- Age: 57
- Occupation: City of Duluth Public Utilities
- Family: Son, Max
- Age: 70
- Family: Wife, Barb; sons, Tom and Andy; daughter, Julie
What do you have to offer voters?
I offer broad experience: executive-level experience (20-plus years) in budgeting, business development, personal management, technology implementation, streamlining cost-saving; leadership — vice president of multi-million-dollar companies, engineer department management, manufacturing operations management; economic development finance professional certified; City of Duluth, Public Utilities (Sanitary, Storm Water, Water and Gas); veteran — U.S. Navy, Submarines, Gulf War veteran; family farm operation upbringing; and the biggest thing I have to offer of all: I care.
Proven leadership, calm, thoughtful analysis of issues. As a team, the council, myself as mayor and city staff have worked very hard to always improve business decisions, courses of action, for success. Being available to discuss concerns residents may have, one on one in their homes. Most of the time, we are able to resolve the issue, or I can carry their concern back to City Hall for staff to contact them and see a way forward for them.
Rice Lake became a city just five years ago. How do you think the community has changed since then?
I believe our community is becoming more focused on revenue generation and is starting to move away from its strength of being a residential community. The reason I moved to Rice lake over 20 years ago was because of the residential lifestyle it offered. I would not have that same impression today.
I don’t believe we as a community have changed much. I have worked very hard to ensure those regulatory rules and standards that cities operate under are not that intrusive on the everyday lives of the residents. Staff have worked very hard these past five years to purge and update ordinances from the township form of governance for cities. We have worked hard to tap into funds from the state that weren’t available to townships.
Should Rice Lake allow an asphalt plant to operate in city limits?
No. Our community is not a possible location for an asphalt plant. Asphalt plants are known to produce toxic air pollutants, including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde and cadmium, that cause cancer, central nervous system problems, liver damage, respiratory problems and skin irritation. I organized, developed a team that petitioned against the asphalt plant which has been a critical influence because of the voice of the people.
It’s been my position since 2006, when we as a township worked on our comp plan for 2007, that we need to move out of the residential areas into commercially zoned areas. I grew up here in Rice Lake. I know the value of our woodland space and the close proximity to all the jobs, shopping and enjoyment that come with living here in our region.
What's your primary goal if elected and how would you accomplish it?
To preserve and protect the way of life in Rice Lake, first and foremost. As a family-oriented community, rich with natural resources, our community provides residents to enjoy the great outdoors and participate in the fantastic parks, ball fields and trails. Duluth is showing a rapid growth in violent crime; we need to learn from them by analyzing and combating those causes. The key to success lies in an informed and involved city government structure.
Continue to welcome to our community service businesses that are well-suited for bedroom communities such as ours. With continued outreach to both businesses and willing, suitable landowners, I believe our community will be well-served through both services available and increased tax base. I have long held that the tax burden needs to be shared with commercial development.