stakeholders together to be part of that solution to get the city Bridge Consortium is a good first step. I will advocate making back on the road of progress. I have extensive experience safety the issue to raise the ante; the Lift Bridge is a disaster bringing people together to take on large bureaucracies and waiting to happen. Making safety the paramount issue is the know that will be helpful in moving Stillwater’s business envi- only way to move the crossing project from the back burner to ronment forward. the front. Close the Lift Bridge and action similar to what we RUSSELL: Communication between local businesses and the saw with the I-35 Bridge will follow. city council is sometimes a challenge. As city council repre- RUSSELL: The economic health of our Downtown and the sentative I pledge to work hard to keep the lines of communi- businesses along Highway 36 and the quality of our neighbor- cation open so we can work together to establish a shared vi- hoods are being hurt by the lack of an adequate regional road sion for our economic future and prepare a business plan lead- system including a new St Croix River Crossing. That said, it ing both businesses and the city to that future. Business vital- is imperative that the City of Stillwater do everything it can to ity and strong tax base is a common goal. get the bridge built. I have attended meetings of a high pow- ered river crossing advocacy coalition made up of Wisconsin If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend and Minnesota business leaders, business groups (Chamber), to help our local economy start to grow and create more residents, labor and local government officials. The purpose of jobs? the coalition is to support and promote the new river crossing MEIKHEIM: As we’ve seen too long in this country, politi- project. A similar coalition was instrumental in getting the cians have few good strategies to address the problems facing recently constructed Wacota Bridge built. Stillwater must have us today. Our Founding Fathers never meant it to be that way strong representation on the new coalition and work hard for because elected officials were supposed to represent their con- new crossing funding and final construction. stituents, not solve their specific problems. This meant engag- ing and supporting the electorate to discover the answers to Private sector businesses and local governments have faced their own problems, because they were the frontline experts. similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many This is the philosophy I followed on my ships when faced with businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, serious problems; it was the questions I asked more than the and are challenging government to do the same through answers I provided which led to optimum solutions. I believe service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- that same approach should be followed here, and I will cham- ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of pion the coming together of business owners (experts) to re- programs and services? solve the issues they all equally face. City government should MENIKHEIM: Creativity and innovation do not occur if facilitate, support, encourage, remove barriers where possible politicians are worried about being re-elected. City leaders, and find resources when feasible that will help our local econ- administrators and staff must be challenged to raise the bar omy grow, and thus create more jobs. because government cannot operate as it has in the past. Con- RUSSELL: Keeping and growing our existing businesses is a trary to conventional wisdom, budget allocations can be made top priority. By the city of Stillwater controlling costs and more effectively. There are no pat answers; tough decisions providing quality city support services and facilities such as are required. City administrators must come together to de- streets and traffic management, parking supply and attractive velop a clear vision of purpose and service, avoiding conven- parks and recreation facilities, Stillwater provides a stable tional thinking. To quote Abraham Lincoln, “Still the question investment environment and quality business setting that en- recurs,’ can we do better?’ The dogmas of the quiet past are courages and supports private investment, business growth inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high and development. This is crucial to long term future growth. with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our New development opportunities such as the new armory, case is new, so we must think and act anew.” Achieving such Gateway Trail connection and possible old armory reuse an outcome only occurs through people who are creative and should be considered and supported for their job growth, eco- innovative. I see these qualities as being among my strongest nomic activity and tax base potential. The extension of the as demonstrated throughout my successful lifetime of service. Curve Crest Business Park along Highway 36 to CR 15 should RUSSELL: The City of Stillwater has done more with less be encouraged and supported. This is a long term project that over the past 4 years. Thirteen positions have been cut over would have great benefits to the Stillwater Area. that time period while the overall quality of service has been maintained. With State aid disappearing, the budgetary proc- The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin ess for local government is becoming even more challenging. in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent As a council member I would recommend that the city be pro- National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- active and develop a plan “B” and plan “C” budget alterna- ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on tives for the years ahead. The new budgets would assume fur- schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support ther revenue reductions and look at ways to best meet needs the project, please explain. with reduced revenues. Department reorganization, consolida- MENIKHEIM: I strongly support the St. Croix River Cross- tion of services with other local governments and targeted ing project because I don’t want to see anyone get killed if the service level reductions in non core services may be called for. iconic, but deteriorating Lift Bridge collapses under the ex- All option and ideas would be on the table for consideration. treme load it carries today (15-18,000 cars daily). Even the As with the private sector, during these challenging times new Sierra Club supports the building of a more appropriately- ways of doing business are called for. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Bayport Mayor SUSAN ST. ORES JUDY SEEBERGER email@example.com www.judyseeberger.com Occupation: Director, SAP (a $13 billion technology com- firstname.lastname@example.org pany) Occupation: Attorney with a small law firm in Lake Elmo Education: Bachelor of Science, Mankato State University, Education: BA from University of Minnesota, Duluth; JD Mankato, MN; Master of Science, Mankato State University, from Boston University School of Law Mankato, MN Previous Elected Offices: Bayport City Council, 2008-Present Previous Elected Offices: None Campaign Endorsements to Date: None Sought Campaign Endorsements to Date: None Why are you running for office? What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local ST. ORES: I am running for Mayor because Bayport needs businesses and how will you work on their behalf to the fresh leadership that will focus on and develop its strengths resolve the issue? while responsibly planning to secure its future. My proven ST. ORES: Bayport business owners have communicated to experience and track record directly relate to Bayport’s need me that taxes and attracting new customers are their biggest for financial management, strategic planning, leading teams challenges. To address these concerns, I would not support tax and doing more with less. increases, and I would work with them to develop creative SEEBERGER: With the upcoming election, our city council ideas to attract new business while supporting the values and will experience a significant change in membership. While I culture of Bayport. To make Bayport a more inviting place to have no doubt that those persons elected to council will be visit and do business, I propose a cooperative business district imminently qualified to serve, we need a Mayor experienced beautification project funded, developed and supported by a with the council and staff to ensure an orderly transition after combination of grants, donations and volunteerism. I would the election. We have a lot to accomplish and we must be able also engage in increased communication and collaboration to "hit the ground running" after the election. The City is not a with the Bayport Business Association to more fully address business and it cannot be run like a business. Rather, we must their concerns and help them cross promote. remember that we are working for the citizens of Bayport, not SEEBERGER: The current economy is creating struggles and the other way around. hardships for almost everyone. I’d like to see Bayport’s busi- nesses flourish and more small businesses come to town. I If elected, what will be your top priority? plan to establish citizen committees to help promote Bayport ST. ORES: The issue I view as most important is planning businesses and beautify and enhance our business district. I’d and staying within budget. With state and federal funding de- also like to encourage the development of events that highlight clining and tax revenues decreasing, eliminating wasteful ex- our businesses and bring people in to those businesses. penditures and managing necessary projects properly will be critical. I would not eliminate departments but would hold the If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend line on costs. I would reduce spending across the board, priori- to help our local economy start to grow and create more tize within each department and limit discretionary spending. jobs? Stronger vendor and project management is necessary. I do ST. ORES: Bayport is limited by its physical space to grow. not support tax increases. I would stay within our revenue With that constraint, I would start by engaging with our cur- projections. rent businesses to get their insight into what would be helpful SEEBERGER: First and foremost, given the new makeup of in attracting new customers, as well as, explore their desire to the council, my initial priority will be to encourage civility, expand and work with them to do so. Various options need to respect, and a spirit of cooperation among council and staff. be assessed including, but not limited to, property tax relief, After all, we are a small town and if the council cannot work state funding support to attract new business and cross promo- together, I don’t see how we can accomplish anything. Beyond tion among all. Whatever the businesses strategy, it is impor- that, we will need to roll up our sleeves and continue to find tant to pursue businesses that reflect the values and needs of ways to do more with less as budget shortfalls continue to be the community. an issue. I would also like to establish citizen committees to SEEBERGER: First of all, we have to be smart about spend- focus on specific action areas unique to Bayport. ing and doing more with the resources we have. We also need to focus more attention on our local businesses and our busi- ness district. Bayport has a lot to offer not only its residents, but also to visitors to the St. Croix Valley. I will actively pro- mote our businesses and help create events in order to bring more revenue into the city and to help sustain our economy. The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support the project, please explain. ST. ORES:In the near future, the existing Stillwater Lift Bridge will no longer provide safe and reliable transportation between MN and WI; therefore, I support the St. Croix River Crossing. The project has already cost taxpayers over 25 mil- lion dollars. Further delays will continue to run up costs with- out moving us forward. Therefore, I would work with the re- spective DOTs and lobby the MN and WI congressional repre- sentatives to design a bill to authorize the project. Addition- ally, necessary steps to move the project forward should be continued - like property acquisitions, At the same time every effort to preserve the environmental qualities should be de- signed into the plan. SEEBERGER: There is no doubt the current Stillwater lift bridge has reached the end of its useful lifespan. For that rea- son, an alternate crossing is needed. The City of Bayport will continue to support efforts to establish a suitable alternate river crossing that serves the needs of the residents while maintaining the beauty of our river and surroundings. Private sector businesses and local governments have faced similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, and are challenging government to do the same through service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of programs and services? ST. ORES: I would calculate the budget shortfall as a per- centage and ask each department to decrease their budget by that percentage. This would allow those closest to the problem to manage the issue. I would also leverage the buying power of surrounding cities to reduce costs. Next, effectively manag- ing vendors to hold to their quotes will be critical. And finally, I would explore ways of engaging volunteers to offset costs. SEEBERGER: Bayport has been fortunate to have a forward- thinking council and a creative city staff who have already risen to the occasion and have come up with innovative ways to do more with less. Bayport citizens value the services the City offers and it is up to us to figure out a way to streamline our spending, cut out waste and redundancies, and increase revenues to the city so that we can not only survive these diffi- cult economic times, but continue to thrive. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Bayport City Council—Three Available Seats MICHELE HANSON MARK L. OSTERTAG Michele Hanson did not respond to the Chamber’s question- Mark Ostertag did not respond to the Chamber’s question- naire by the time this publication was produced. naire by the time this publication was produced. DON HOYE JOE RITZER www.votefordon.org Jritzer3@yahoo.com email@example.com Occupation: Field Supervisor for Integra Telecom Occupation: Realtor, self-employed Education: High School, Long Beach City College Education: Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with Previous Elected Offices: None emphasis on Marketing & Communication Campaign Endorsements to Date: None Previous Elected Offices: Bayport Riverfront Advisory Com- mission-appointed AARON PRICHARD Campaign Endorsements to Date: N/A Aaron Prichard did not respond to the Chamber’s question- naire by the time this publication was produced. JUDY M. JOHNSON Judy Johnson did not respond to the Chamber’s questionnaire by the time this publication was produced. Why are you running for office? munity. I am self employed and rely on referrals, and my cli- HOYE: I am a level headed, rational thinker who weighs the ents in exchange rely on exceptional service. We need to pro- pros and cons for every decision. I do not have an agenda…I mote and patronize our local business so they will survive for simply want to give back to the community I call home. I have future generations to enjoy. I would also like to do some re- the ability to gauge and analyze issues from a short-term and search in this area to see what the city of Bayport can do to long-term perspective. I am also open minded and interested attract more small business to our main street. Bayport defi- in exploring smart ways to support our infrastructure to thrive nitely has growth potential in that area and I would welcome into the future. local entrepreneurs to explore the opportunities that Bayport RITZER: Bayport has been home to my wife and I for 6 has to offer. years. With my job experience as a leader, I felt it was my RITZER: I have noticed many local businesses today are be- time to become involved as a city council member in the com- ing over taxed to the point of closure. My job will be to keep munity I love. the businesses tax base low to keep our current business and attract more growth and diversity. If elected, what will be your top priority? HOYE: Budget analysis and looking at ways Bayport can run If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend more efficiently with shrinking revenues into the future. I will to help our local economy start to grow and create more also want to review our current contracts with vendors to look jobs? for opportunities to save money. In addition, I would like to HOYE: Again, I think it is important to focus and support the make sure that ideas generated by the Bayport Riverfront Ad- growth of the current businesses, as well as, look for opportu- visory Commission continue to move forward and that Bay- nities to attract more business to Bayport, while still keeping port truly utilizes its riverfront as it’s prized amenity for the our small town atmosphere. residents. RITZER: Bayport is limited for new store front business. Our RITZER: Top priority will be to listen to the residents and act main street has well established business that we need to sup- on their behalf to better our community. I could list many pri- port. One strategy I would endorse is to promote our small orities but the most important is to be an honest and trustwor- town charm with more community events involving our local thy servant to my community. businesses. Continued on next page... What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local businesses and how will you work on their behalf to re- solve the issue? HOYE: My family has an eat local/shop local philosophy as I believe that existing local businesses are the heart of our com- The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to be- Private sector businesses and local governments have gin in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a re- faced similar challenges in order to survive the recession. cent National Park Service decision. Do you support the Many businesses have responded with innovation and project? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it be- creativity, and are challenging government to do the gins on schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not same through service redesign and spending reform. How support the project, please explain. can government be more pro-active in reducing the per- HOYE: I do believe there is a need for at bridge to be con- unit cost of programs and services? structed due to increased traffic and population that travel HOYE: I think Bayport needs to take a look at the entire back and forth between MN and WI on a daily basis. How- budget and figure out ways to become more efficient with ever, I also see the reasoning behind the very careful analysis spending and cut out any wasteful spending. I also believe of the impact it will have on the river and wildlife. The one we should explore renewable energy sources, such as wind thing I think that is very disappointing is that each year the power. I believe by exploring these energy sources now and legal wrangling goes on the cost of the bridge construction possible implementing them we will be doing a huge service goes up, which in turn will cost tax payers more. So I would for future generations of Bayport. support and encourage the local governments that are in- RITZER: One of the ways to reduce cost is utilizing volun- volved in the final decision to keep in mind the increased teers for services. We see this with our state Adopt a High- costs that already have affected this project with the ex- way program so why not for local services. Bayport has a tended approval/decision process. beautiful river front park and new Barker Alps baseball field RITZER: Yes I do support the project for many reasons. I that could be maintained by local volunteers with pride. will support in the awareness of the importance of the project not only for Minnesota residents but Wisconsin residents as well. Depending on the jurisdiction of Stillwater, some re- strictions on downtown traffic may need to be imposed to stress connecting Wisconsin and Minnesota with free flow- ing traffic. The MNDOT video showing the potential beauty and functionality of the project just makes sense. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Lake Elmo City Council—Two Available Seats STEVE DeLAPP NICOLE PARK firstname.lastname@example.org Councilmember Nicole Park did not respond to the Chamber’s Occupation: Retired 3M Architect questionnaire by the time this publication was produced. Education: BA Amherst College BArch Univ. of Minn, self directed study of cities and towns throughout the United MIKE PEARSON States, and travel to Europe, Asia and Australia. Mike Pearson did not respond to the Chamber’s questionnaire Previous Elected Offices: City Council, 16 years by the time this publication was produced. Campaign Endorsements to Date: None Why are you running for office? instigate the resident driven planning study of the Old Village, DELAPP: I believe in sharing my listening abilities, my anticipating eventual development and recognizing the need to knowledge, my experience and practice as an architect, to con- be at least 10 years out in front to ensure that our one time tribute to helping the City of Lake Elmo remain a stable, desir- opportunity becomes nationally recognized, instead of a quick, able semi-rural community, without the disjointed zoning and get rich scheme for a few land developers and leaves the City lack of cohesion exemplified in most Metro cities and town- residents with the equivalent of the old Oakdale Outlet Mall ships. and some haphazard, inconsistent, housing projects. If elected, what will be your top priority? If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend DELAPP: Prevent the new 2011 Met Council from continu- to help our local economy start to grow and create more ing its efforts to turn Lake Elmo into a mirror image of Wood- jobs? bury north of I-94, while advancing a private-public partner- DELAPP: Most Lake Elmo residents under age 65, have jobs ship for developing some 200-300 acres adjacent to the Old and primarily work in St. Paul, Minneapolis. They did not Village with a large surrounding Green Belt. move to Lake Elmo in hopes that a well paying job would be created on some farm field 1/2 mile from their house. Those What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local who don't commute to the inner CBD's, have jobs in our City, businesses and how will you work on their behalf to the Woodbury, Oakdale, Stillwater, and at Medtronic and 3M. I resolve the issue? do not see this changing, especially in this economy. As noted DELAPP: The biggest challenge to local businesses is to before, "Government does not create jobs, businesses do". carve out a niche that is not going to be overwhelmed by the Unlike many elected local officials, I am not in the real estate big box malls in Stillwater, Woodbury and Oakdale. I strongly or development business and my primary interest is in keeping oppose changing our City Code to allow of these environmen- existing residents from disturbances in their home setting, and tally damaging, traffic magnets into our City to exacerbate the in attracting new residents to developing farmland who share harm to the Old Village providers of local goods and services our rural values. Since 40% of business taxes are taken away and destroy the rural character of our City, which has been the from cities in the 7 County Metro Area by the State for redis- primary attraction of most residents. I hear the cries from our tribution to business poor cities, the areas with the least com- more fiscally conservative office-holders, such as our U.S. mercial property benefit the most and need to provide the least House Representative, that "Government does not create jobs, amount of specialized city services. Reversing this law at the businesses do". I will continue to oppose spending any of our State level would go a long way to encouraging cities to set residents' money to subsidize business and development inter- aside land for regional commercial development. Currently, ests, unless such taxation is strongly supported by the resi- with the 40% giveaway, commercial development is often at a dents as a way to improve the quality of their lives. I have financial loss for taxpaying residents. envisioned a healthier Downtown business district since mov- ing to the City, and believe that the release of 1,000 acres of Private sector businesses and local governments have faced farmland for development and open space protection similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many will allow implementation of our City's focus of desirable resi- businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, dential, civic, and commercial interests in the center of the and are challenging government to do the same through City. Only in the past five years have the owners of the farm- service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- land surrounding the Old Village put their land on the market ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of and with the recession, the new buyers have taken a large hit. programs and services? 280 acres are owned by banks at this time. The City planned DELAPP: The way to contain public spending on local gov- for eventual development in the early 1990's, when I helped ernment services is to minimize the need for government ser- vices -- avoiding the types of development that require large police and fire departments, avoiding expensive infrastructure by keeping traffic counts low, requiring sustainable develop- ment, by relying on volunteers where-ever possible, and at- tracting residents who are largely self-sufficient. The local tax rate in Lake Elmo is 50% of the local tax rate in Stillwater and it is important for Lake Elmo to continue to avoid the financial commitments that have caused the Stillwater government to tax residential and commercial property at twice our rate. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Oak Park Heights City Council—Two Available Seats LES ABRAHAMSON MARK SWENSON email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Occupation: Team Manager, State Farm Insurance Occupation: Andersen Window Corporation, Value Stream Education: Stillwater Senior High School, 1987; UW-River Supervisor; Captain, Bayport Fire Department Falls, BS in Business Administration, 1992 Education: Criminal Justice, Bemidji State University Previous Elected Offices: City Council, 2 terms Previous Elected Offices: City Council, 16 years Campaign Endorsements to Date: None Campaign Endorsements to Date: None Why are you running for office? to issues, balancing what’s in the interest of business owners ABRAHAMSON: I’ve enjoyed my time on the council and and our residents alike. As president of our EDA, I will con- feel I’ve done a good job. The city has seen much growth/ tinue to look for creative solutions to the empty car dealer- development during my tenure and I’m proud of my contribu- ships and other redevelopment opportunities within the city. tion to making Oak Park Heights a thriving part of the St. SWENSON: Do not focus on issues of a personal agenda. Croix Valley. Elected officials tend to let the power go to unmanageable SWENSON: I enjoy the city and its vision. The city has eve- levels and that does not work. We are elected to serve and rything within its boundaries that you need. The people are protect our community. wonderful and the environment is safe for the young and the old. Keeping the small town attitude and respecting your The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin neighbors vision has made our city very successful. in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- If elected, what will be your top priority? ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on ABRAHAMSON: With the city nearing build out, most activ- schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support ity will be related to redevelopment, infrastructure and keep- the project, please explain. ing Oak Park Heights an affordable community in which to ABRAHAMSON: I’ve been supportive of the project concep- live and do business. The city is faced with two vacant car tually while trying to work with MNDOT to address the sig- dealerships and, as president of the city’s Economic Develop- nificant challenges unique to the City of Oak Park Heights. ment Authority, I’m committed to working toward a develop- Recent news has obviously not been good toward the project ment solution which is in the best interests of the community. moving forward and, absent action from Congress, there isn’t likely to be much activity in the short-term on the project. As What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local stated earlier, attention needs to be paid to our frontage roads businesses and how will you work on their behalf to the and the intersections with Highway 36 without continuing to resolve the issue? wait on a river crossing solution. ABRAHAMSON: The biggest challenge to Oak Park Heights SWENSON: I have shown strong support for the project since businesses is reasonable access. The frontage road intersec- I was elected in 1994. I alone can do nothing to help this pro- tions are a constant headache to residents and customers wish- ject. However, as a group we can move it along. Right now ing to visit local businesses along Highway 36. With the re- there are too many different groups trying to get there issues cent news that the St. Croix River Crossing Project is indefi- resolved. The team players keep changing in the process and nitely delayed, it’s important to start thinking about fixing the most key players are concerned only about the immediate is- problems with Highway 36 and its frontage roads separately sues at hand. I will do what ever I can to support this project. from the bridge project. SWENSON:The bridge has been an issue for many years. Private sector businesses and local governments have faced Keeping that vision and supporting the wishes of our entire similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many community is vital as it will affect all of us in one way or an- businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, other. We ALL need to act as a team and at times agree to and are challenging government to do the same through disagree on views. service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend programs and services? to help our local economy start to grow and create more ABRAHAMSON: Some of the activity by the city includes; jobs? moving toward a paperless record environment, contracting ABRAHAMSON: I’ll continue my approach over the last fire service with Bayport, exploration of tax increment financ- eight years on the council. I believe in a reasonable approach ing districts to help with redevelopment, utilizing state con- tract pools when making purchases, investment in geothermal heating/cooling at new City Hall, solar panels for energy at Brekke Park shelter and leasing of tower space to a cellular provider with proceeds going toward a tower maintenance/ replacement fund. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Washington County Board of Commissioners, District 2 DEAN JOHNSTON BILL PULKRABEK www.deanjohnston.org Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek did not respond to the email@example.com Chamber’s questionnaire by the time this publication was Phone: 651-777-4444 produced. Occupation: Mayor, City of Lake Elmo Education: BS & MS in Mechanical Engineering, MBA Previous Elected Offices: Lake Elmo City Council, 2 years; 3- time Mayor of Lake Elmo Campaign Endorsements to Date: Former County Board Chair R.H. “Dick” Stafford; former Mayor of Oakdale Ted Bearth; Lake Elmo Deputy Mayor Anne Smith; Landfall Mayor Greg “Flash” Feldbrugge; Lake Elmo Councilmember Nicole Park; and Lake Elmo Councilmember Bret Emmons Why are you running for office? If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend JOHNSTON: I am running because Washington County must to help our local economy start to grow and create more play a greater role in encouraging regional economic develop- jobs? ment. I have been working on this issue over a year with the JOHNSTON: The region needs to understand where the Twin Itasca Project, the Regional Council of Mayors, and on the Cities offers a competitive advantage to businesses that might Economic Development Committee of the Stillwater Chamber expand or locate here and which can benefit from the advan- of Commerce. I will bring local and county governments and tages. It is foolish to throw taxpayer dollars at businesses that the business community together to remove obstacles to job don’t benefit from the strengths of our region. While there are growth. many types of businesses that could benefit, one visible exam- ple is medical devices. The Twin Cities has the strengths of a If elected, what will be your top priority? skilled workforce, research programs at the University, manu- JOHNSTON: Regional economic development will be my facturers skilled in FDA approval, a strong specialized legal top priority. Nearly ten percent of our workforce is unem- community, and the Mayo Clinic for research and evaluation. ployed and even more are underemployed. Commercial and We need to support activities to attract these businesses and residential real estate values have fallen as much as 45%. We other types of businesses by using the process proposed by the must retain, grow, and attract good paying jobs to our region. Regional Economic Development Partnership. The high taxes on business are part of this complex problem and must be addressed as part of our strategy to attract busi- The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin nesses that can gain a competitive advantage by locating in the in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent Twin Cities. National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support Washington County businesses and how will you work on the project, please explain. their behalf to the resolve the issue? JOHNSTON: Roads and bridges are essential ingredients for JOHNSTON: The biggest challenge is consumer confidence. economic vitality. They also bring with them the potential for When people are concerned about their jobs and their property noise, congestion, and traffic safety problems. I believe the St values are in free-fall, they are unwilling to participate in mak- Croix River Crossing project is a necessary addition to our ing our local economy healthy and vibrant. I have been part of infrastructure; however, the related issues of dangerous inter- efforts on the local and regional levels to help businesses to sections, poor access, and noise must be addressed as funda- retain, grow, and attract jobs. When our citizens have good mental part of the project and not left for later funding. jobs, we can address this and other challenges. Continued on next page... Private sector businesses and local governments have faced similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, and are challenging government to do the same through service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of programs and services? JOHNSTON: The answer is well known; you hear it from incumbents all the time. The county board needs to evaluate all projects, programs, and services thoroughly for justification of need and for cost effectiveness. Unfortunately this takes a lot of time and effort now being done by the four commission- ers who take the job seriously. I have been an advocate for change on the local, regional, state, and national levels; the county needs to work to achieve savings in mandated pro- grams wherever savings are possible. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Minnesota House of Representatives, District 52B STEN HAKANSON MATT DEAN www.stenforhouse.org Representative Matt Dean did not respond to the Chamber’s firstname.lastname@example.org questionnaire by the time this publication was produced. Political Party: DFL Occupation: Patent Attorney, Patent Law LLC Education: University of MN, B.S. Microbiology; Hamline University School of Law, JD Previous Elected Offices: Treasurer, Senate District 52 Campaign Endorsements to Date: Education Minnesota, AFL/CIO Why are you running for office? If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend HAKANSON: I am concerned with the direction of the coun- to help our local economy start to grow and create more try and for the future of my children and everyone's children jobs? and grandchildren. We can not continue with our ruinous en- HAKANSON: As a patent attorney I have gained a strong ergy policy that ships $700 Billion overseas every year and background in big and small business. We need a tax formula risks further global warming. We can not continue with our that keeps Minnesota a top tier state so businesses want to be ruinous foreign policy that makes the United States a self- here because of the educated workforce, the strong infrastruc- appointed solo police force for the world. Also, we can not ture and the great lifestyle, along with the right type of tax continue with our ruinous economic policy that has witnessed incentives that make the overall package we can offer busi- the evisceration of the American middle class with an upside nesses competitive with other states. More importantly, we down tax policy and the exporting of American jobs. need better cooperation between the private and public sectors so that capital can begin to flow again and investment money If elected, what will be your top priority? can be raised. We must provide the right environment for in- HAKANSON: The top priority is to create jobs in Minnesota. vestors to begin investing in and banks to begin lending to We do this by creating a tax structure that provides for a well new and existing businesses that want to start or grow in our educated work force and good infrastructure and that provides state. We need to help businesses, state government and the the right kind of incentives and tax advantages so that busi- University of Minnesota and other research colleges form bet- nesses are created in the state and choose to stay here and ter and stronger research and development partnerships so we grow. can lead the country in the development and commercializa- tion of all the new technologies that will provide the jobs that What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local will power us out of this recession. Those technologies in- businesses and how will you work on their behalf to the clude, but are not limited to: wind turbines, solar panels, bio- resolve the issue? diesel, cellulosic ethanol, biotechnology, nanotechnology, HAKANSON: I believe one of the major issues facing busi- robotics, artificial intelligence, high power density batteries, nesses, and the public sector as well, is the out of control in- and electrical superconducting. It is critical after making these creases in the cost of health care. That is the "hidden" driver in advances that businesses are spun off that can sell commer- the rise in the cost of doing business and in taxes. I have a cially viable products based thereon and that such manufactur- good understanding of the health insurance industry and will ing and sales remains in our state. work with business owners, health care providers, health in- surance companies and legislators at the state and federal lev- The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin els to solve this urgent problem. In part, the solution involves in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent providing the right incentives to health providers for better National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- performance and improved health care outcomes in lieu of ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on permitting automatic increases in the charges for their ser- schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support vices. Additionally, we need to work to provide incentives for the project, please explain. everyone to live healthy lifestyles so that we can reduce the HAKANSON: I support the project and we will probably utilization of health care services, i.e. we have to tackle the have to either get a special bill through congress overruling problem from both ends. the National Park Service and/or proceed to litigate the issue. Through my career I have developed a good ability to study a controversy and find weaknesses in an opponent's positions and use that to bring about a resolution of a controversy. I believe the NPS has taken a position that oversteps their statu- tory mandate and that evidences a mistaken interpretation of the breadth of the scenic waterway act governing the St. Croix River. Private sector businesses and local governments have faced similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, and are challenging government to do the same through service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of programs and services? HAKANSON: One of the best ways to reduce the cost of gov- ernment is to literally reduce the amount of government through consolidation of units of government. For example, we could consolidate several adjoining small municipalities into one new city, or do the same with two or three counties. The idea being that we would eliminate redundancy and have fewer salaried positions, offices, buildings etc. To do this we would need to investigate and establish operational norms on a per capita basis so we can determine what the minimum num- ber of government employees and locations are that are needed to adequately service a given population. Once we have these averages we can then asses where we have above and below average "amounts of government" and then deter- mine if that level is justified or not given that specific require- ments, geographical and the like, of the particular area. We must also investigate the use of standard record keeping and operational practices so purchasing could be permitted on large statewide basis for all cities and counties and insure that government workers are not being handicapped by obsolete technology. A further step would be to emulate the private sector and provide incentives to public employees to perform at a high level through bonuses and pay increases and at the same time insure that effective procedures are in place to per- mit the removal of employees that do not consistently meet a basic level of competence in their job. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Minnesota House of Representatives, District 56A JULIE BUNN KATHY LOHMER www.juliebunn.com www.kathylohmer.com email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Political Party: DFL Political Party: Republican Occupation: MN State House, State Representative; formerly Occupation: Small Business Owner economics professor and consultant Education: Hastings High School, Winona State College and Education: Ph.D., MA, Economics, Stanford University; AB, Lakeland Medical and Dental Academy Occidental College, honors in economics Previous Elected Offices: None Previous Elected Offices: Elected to MN State House in 2006 Campaign Endorsements to Date: Republican Party, MCCL, Campaign Endorsements to Date: the Minnesota Chamber of Voices of Conservative Women, Minnesota Farm Bureau Commerce Leadership Fund (2008 and 2010); the National Federation of Independent Business – MN Chapter, (2008 and JIM MARTIN 2010); the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and Star Tribune newspa- www.votejimmartin.com pers, and the political arms of the National Rifle Association, email@example.com Conservation Minnesota, Clean Water Action, the Minnesota Political Party: None Medical Association, the Minnesota Nurses Association, Occupation: Self-employed, President/Founder of Jim Martin MAPE, AFSCME, the St. Paul Trades and Labor Council, and Companies the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. Education: B.S. Augsburg College (Minneapolis), Computer Science/Math Previous Elected Offices: None Campaign Endorsements to Date: None Sought Why are you running for office? BUNN: As the only economist in the legislature, my knowl- edge and experience make me uniquely qualified to help move our state forward in the face of significant economic and budget challenges. I am committed to listening, asking the If elected, what will be your top priority? tough questions, and making thoughtful, evidence-based pol- BUNN: I see three top priorities: (1) improving the business icy decisions. As someone who has served on a city planning and jobs climate; (2) insuring families have access to quality commission and community boards, I have long been engaged health care, in good times and bad; and, (3) balancing the in my community in a collaborative, non-partisan, “roll-up- budget without unraveling core community institutions -- your-sleeves and get the work done” manner on behalf of our schools, nursing homes, hospitals, supports for the most vul- citizens. I carry this attitude and approach with me to represent nerable, and the courts. Going forward I will continue to be a our district in St Paul. leader in passing market-based, patient-centered legislation to LOHMER: As a citizen, wife, mother, educator and small lower the cost of health care for families, and initiatives that business owner, I have been concerned with the ever expand- encourage growth and expansion of small businesses. I also ing role of government and with the high taxation, excessive support the phasing-in of pro-business tax reductions as part of government regulations, misplaced priorities and wasteful a negotiated solution to our deficit. spending in our state government. I believe in reasonable, LOHMER: My top priority will be to reform government to practical solutions which focus on fiscal and personal respon- allow the private sector to create jobs in Minnesota. I would sibility to move Minnesota in the direction of economic recov- support legislation that would reduce tax burdens and regula- ery, creating jobs for people of our state. I want to work to tions on business to jump start an economic recovery. I will preserve and protect Minnesota for the future. work hard to oppose efforts to shift the tax burden on job pro- MARTIN: There exists a general feeling of detachment from viders. Another equally important priority would be to oppose our government. As a matter of law, we are. I am running be- single payer government run health care. I believe health in- cause my opponents are not making three issues paramount in surance from the private sector is the best way to assure the their platform to which I intend to legislate a citizens access to quality and affordable health care. resolve: legislators should not be able to effectively set their MARTIN: We live in a society where the majority should own compensation; unelected bodies should not have the rule: the collective decisions we make are valid and must be power to directly levy tax against our district or force the hand respected. The taxes we pay and the development of our lands of our elected officials; and taxation should be presented for must be directly controlled only by elected individuals. I be- referendum on those who are subject to it. lieve our state budget issue is directly related to the fact that our collective voice is not fully vested in our state's govern- ment. I agree with Theodore Roosevelt when he said in 1912 National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- at Carnegie Hall, “I believe in the right of the people to rule.” ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on My top priority is the legally defined separation from our gov- schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support ernment. the project, please explain. BUNN: I support the project. I helped pass the Minnesota What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing funding for the project, moving up the start date from 2024 to Washington County businesses and how will you work on 2013. I also support all efforts to partnership with local gov- their behalf to the resolve the issue? ernments, the business community and our Wisconsin legisla- BUNN: I see the biggest challenges for local businesses as tive counterparts to move the project forward. Recently, I have commercial property taxes, health-care costs, and government been participating in efforts to form a St Croix Crossing Coali- regulation and licensing requirements. I have worked, and will tion, and joined other legislators in a letter to Interior Secre- continue to work, to make progress on all three fronts. I have tary Salazar asking that he help expedite the legal proceedings. testified at legislative hearings against proposals to raise, and In light of the NPS decision, I will be meeting with MNDOT for the lowering of, commercial property taxes. Moreover, I officials and the Coalition to discuss appropriate further ac- support approaches to balancing the budget that would take tions to bring this project to a successful conclusion. upward pressure off property taxes. I have authored and LOHMER: We need a new St. Croix River crossing to re- passed legislation to provide more flexible and affordable place the Stillwater lift bridge. I would work together with health insurance products to small businesses and to lower the Governors and legislators from Wisconsin and Minnesota health-care costs for all businesses. I have also passed legisla- to get this done. Because of the National Park Service ruling, tion to streamline regulations and to move towards a one-stop, we need help from the Federal government to expedite this on-line site for businesses to locate all public and private re- much needed project. Because of the rising cost of this project, sources available to assist businesses and to conduct all their we need to act quickly to ensure the public safety and afforda- licensing and permitting business. bility. LOHMER: Excessive taxes and regulations along with the MARTIN: I support the project. As a state legislator, I would uncertainties of the Affordable Care Act, with the Federal not have any authority to enforce or excuse the rulings of the government forcing them to provide health care to all employ- federal courts, actions of national departments, or the law of ees that they cannot afford. I would oppose the Affordable the United States Congress. We must move forward until we Care Act and work to reduce taxes and excessive regulations are halted by law. on businesses. MARTIN: As a small-business owner, the biggest challenge Private sector businesses and local governments have faced facing me is that of taxation and regulation. I actively seek out similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many goods and services and that are the least regulated and least businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, taxed. The answer for this is simple: and are challenging government to do the same through my clients are more able to pay for them as the total cost is service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- lower than heavily regulated and heavily taxed products, and ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of (more importantly) the profit margin is higher. If we want our programs and services? economy to prosper, we must encourage the participation in BUNN: As a member of the Health and Human Services Fi- markets instead of discouraging people like me. nance Division, reducing the costs of programs within this budget has been the central focus of my legislative efforts. In If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend my first term, with broad bi-partisan and business support, I to help our local economy start to grow and create more authored and successfully passed Minnesota health-care re- jobs? forms that are estimated to reduce health-care costs from trend BUNN: First, I will work to improve the business climate of by 12 percent over the next decade. More recently, I have our state by promoting a pro-business tax reform package. turned my attention to greatly reducing the cost of individual Second, as a founding and continuing member of the House programs within the budget by 20 to 50 percent, by refocusing Bi-Partisan Small Business Caucus I will continue to work them on essential and medically necessary services, saving with my colleagues to evaluate Minnesota’s strengths and tens of millions of dollars annually. weaknesses in attracting and growing jobs relative to other LOHMER: The question is accurate when you state states, and then work to address those weaknesses, to the ex- “spending reform.” Our state definitely needs "spending re- tent that it is appropriate for state government to do so. This form". We need to examine every budget area and every past year the Small Business Caucus successfully passed a agency and look for ways to reduce costs, eliminate duplica- package of initiatives to assist Minnesota businesses, but more tion of services, and have accountability in the way the hard remains to be done. working tax payer dollars are being spent. We need to make LOHMER: Reducing the tax burden, red tape, and onerous sure we prioritize so that the areas that government is meant to regulations would be a great way to return Minnesota to a take care of have the means and the areas that would be better business friendly state once again. handled by the private sector can be handled as such. We also MARTIN: We must allow localities to regulate their own cannot expect automatic 15-18% increases in state agency local businesses by allow people to elect individuals to de- budgets while Minnesota families are struggling to pay their velop land via zoning and planning maps. bills and keep their jobs. We need to live within our means in We must vest power in people. government the same way that families and businesses do. MARTIN: By vesting authority of the programs in elected The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin individuals and focusing on local control of the programs and in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent services. See answers to #2 and #4. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Minnesota House of Representatives, District 57B DAVE PAGE DENNY McNAMARA www.pageforhouse.org Denny McNamara did not respond to the Chamber’s question- firstname.lastname@example.org naire by the time this publication was Political Party: DFL produced. Occupation: Writing Instructor, Inver Hills Community College Education: M.A. in English, U of Minnesota, 1989; M.A. in Public Administration, U of Iowa, 1980 Previous Elected Offices: None Campaign Endorsements to Date: Education Minnesota, Wait- a-Minute Project, Pipefitters Local 539, St. Croix Valley La- bor Assembly, OutFront Minnesota, AFSCME Minnesota Council 5 Why are you running for office? If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend PAGE: When I discovered that Representative McNamara to help our local economy start to grow and create more supported Governor Pawlenty’s presidential campaign by vot- jobs? ing in 2008 against the first rise in gasoline taxes in 20 years, I PAGE: Obviously, this relates to question 3. If there are regu- was horrified because that money was going to be used to ex- latory issues problems, we need to address those, but not at the pedite the construction of the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings, cost of polluting our environment. If we can speed up the per- according to the Hastings Gazette, from 2018 to this summer. mitting process, let’s do it. But we can’t cut and cut govern- It is not just a safety issue. Bridge construction will also bring ment jobs and then expect better and better service. much-needed jobs to the district. The needs of District 57B are obviously not on the top of his political priorities. Representa- The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin tive McNamara talks about jobs, but when given a chance to in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent bring private sector jobs to the district, he balked. National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on If elected, what will be your top priority? schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support PAGE: We need to prime the pump of 21st century jobs by the project, please explain. creating incentives for green energy projects. Minnesota needs PAGE: From my understanding, the holdup has to do with to be a leader in solar energy, wind energy, and energy effi- Federal language in the current laws that regulate the St. Croix ciency. Cutting taxes for the wealthiest does not create jobs. River. Congress has to tackle the issue. I would be glad to Demand for products creates jobs. And if the middle class is work with Representative McCollum (who is a graduate of worried about a paycheck and home foreclosures, they are not Inver Hills and an acquaintance) and Senator Klobuchar going to driving an economic recovery. We need to hold banks (whose husband and I have served on boards together) to rec- accountable for their shoddy lending practices and provide tify the situation. people a way to remain in their homes. Private sector businesses and local governments have faced What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many Washington County businesses and how will you work on businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, their behalf to the resolve the issue? and are challenging government to do the same through PAGE: As I’ve already suggested, a slump in demand for service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- consumer goods is the problem—not any kind of tax issue. ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of Giving tax breaks will not encourage business owners to hire programs and services? if the demand for their goods doesn’t exist. By tackling the PAGE: I will have to admit that I would need further study to enormous backlog of infrastructure needs, we can prime the fully answer this question. Clear communication pathways are consumer pump by putting more money into the pockets of always a good place to start. First and foremost, businesses people who will spend the money. Then and only then will and individuals need to know who is accountable for helping businesses begin to hire. with a particular problem or issue. Making sure everyone knows how to direct someone to get a question answered is a good first step. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Minnesota Senate, District 52 BECKY SIEKMEIER JOHN McCALLUM www.beckyforsenate.com Independence Party candidate John McCallum did not email@example.com respond to the Chamber’s questionnaire by the time this Phone: 651-291-1829 publication was produced. Political Party: DFL Occupation: Advertising/Marketing Operations RAY VANDEVEER Education: Master of Public Affairs, Humphrey Institute in Senator Ray Vandeveer did not respond to the Chamber’s progress; BA in Social Welfare, U of M, AAS in Advertising questionnaire by the time this publication was produced. Design Previous Elected Offices: None Campaign Endorsements to Date: Republican Party, MCCL, Voices of Conservative Women, Minnesota Farm Bureau Education: Hastings High School, Winona State College and Lakeland Medical and Dental Academy Previous Elected Offices: None Campaign Endorsements to Date: DFL, Labor, Clean Water Action, Minnesota Farmers Union, Women Winning Why are you running for office? If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend SIEKMEIER: I am running to put good ideas to work by to help our local economy start to grow and create more bringing balanced and reasonable decision making to the jobs? Senate. Decisions must be made based on evidence, not SIEKMEIER: A) Help small businesses create jobs; they are rhetoric. My personal voting history shows that I have an our job creators and the life blood of our communities. Create independent streak and I am not rooted in a single ideology. tax credits and incentives. Provide relief on unemployment Rather, I believe in standing up for common sense solutions. taxes for new hires. Eliminate sales tax on capital expendi- I have experience bringing people together to develop solu- tures. Assure access to the credit tions, and will use this experience to help us through these challenging times and return us to a better and stronger Min- B) Keep jobs in Minnesota; Reward companies who contract nesota. with local businesses, Close loopholes in the tax code that encourage companies to outsource jobs to other states or coun- If elected, what will be your top priority? tries. SIEKMEIER: Getting people back to work will be my top priority. I will help do this by making sure small businesses C) Create a smart bonding bill that invests in projects with a have the tools they need to create jobs. Access to credit and long-term public benefit and impacts a broad variety of sec- improving cooperation with state agencies will be part of the tors. Some ideas include: We have a tremendous opportunity strategy to make this happen. Additionally, voters tell me to establish a new, strong manufacturing base in Minnesota by that stable and reliable education funding for our district creating a Renewable Energy Economy. We should build it, must also be a priority because our schools are hurting due to grow it, and install it (wind, solar, and bio fuels); Repair and inadequate funding from the state. modernize our infrastructure: Bridges, roads, transit, water and sewer systems, and the electric grid; Invest in research and What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local development in bio-medical technology and medical device businesses and how will you work on their behalf to the research at our colleges and universities; Expand Broadband – resolve the issue? Minnesota is behind neighboring states in connecting people SIEKMEIER: Local businesses tell me they need help the to each other and businesses to customers following three things: 1. Relief on the unemployment taxes for new hires, 2. A reduction or elimination of the sales tax on capital expenditures, and 3. Access to credit. I will work with other members of the Senate, the House, small busi- nesses owners and their representatives to make sure all ef- forts to assist small business are targeted to helping them in the most direct and efficient way possible. The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support the project, please explain. SIEKMEIER: A new bridge can’t come soon enough. The Lift Bridge isn’t getting any younger and safety is a concern. Businesses and residents alike support building a new bridge. I would prefer to see a bridge project that protects the unique character and habitat of the St. Croix National Scenic River- way and I am astounded at the price tag of more than $600,000,000 for the current design. To put it in perspective, the recently completed Highway 62/Crosstown interchange project – the largest transportation project ever for MnDOT – totaled less than half of the currently proposed St. Croix bridge plan. At a time when the state is facing such an exten- sive budget deficit, this is not a fiscally responsible plan. But a new bridge can’t wait, either. The recent ruling by the NPS means there’s an opportunity for our legislative leaders to step up and lead efforts for a bridge that meets our needs for a more reasonable cost. Private sector businesses and local governments have faced similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, and are challenging government to do the same through service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of programs and services? SIEKMEIER: Cities and counties have been working dili- gently to reduce costs in the wake of cuts in state funding for mandated services. All levels of government must continue their efforts at reform by finding additional efficiencies, maxi- mizing economies of scale through combining efforts on pro- jects and services that make sense, and using technology to the fullest extent possible. However, when economic times are difficult, the demand for government services increases be- cause private sector employees are laid off. This means that although the government has already improved efficiency, it will need to become even more efficient with the limited re- sources available. My 16 years at Best Buy headquarters taught me that successful process improvements and per unit cost reductions require management to partner with the people who are closest to the work; this must happen at state agen- cies, too. ELECTION 2010: VOTE FOR BUSINESS Prepared by the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Minnesota Senate, District 56 TED LILLIE KATHY SALTZMAN www.lillieforsenate.com www.kathysaltzman.com Political Party: Republican firstname.lastname@example.org Occupation: Co-Publisher of Lillie Suburban Newspapers Political Party: DFL Endorsed Education: North High School; Gustavus Adolphus College, Occupation: Currently serving as state senator. Former Com- Majors: Accounting and Political Science munications and Outreach Director for Schools for Equity in Previous Elected Offices: None Education, representing 60 Minnesota school districts Campaign Endorsements to Date: Republican Party (including Stillwater and South Washington County schools) to advance fair and equitable school funding and property tax reform. Prior experience: Office of St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman and Marketing and Outreach for University of Min- Why are you running for office? nesota Hospital and Clinic. LILLIE: Today is a challenging time for Minnesota families. Education: University of Iowa The unemployment and underemployment rates jeopardize Previous Elected Offices: State Senator, first term people’s future. Foreclosures and bankruptcies continue at Campaign Endorsements to Date: Minnesota Chamber Lead- record rates. Minnesotans are seeking solutions to the tough ership Fund PAC, Minnesota Building and Constructions challenges of growing the economy, creating more jobs and Trades, Police and Peace Officers Association, Conservation providing opportunities to succeed. This is the time for new Minnesota, Clean Water Action energy and new answers, for proven private sector leadership. I will work to ensure a better future for us, our families and our businesses. I will bring conservative values and pride back make Minnesota more competitive in attracting new busi- to our government, making Minnesota a better place to live, nesses. I will continue this work by supporting tax and regula- learn and work. tory reform, incentives for hiring and initiatives to reclaim our SALTZMAN: At a time when our state faces both significant competitive edge and leadership in the emerging high growth challenges and opportunities, it's never been more important sectors. for constituents to expect their state leaders to be Minnesotans first. In running for re-election, I am recommitting myself What do you see as the biggest challenge for existing local to be a legislator known for putting divisive politics and businesses and how will you work on their behalf to the pledges to special interest groups aside and instead focus her resolve the issue? work on bringing people together to solve problems, drive LILLIE: The biggest challenge business leaders face today is positive change and deliver results. I also want to continue the the lack of clarity and vision going forward. Government work I started in strengthening both our local and statewide taxes, regulations and oversight is placing an insurmountable business climate and education reform. wall in front of business expansion on a local, state and federal level. Business leaders place their resources of time, expertise If elected, what will be your top priority? and capital at risk in seeking the reward of a return on their LILLIE: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Minnesotans compete on a global investment. That business leader must have the vision that stage, our legislative policies and delivery of services must their potential return is commensurate with the associated compete on that same stage. The role of the legislature in spur- risks in order to plan to grow. Minnesota is one of the least ring job growth is three fold. First: identify and eliminate business friendly states in the country. regulations that are limiting job growth. Second: work to en- SALTZMAN: The economic downturn has affected all eco- sure a qualified work force. Third: reduce business and invest- nomic sectors. Restoring consumer confidence and putting ment taxes that interfere with free market expansion. My cam- people back to work is critical to restoring prosperity. Govern- paign is defined by three words: Progress, Prosperity & Pride. ment doesn’t create jobs, but it does establish policies that Progress: putting Minnesotans back to work. Prosperity: grow affect our business climate. While making corporate tax rates wealth through free market investment of time, knowledge and more competitive is often cited, 2005 data notes that less than capital. Pride: Pride in ourselves and in our successes! 5% of small businesses pay corporate income taxes. Instead, SALTZMAN: Job security for families. These challenging 40% of respondents to a recent legislative survey listed prop- economic times are affecting our families and our businesses. erty taxes as the #1 barrier to starting or expanding businesses It’s why growing and creating jobs and doing everything we in Minnesota. I will support comprehensive tax reform to en- can to help Minnesota recover from this recession as quickly sure our tax structure is both more fair and competitive. as possible are so important. I have worked to aggressively improve our small business climate by establishing pro-growth policies that encourage companies to grow and create jobs and If elected, what strategy or strategies will you recommend Private sector businesses and local governments have faced to help our local economy start to grow and create more similar challenges in order to survive the recession. Many jobs? businesses have responded with innovation and creativity, LILLIE: The state should create an attractive climate for pri- and are challenging government to do the same through vate businesses to open and grow in Minnesota, as opposed to service redesign and spending reform. How can govern- increasing taxes to fund an expanded government bureauc- ment be more pro-active in reducing the per-unit cost of racy. Unlike my incumbent opponent, I would oppose tax in- programs and services? creases on small businesses and legislation that would drive up LILLIE: have worked with local units of government to help energy costs for job creators. Instead, I propose streamlining evaluate how they provide services to their constituents. One the permitting process for new business startups, simplifying of the largest opportunities to gain efficiencies in government the tax code for corporate filers, and investing in an educated at all levels is shared services. Shared services evaluates what workforce. level of government is best able to provide a service the most SALTZMAN: I met last spring with business leaders who efficiently. Primary examples of existing shared services in were involved in developing the Itasca Project’s recent jobs our Senate District include that many cities utilize Washington report and that is a good place to start in exploring the concept County Sheriffs department for police coverage or contract of regional economic development. Some of these recommen- with Lakeview Hospital for emergency services. There are dations involve policy and tax changes, which I have already many cost savings in all layers of government that will reduce noted I support, but there are important partnerships that could the burden of government on families and businesses in our also be formed or strengthened. As an example, I have sup- district. ported and participated in efforts with our local Chambers to SALTZMAN: Tackling this historic deficit will require addi- form coalitions to advance transportation projects in our area tional cuts in spending throughout government and being and address congestion in downtown Stillwater. smarter and more efficient in how we deliver services and eliminate waste and duplication. In addition to supporting leg- The St. Croix River Crossing project is scheduled to begin islation to encourage shared services among school districts, I in 2013, but faces additional challenges due to a recent also co-authored the Commission on Service Innovation. Over National Park Service decision. Do you support the pro- the interim, business leaders and public sector leaders are ject? If so, what will you do to help ensure that it begins on working to provide the legislature with specific recommenda- schedule and/or remains a priority? If you do not support tions that should lead to further cost savings through redesign, the project, please explain. reform and shared services. I have also supported eliminating LILLIE: The residents of the St. Croix River valley need to unnecessary unfunded mandates, so school boards have see a resolution to the issue of a new river crossing. The greater flexibility and local control of their budgets roads in Stillwater, serve two groups, those wanting to get to Stillwater for it's great quality of life, wonderful restaurants and shopping options, and those wanting to get through Still- water. Those seeking to get through Stillwater are hindering the quaint pedestrian experiences that Stillwater offers. This project needs to have a persistent advocate who has an under- standing of the complexities, challenges and roadblocks. My experience as a coalition builder, community leader and strong advocate who can reach across the aisle to get projects com- pleted will be beneficial. SALTZMAN: The recent and unexpected decision by the National Park Service that it is unable to approve construction of a new St. Croix River Crossing under current federal laws significantly changes the role of the state legislature in ad- vancing this project. I sponsored legislation that accelerated this project from 2024 to 2013. However, unless the NPS deci- sion can be appealed, it will be necessary to work with our federal delegation and seek special action from Congress. I will continue to work with our local elected officials, busi- nesses, residents and Wisconsin partners in finding a long term solution.