We asked the candidates to answer five questions (to see full text of questions Click Here) and to add any other comments they felt would help us to better understand how they would serve as Hennepin County District 5 Commissioner.
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Reason for running: I have spent nearly my entire life in Hennepin County, and have been active in the community.
My involvement has revolved around being a voice for the people, not the status quo. Particularly in municipal government. Most recently as co-founder of Hands Off Our Cans - Bloomington.
As a seasoned watchdog, I know what it’s like to bump up against stubborn bureaucrats that believe they know what is best for you. I enjoy engaging people with other view points in meaningful conversation, then finding that common ground from which real progress and meaningful outcomes can be made.
I have, and continue to serve on several private boards where fiscal conservatism is a matter of survival, not just a buzz word.
Fiscal responsibility: The County budget has increased at an annualized rate of 8.45% over the last 4 years.
Government has little motivation to get us the best deal for our hard earned money. By leveraging buying power into significant discounts, we can reduce the cost of existing programs, without compromising the quality of service. Then we need to hold growth to no more than a factor of population & inflation.
Evaluating the County Budget: Every program needs to come with a measurable definition of success, and subject to annual review before funding is approved. At least three important questions need to be satisfactorily answered before a program is considered. “Is this really needed? If so, are we getting the best rate of return? Could this be done more effectively by a private entity?”
Met Council Limits and Thrive MSP 2040 Plan: The Met Council was established many years ago with the mission of insuring that sewer, water and buses all move in the proper direction. Since then, it has morphed into a huge unelected bureaucracy with tax and spend authority. This is not a form of representative government, and needs to have its overreach reigned in. While I have not gone through Thrive MSP2040 with a fine toothed comb, there are some very troubling aspects. Not the least of which is “Integrating Water Planning”. This term is commonly used as code for “your municipal water supply will come under Met Council control”
These types of social reengineering vision plans, do not belong in the hands of unelected bureaucrats
Questions You’ll Ask about Light Rail and a County sales tax increase to fund it: According to the Met Council’s own report, use of Public Transportation has precipitously declined over the past 100 years, yet the cost to taxpayers has increased exponentially. Rail is the least effective use of transportation dollars and offers no flexibility as paradigm shifts take place. We need to aggressively explore cost effective options that offer greater flexibility and serves our entire County as it continues to change. Future spending on public transportation should be limited to a per rider cost, not to exceed Taxi, Uber or Private Bus. All of which service the County with greater flexibility at cost savings
Other comments: I am a seasoned watch dog, not a lap dog for the status quo, and will work diligently to protect the voice, vote and property rights of all Hennepin County residents. Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.