Priorities, Public Involvement, Prospering City
The North Oaks News recently asked candidates a series of questions for their Voter's Guide. Here are my answers... with a little elaboration because I don't have character limits on my own website :)
What are your top three priorities for the city?
As Police Liaison, I work to maximize deterrence presence effectiveness in North Oaks and to respond to resident safety concerns. I championed a speed limit decrease in Rapp Farm, secured portable radar signs for residents who requested them, and am working with NOHOA and City Engineers to implement seasonal, temporary traffic calming measures in areas with historic speeding and potential pedestrian/vehicle interaction. - We, along with 6 other "Contract Cities" contract with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office for Police Services in North Oaks. North Oaks has enjoyed low rates of crimes against people and property, and we must work to keep it that way. I take this responsibility very seriously, as I know how important it is to the community.
Championing development which respects our natural resources and current residents while responsibly welcoming new residents to our community – Water access and quality are critical issues as we strive to bring Pleasant Lake back to its historic standard, and as we add new development dependent on securing needed water from surrounding communities. Sustaining the unique legacy of North Oaks must be a priority as we expand. - We have been blessed with so much. Our community's natural resources stand alone in their uniqueness: centuries old hardwoods, numerous lakes, ponds, and wetlands, remarkable wildlife, wildflowers that serve as an important resource for regional pollinators, and a trail system connecting it all such that we can enjoy it. These resources are also a tremendous responsibility. If elected I commit to working with the City Engineers, VLAWMO, NOHOA, and other regional entities on steps to restore Pleasant Lake to a more usable, recreational resource.
Building on a trusting, collaborative NOHOA relationship is critical as so many of our priorities are jointly held with decisions impacting both entities. - As we enter the final chapter of development within North Oaks, NOHOA takes on more and more responsibilities -The number of members to support, the miles of roads to maintain, the length of trails to sustain, the demands on all our resources increase. There are long term, NOHOA-impacting ramifications to decisions made by the City. When we work together, we can ensure that the immediate AND long-term impact of these City decisions take into account the impact on NOHOA. While we are separate entities with different responsibilities, we are "one team" committed to preserving the unique, private, safe, and remarkable place we all call home. I work closely with NOHOA's SAFE Community, Private Lands and Roads Committee to ensure we are together making the best decisions for the good of the community's privacy, safety and security.
If elected, how would you involve the public in making major decisions?
I want to represent you. To do so, I need to know what is on your mind. Examples of engaging with residents include opening our home multiple times to hear from residents on matters of interest, my collaboration and meeting with HOA sub associations to secure reduced speeds/water solutions in those neighborhoods, my conducting of a Community Safety Forum in collaboration with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and NOHOA. I used City Council remarks, the North Oaks News, the city E-Blast email platform, and partnered with NOHOA to inform on the Safety Forum and am actively working with NOHOA and Engineering on priorities from that Forum. I take many emails and phone calls from residents weekly, responding in a timely and collaborative manner. I attend NOHOA’s SAFE Community, Private Land and Roads meetings to ensure I am hearing from as many residents as possible. - Listening to the various perspectives of residents is my favorite and most intriguing part of my responsibilities on City Council... Residents have interesting ideas and share creative options to tackle challenges and seize opportunities. The Community is filled with talent, expertise, and committed residents- hearing from you, and engaging with you is where the energy and ideas for our city originate. Thank you to the community for your engagement in civil matters.
What can the City Council do in the next five years to help the city prosper?
North Oaks must prepare now for our collective post-development future. We must work with regional authorities to ensure Pleasant Lake can again reflect its name, secure confident access to required water resources to supply our new and existing residents, and carefully plan our infrastructure resources to reflect the best long-term investment for the community. As responsibilities shift to NOHOA, making planning decisions at the city level which align with what is best for NOHOA is critical. Most importantly, we must maintain North Oaks as a safe, unique place for singles, young families, empty nesters, and retirees to enjoy the “one of a kind” community our predecessors secured. I support fully funding Policing resources - as Police Liaison, working with County Police on priorities, Crimes against persons and property in North Oaks are both down and we are working to keep it that way, maximizing a deterrence presence in our community. - We can't take our historical safety or resources or privacy for granted. We need to work to preserve these important elements of the community and come up with creative new approaches to adapt to the changes around us. Our region faces pressure on water resources which will have direct and indirect impacts on our community, and not just on the new developments. We must work to ensure that the new additions to our community are welcomed and receive the same safety, security, and privacy as the historic parts of the community without sacrificing or compromising on the historically low rates of crimes against people and crimes against property currently enjoyed.