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In this guide you will find questionnaires completed by candidates from all city and state races within the Sun Thisweek Farmington/Lakeville coverage area. This guide includes responses to candidate questionnaires for Lakeville City Council, Lakeville mayor, Farmington City Council, Farmington mayor, Senate districts 56, 57 and 58 and House districts 56B, 57B and 58A and 58B. Redistricting created new state Senate and House districts this year. Candidate questionnaire responses for Lakeville and Farmington school board candidates and Dakota County commissioner candidates are in the A section of todayâ€™s Sun Thisweek newspaper. Farmington Candidates for the four-year mayoral term are incumbent Todd Larson, former city council member Dave Pritzlaff and Jerry Wear. Farmington City Council candidates are Douglas Bonar, incumbent Terry Donnelly and Kirk Zeaman. There are two open seats, each with four-year terms. Lakeville Candidates for the two-year mayoral term are incumbent Mark Bellows and council members Matt Little and Laurie Rieb.
Lakeville City Council candidates are Doug Anderson, David Bares and incumbent Kerrin Swecker. There are two open seats, each with four-year terms. Legislature In Senate District 58, incumbent Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, is facing DFLer Andrew Brobston. In House District 58A, incumbent Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, is facing DFLer Colin Lee. In House District 58B, incumbent Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, is facing DFLer Jim Arlt. Portions of Lakeville are now included in Senate districts 56 and 57, as well. The Senate District 56 race is between incumbent Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, and DFLer Leon Thurman. In House District 56B, Republican Roz Peterson of Lakeville is facing DFLer Will Morgan, a former state representative from Burnsville. The Senate District 57 race is between DFLer Greg Clausen and Republican Pat Hall. In House District 57A, incumbent Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley, is facing DFLer Roberta Gibbons.
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
Todd Larson, Farmington mayor Age: 47 Address: 819 7th St., Farmington Todd Occupation: Sales Family: Married to Larson Lena for 20 years, two children Qualifications: Before becoming mayor in 2009, I spent 13 years on the Planning Commission, I am a member of the Minnesota Mayors Association, I sit on the board for the Dakota County Dispatch Center (911 center), I am a member of the Farmington Firefighters Relief Board. 1) Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you? Like I said earlier I have been mayor since 2009, I have seen a lot of positive changes over the past four years like 12 staffing positions eliminated from the workforce without a drop in city service. And after years of hard work the city budget is the most sound it’s been in many years. I have more ideas to streamline the city, therefore lessening the tax burden on homes and businesses. 2) If elected, how would you as a City Council member help make Farmington improve its tax base and economic development climate? I will continue to work with brokers to attract commercial business to the city. I would like to find businesses that you can’t find in the cities around us, something unique, making it a destination spot in Farmington. I also want to expand our industrial/business park so when companies are looking for larger industrial lots to relocate or expand we can have a place for them. 3) The Farmington City Council is considering retaining funding for a school resource officer that the school district has cut funding for because of budget concerns. Do you agree with the decision for the city to continue funding that position? Explain your answer. The city has not said it is going to retain a school resource officer. The city does, however, have a couple of officers who are getting close to retirement age. I am proposing to keep the officers that we have already trained for three-plus years and uniformed rather than laying off that officer only to hire and spend the money to train and uniform a new hire. 4) Considering Farmington’s limited revenue stream, how would you work with the unionized labor force to provide the services citizens expect?
The city has both union and nonunion employees who are already providing the services that citizens expect. Their contracts are negotiated and agreed upon by both sides just like any other city. 5) The city has invested significant funds into Vermillion River Crossings, yet development has not occurred as planned. As a council member what steps would you recommend the city take to help encourage development? I plan to keep working with the broker that the land owner has hired to sell this development. Because of the money past City Councils have spent on this development we might have to look a waiving some assessments to help entice new commercial/retail stores.
David Pritzlaff, Farmington mayor Age: 49 Address: 20255 Akin Road, Farmington Occupation: Self-em- David ployed in construction/ Pritzlaff windows and doors Family: Not provided Qualifications: I own and run a business and in the last five years the construction industry has been victim to the economy. Despite the troubling economy I have shown fiscal responsibility and success and I have managed to keep my business running a profit. Government is like business, fiscal responsibility! Keep your hands out of the (cookie jar sorta speak) in this case the taxpayers pocket. It is not demonstrating responsibility when you continue to ask people to pay more or always look for a bailout. I have four years experience, and in the mayors seat 50 percent of 2009. 1) Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you? I am running for the leadership role of mayor to bring back residents to the council. I want the residents to have their say in their government. You pay 100 percent of your taxes but only get five minutes to explain a problem under the current mayor. Professionalism is missing at our current council meetings and businesses view this as an embarrassment as do many residents. Bickering in public at council meetings is embarrassing to the city’s image. Why would anyone want to come to the city of Farmington to live or to do business with that image?
2) If elected, how would you as a City Council member help Farmington improve its tax base and economic development climate? I would improve the city of Farmington’s tax base by reducing the number of properties the city owns. City-owned properties are not on tax rolls. When entrepreneurs come to do business and need space we need to sell to them. A little cheaper up front and the property back on the tax roll is the right attitude. As more business comes to Farmington with this, “How-can-we-help?” attitude, the climate itself will start to change. Searching for entrepreneurs to start industrial and commercial business versus waiting. Being proactive and a step ahead rather than reacting to issues. 3) The Farmington City Council is considering retaining funding for a school resource officer that the school district has cut funding for because of budget concerns. Do you agree with the decision for the city to continue funding that position? Explain your answer. I strongly believe we need this funding in place and need to expand our partnerships with this funding. Youth is our future and helping them make good strong decisions is crucial to our community. Positive attitude in our community would expand these partnerships. Who could look the other way on this issue? I have heard how kids look up to the resource officers and what a positive impact they make. A good clean image for the city rather than the opposite would attract people to live in Farmington and help grow the community. 4) Considering Farmington’s limited revenue stream, how would you work with the unionized labor force to provide the services citizens expect? Farmington’s revenue stream is limited, and just like a business and us taxpayers, only a certain amount is what is available on the table. In every case you search for your expectations. What is it that I need? Prioritize the services expected! Do that by listening to where the funding is coming from, (residents, businesses, etc:). Having the great labor force that Farmington has, creates a multi tasking attitude. We know what we have to provide, (water/sewer, roads, public safety police and fire). Beyond these, what level of services or amenities do we need and what level of priority are they? 5) The city has invested significant funds into Vermillion River Crossings, yet development has not occurred as planned. As a council member what steps would you recommend the city take to help encourage
development? Currently this development is owned by new stakeholders. There are two parcels with a total of $1.7 million in assessments upon an agreement of the city for the construction of the bridge. This was never a city development project. The one thing that the city could do is create partnerships or find ways to eliminate these assessments for the new owners so they can market these parcels without a negative associated with it. Consequently having no assessments could make these parcels inviting to businesses. Creating opportunities is the one thing the city can do.
Jerry Wear, Farmington mayor Age: 35 Address: 406 Main St., Farmington Occupation: Auto me- Jerry Wear chanic Family: Married, five children Qualifications: Let’s face it, I am not a career politician whatsoever, and I am not the smoothest of talkers, but what I can offer to the office is common sense which I think is a tremendous asset. I also think that is what is lacking in today’s political arena. I also come into this race with no agenda to represent any special groups, and am willing to give everyone my utmost attention to their concerns. 1) Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you? I believe that I’m the best choice for mayor because I will come into the position with an open mind, open ears and a dedication to the community. Being a lifelong resident of Farmington, my family has experienced the struggles that the average family experiences because of the fiscal irresponsibility of past city officials. A $100 increase in property taxes doesn’t sound like much, but to the average family, struggling to make ends meet, it is a huge deal. I’m running for mayor so I can I make sure the city is held responsible for how it spends its citizens’ money. 2) If elected, how would you as a City Council member help make Farmington improve its tax base and economic development climate? In order to help Farmington improve its tax base, the city needs to attract new See WEAR, 3B
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
WEAR, from 2B businesses and restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I am firm believer in supporting local businesses, but to the average family on a budget, shopping locally isn’t feasible. Local stores although convenient, are too expensive for people on a budget. Because of this, people travel to Apple Valley, Rosemount or Lakeville. We need more less expensive options within the city to keep the capital within Farming-
ton. 3) The Farmington City Council is considering retaining funding for a school resource officer that the school district has cut funding for because of budget concerns. Do you agree with the decision for the city to continue funding that position? Explain your answer. I agree that the city should continue to fund a school resource officer. I feel in these current times, having a police officer at school is a necessity. It not only keeps
our children from engaging in certain behaviors, but also protects them from outside threats as well. 4) Considering Farmington’s limited revenue stream, how would you work with the unionized labor force to provide the services citizens expect? I believe that the city of Farmington and the unionized labor force can work collaboratively to cut costs while providing the services the citizens of Farmington deserve.
5) The city has invested significant funds into Vermillion River Crossings, yet development has not occurred as planned. As a council member what steps would you recommend the city take to help encourage development? The city of Farmington absolutely has the reputation and resources to encourage business and restaurants to the Vermillion River Crossings. We live in a great city that has many things to offer, the city just needs to do a better job promoting it.
tor business would invest millions in expansion without doing a study to demonstrate the wisdom of that decision. A study by outside consultants concluded that Lakeville already had more square footage of municipal liquor store than was justified for our population. Therefore, expansion would have been premature and detrimental to the profitability of our operation. 5) How are you qualified to be mayor? What are your strongest leadership qualities? I will summarize with my campaign bullet points: • Values – I have personal character values of integrity and honesty, and conservative fiscal values that reflect the values held by the majority of Lakeville residents. I am the most fiscally conservative member of the council. • Vision – I believe in smaller, more efficient and less intrusive government, and I am committed to the private sector and seeing it thrive. • Valor – I possess the courage to take a stand, to lead and to make the decisions needed for these challenging economic times.
ille Public Safety Committee; member, Municipal Legislative Commission. Endorsements: former Lakeville Mayor Ed Mako and former Lakeville City Council Member Jerry Spande. 1) Why are you running for office? If you are an incumbent, why do you want to stay in office? This is where I grew up and where all my family still lives. I’m running to provide leadership that works with people, to solve problems and build a better city. Our campaign has identified three priorities to focus on in order to build a better city: maintaining our standards of public safety, keeping property taxes low and creating good, quality jobs in Lakeville. For more information on my past work and future plans on these issues, please visit www.LittleforLakeville.com for a copy of my 2013-2014 policy document. 2) What is your opinion of Lakeville’s current fiscal situation? What is working and what is not? The city of Lakeville currently faces a projected 2.7 percent levy increase. The levy increase will result in a $3 increase for the average homeowner in Lakeville. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, I know that we are all getting taxed from the federal government, state government, county government and school board. It’s important for us, as a city, to do our part in reducing the tax burden on our residents. As such, I’ve offered a plan that will cut $160,000 out of the current budget, resulting in a real dollar decrease for the average homeowner in Lakeville. 3) How do you balance the needs and expectations of the residents of Lakeville with economic realities? It’s important to stake out the priorities of the city. There are only two truly essential services we provide: public safety and infrastructure. So in balancing expectations we must take care of those first. There are two other services that are
Lakeville Mayor Mark Bellows, incumbent Age: 58 Address: 16349 Greenbriar Court Occupation: Pastor at Hope Community, mar- Mark riage and family therapist Bellows at Hope Counseling LLC, director of Lakeville Police chaplaincy services. Family: Married, three sons and three daughters. Qualifications: Bachelor degree in communication, Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I have 10 years of experience as a City Council member and two years as mayor with numerous related committee assignments. I have 20-plus years of involvement with the public safety sector of Lakeville, and I possess the interpersonal skills and leadership abilities needed to be mayor. 1) Why are you running for office? If you are an incumbent, why do you want to stay in office? I am seeking re-election because so many have asked and encouraged me to serve again because they believe I best reflect the values of Lakeville and they support my fiscally conservative record. My endorsements include Colleen Ratzlaff LaBeau-Lakeville City Council; Robert Johnson-former Lakeville mayor; Don Gudmundson-former Lakeville police chief and Dakota County sheriff; Wendy Wulff-Metropolitan Council; State Sen. Dave Thompson; State Rep. Mary Liz Holberg; Michelle Volk-Lakeville School Board and the Minnesota Association of Realtors. I am also the Minnesota Republican Party districts 56, 57 and 58 recommended candidate. 2) What is your opinion of Lakeville’s current fiscal situation? What is working and what is not? Aging and growing cities like Lakeville have significant infrastructure needs that
necessitate the issuance of debt. Our debt level is high because we invested heavily in improving our interchanges and we built a new police station. Moody’s Investor Service has assigned the city a very favorable Aa1 credit rating for its long-term general obligation debt and stated that our debt is well- managed. There are many positive indicators that our economic situation is bright: housing starts have doubled, commercial/industrial permits are up and we have one of the lowest per capita tax rates in the metro area. 3) How do you balance the needs and expectations of the residents of Lakeville with economic realities? Balancing residents’ expectations for service levels and their desire for quality services within the reality of budget constraints is one of our biggest challenges. We have to differentiate between wants and needs and make tough choices that are best for the entire community. The only other option is to increase the tax levy. The city will undertake a thorough community visioning process next year that will include demographic analysis and sociological projections so that we can plan for the future. This will also provide the council with guidelines for making decisions about which amenities we provide. 4) Last year, Lakeville looked at the pros and cons of getting out of the liquor business because of the expectation that millions of dollars will need to be invested in a new facility to meet demand and facilitate the business’s growth. Should the city own and operate liquor stores, even with an average $1 million in profit per year? A more accurate presentation of the issue: Our Capital Improvement Plan had $3.5 million designated for acquiring two pieces of property for municipal liquor expansion. Then the city intended to issue more debt to construct two new liquor store facilities. I contended that no private sec-
Matt Little Age: 27 Address: 16162 Fairgreen Ave. Occupation: Law clerk; law student-University of Minnesota. Family: Three nieces Matt Little and a nephew. Qualifications: City Council member, elected 2010; 2014 J.D. candidate, University of Minnesota Law School. B.A. Political Science, University of Minnesota-Morris; law clerk, Sieben Grose Von Holtum & Carey, Lakeville Office; member, Lakeville Lions, 2010 Lion of the Year; volunteer, Lakeville Resource Center; member, Downtown Lakeville Business Association; member, Lakev-
See LITTLE, 4B
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
LITTLE, from 3B vital to building a prosperous city: attracting business and providing youth and senior services. To attract business I’ve released a Four Point Plan which includes (a) incentivizing businesses to locate here, diversifying our commercial and industrial sectors; (b) leveraging our marketing plan on a nationwide basis; (c) assisting small business startups; and (d) streamline the development process. 4) Last year, Lakeville looked at the pros and cons of getting out of the liquor business because of the expectation that millions of dollars will need to be invested in a new facility to meet demand and facilitate the business’s growth. Should the city own and operate liquor stores, even with an average $1 million in profit per year? If so, or if not, why? Lakeville should continue to operate the municipal liquor stores. Liquor operations reduce city property taxes by 5.66 percent and allow us to purchase muchneeded public safety equipment without burdening taxpayers with interest payments. 5. How are you qualified to be mayor? What are your strongest leadership qualities? As a leader it is important to be accessible, responsive, transparent and active in the policy discussions. While a City Council member, I’ve provided all of those qualities. I’ve been to nearly 50 community events in the last year; I quickly respond to citizen letters, emails and phone calls; and I use social media to discuss policy and explain my votes. I’ve stayed focused on the issues, having worked on public safety and improv-
ing our infrastructure. If elected mayor, my focus will continue to be on those issues while working to bring good, quality jobs to Lakeville.
Laurie Rieb Age: 54 Address: 9710 170th St. W. Occupation: Director of development at 360 Communities. Laurie Family: Two daughters, Rieb Katie (24) and Megan (21). Qualifications: College of St. Benedict, B.S. in biology, 1980. University of Minnesota, B.S. in science teaching, 1983. Lakeville City Council, 2000-2012. Lakeville Planning Commission, 19952000. Lakeville Chamber of Commerce member, 1999-2012. Lakeville Convention and Visitors Bureau Board, 20042012. Downtown Lakeville Business Association, 2000-2012. Lakeville Rotary Club, 2005-2012. Lakeville Arenas Board, 20052012. College of St. Benedict Alumnae Board of Directors, 2006-2012. Dakota Communications Center Board of Directors, 2005-2012. Hope for Tomorrow mentor, 2010-2012. Community Action Council Board of Directors, 1999-2005. Lewis House Charity Golf Tournament chair, 1996-2003. 1) Why are you running for office? If you are an incumbent, why do you want to stay in office? I am running for mayor because I have a passion for Lakeville. I am committed to the citizens and businesses of this community. I care deeply about the community and have been involved as a volunteer
since I moved here 25 years ago. I represent all the voters in Lakeville. I want to preserve the quality of life that got Lakeville voted the 19th Best Place to live in the United States by Money Magazine. For me, being elected as mayor would be the ultimate way for me to serve this community and lead Lakeville into the future. 2) What is your opinion of Lakeville’s current fiscal situation? What is working and what is not? Lakeville is fiscally strong and positioned for the future. According to Moody’s, our credit rating is a very favorable Aa1 for our longterm debt. We have one of the lowest tax rates in Dakota County. We are 48 out of 50 for the lowest in per capita spending in metro area cities. We provide high quality services very efficiently. We have done long-range planning with our Capital Improvement Plan. We have continually made cuts, streamlined processes, collaborated and found ways to save taxpayer dollars. We will continue to look for ways to improve efficiencies and lower costs. 3) How do you balance the needs and expectations of the residents of Lakeville with economic realities? I have been advocating for a community visioning process to find out what the citizens want Lakeville to be in the future. Demographics and needs are changing. Once we know what residents want, we have to be creative and innovative in funding these expectations. We need to collaborate with the school districts, neighboring cities, the county and state to maximize resources. We need to apply for grants whenever possible. Throughout this process, we need to communicate continuously with our residents so they have a
better understanding and have a real stake in the future of Lakeville. 4) Last year, Lakeville looked at the pros and cons of getting out of the liquor business because of the expectation that millions of dollars will need to be invested in a new facility to meet demand and facilitate the business’s growth. Should the city own and operate liquor stores, even with an average $1 million in profit per year? If so, or if not, why? Since Lakeville is already in the business of owning and operating liquor stores, it doesn’t make sense fiscally to get out of the business. Funds from the liquor stores are used to pay for public safety, parks, equipment and paying down debt. The operation of municipal liquor stores results in a 6.8 percent reduction in the city share of property taxes. The study that was done last year found that in order to provide an equivalent level of property tax relief to homeowners and commercial businesses, the equivalent of 20-40 large commercial developments would need to be constructed in the city. 5. How are you qualified to be mayor? What are your strongest leadership qualities? I am best qualified to be mayor because of my experience, knowledge, temperament and leadership skills. I have chaired many boards and I know how to facilitate a meeting. I have always prided myself on making my decisions based on the information, listening to all sides of an issue, and then ultimately doing what is best for the community as a whole. I represent all voters. I am a collaborator, a team player and believe in treating everyone with respect. We have a great opportunity in front of us, and as mayor I want to lead Lakeville into the future.
As a member of the Economic Development Authority, we have completed a strategic plan that is on an established timeline which is benchmarked routinely. If elected, I would continue to encourage the council to staff and fund the EDA adequately to promote this skilled consumer community to business development along with industry to Farmington. 3) The Farmington City Council is considering retaining funding for a school resource officer that the school district has cut funding for because of budget concerns. Do you agree with the decision for the city to continue funding that position? Explain your answer. Given the decision by School District 192 to reduce these SRO positions, the city would gain an additional 3,120 hours of
patrol for a department that is adequately staffed in a community with a low crime rate as defined in the most recent Uniform Crime Report of 2010. That being said; I would reduce one position and seek to assign one-third of this officer’s time to youth outreach if acceptable by the city and school district. 4) Considering Farmington’s limited revenue stream, how would you work with the unionized labor force to provide the services citizens expect? The role of the council is to shape policy for the administration to put into practice. Unions and management each have their roles in providing services. The key to this question is how do we better understand what the citizens expect? My answer is to participate in the Performance Measures
Farmington City Council Douglas Bonar, Farmington City Council Age: 55 Address: 20506 Eastview Curve, Farmington Occupation: Construc- Douglas Bonar tion administrator Family: Married, three children Qualifications: Five years as an appointed planning commissioner and one year as a member of the EDA in Farmington. I also serve on the MUSA review committee and EFPAC group. Additionally, I have served for one year as a member of the Dakota County Planning Commission.
My professional experience is 15 years in the management of educational facilities, 10 years experience in a family business and four years working in a private practice architectural firm specializing in school construction. My formal education includes a business degree from Clarke University. 1) Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you? We are so fortunate to be Americans who should consider it our civic duty to give back to this country in some manner, and I came to the conclusion that local politics is too serious of a matter to be left to politicians. 2) If elected, how would you as a City Council member help Farmington improve its tax base and economic development climate?
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
Program established by the Legislature in 2010 with their 10 criteria as a guide. 5) The city has invested significant funds into Vermillion River Crossings, yet development has not occurred as planned. As a council member what steps would you recommend the city take to help encourage development? Vermillion River Crossing presents several challenges to overcome and opportunities to be met. The challenge is to review, revise and reinvigorate the development after several years passage that includes new ownership and brokers. The opportunity is to be competitive in pricing understanding the tax abatements and to seek uses that may not have been in the original scope, such as light industrial, higher density housing or a data center using the nearby fiber network along with angel tax credits, MN Investment Fund and a C-Net broadband concept in cooperation with the Blandin Foundation, Dakota County and the state of Minnesota.
Terry Donnelly, Farmington City Council Age: 57 Address: 18679 Flagstaff Ave., Farmington Terry Occupation: Farmer Family: Married to wife Donnelly Debbie for 37 years, six children. Qualifications: My public service qualifications for City Council include four years as a member of the Farmington City Council. Before being elected to the City Council, I was a member of the Farmington School Board for seven years. One of the highlights of my time on the Farmington School Board was the construction of the new Farmington High School. I was also a member the Intermediate School District 917 School Board for three years. My farming occupation has also trained me to be a problem solver and decision maker. 1) Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you? I am running for re-election to the Farmington City Council to help ensure that the city I have always called home is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Farmington does have a proud past and I want to make sure the future is promising as well. I am a low key, common sense type of person. I don’t talk unless I have something useful to say, but I will listen respectfully to anyone. I believe every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. These are qualities all public officials should possess. 2) If elected, how would you as a City Council member help make Farmington improve its tax base and economic develop-
ment climate? If I am re-elected to the Farmington City Council I would continue my efforts to keep a lid on taxes and make sure Farmington is perceived as a business-friendly city. Lower taxes and a business-friendly environment will attract new businesses and retain our current businesses. The city should do nothing to deter or impede reasonable business development. I am not a fan of tax incentives to attract new businesses as studies have shown that they are not that effective. Tax incentives for new businesses are also unfair to the current businesses. 3) The Farmington City Council is considering retaining funding for a school resource officer that the school district has cut funding for because of budget concerns. Do you agree with the decision for the city to continue funding that position? Explain your answer. I support retaining funding for the police officer position that the School District previously funded. One reason for my decision is that the city still has to provide an adequate level of support to the school district. Any call for assistance from the school district will be responded to by the city regardless of who is paying the bill. One could probably find statistics to show that the crime rate in the city would not be adversely affected by one fewer police officer. However, it only takes preventable incident to make all the statistics in the world meaningless. 4) Considering Farmington’s limited revenue stream, how would you work with the unionized labor force to provide the services citizens expect? The unionized city staff understands the current economic times and the strains on the city budget and the city taxpayers. I believe a reasonable outcome can be achieved if both sides conduct themselves in a rational and respectful manner. Both sides are aware of the stakes and the fact that the public is watching and has certain expectations. Out of line demands by either side erodes the negotiation process and hurts everyone involved. Good faith bargaining by both sides will result in an agreement both sides can live with and the public will accept. 5) The city has invested significant funds into Vermillion River Crossings, yet development has not occurred as planned. As a council member what steps would you recommend the city take to help encourage development? The Vermillion River Crossings development has not lived up to anyone’s expectations. The city invested significantly in the project’s infrastructure hoping to recoup that investment through assessments as the parcels were sold. That has not happened and now the taxpayers are paying for it. For the project to move forward, the
city will have to be realistic and be ready to waive some of those assessments. To insist on full payment of the assessments will doom the development forever. Going forward, as a council member, I would never support this type of investment again.
Kirk Zeaman, Farmington City Council Age: 42 Address: 801 10th St., Farmington Occupation: Director Kirk of engineering, printing Zeaman for Jostens Family: Two wonderful adolescent golden retrievers Qualifications: I currently work as a director of engineering for a research and development group for Jostens and have worked with the company for over 16 years. I have operated several business ventures over the years and most recently as co-owner of the Dunn Bros in Farmington. I have received a BS in electrical engineering from Penn State and hold an MBA from the University of Minnesota (Carlson School of Business). I have consulted with several companies, most recently with General Mills. Overall, I believe I bring a diverse background of business experience which I would hope to use to the benefit of Farmington. In addition, I have been a member of several community based organizations including the Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, 4H, and the Masonic Lodge. 1) Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you? As with most people who decide to become involved with politics, I decided to become involved when I did not agree with some of the decisions of the council. I believe I would have been able to bring a different perspective, and found it difficult to be heard. I would like to see the city to operate more like a private business and work collaboratively to develop strategy and goals for the city. At the same time, we need to be fiscally responsible and set up a stewardship for the future. 2) If elected, how would you as a City Council member help Farmington improve its tax base and economic development climate? The city needs to attract more businesses to operate in the city in order to provide the greater tax base and jobs for the residents. While organizations such as the Farmington Business Association and the Economic Development Authority for the city have made efforts to help attract new business and help existing businesses to grow, they both have very limited resources. Currently the city is providing several services to residents at a loss and limits
its ability to enable any business growth. As a first step, I would like to see the city get back to basics and focus the current resources available toward a limited set of measurable goals. We need to consider sharing services operating at a loss with surrounding cities to help spread the costs or consider cost reductions. 3) The Farmington City Council is considering retaining funding for a school resources officer that the school district has cut funding for because of budget concerns. Do you agree with the decision for the city to continue funding that position? Explain your answer. A school resource officer can provide an important role, but if the School District has cut the funding for the role, they must feel they can get along without the position. The city is in the face of its own budget issues may have to consider reducing its police force. I would not want to fund this position if it meant having to lose some of our existing police force. Moving costs from one bucket to another bucket does not change the overall taxation needed to support the position. It might be interesting to consider splitting the cost with the school district if we were able to justify the role through some cost avoidance for the city. We would need to have a joint agreement about the mission and goals. We would have to measure the results in a meaningful way. 4) Considering Farmington’s limited revenue stream, how would you work with the unionized labor force to provide the services citizens expect? Working with any group is about managing expectations and generally any issues between groups are driven by a difference of expectations. We need to evolve the current city plan to include a results oriented set of goals. A structured result based on the measurement to the goals with regular updates on the status, will help everyone with their expectations. In the end, it needs to be a win-win opportunity for everyone 5) The city has invested significant funds into Vermillion River Crossings, yet development has not occurred as planned. As a council member what steps would you recommend the city take to help encourage development? A strategy to attract businesses needs to be further developed, but the city currently has limited resources to attract business. Partnering with other business leaders in town and attracting entrepreneurs will be key to getting opportunities, however our current tax strategy may prevent new business to come to the area. We need to get back to basics on how we fund the economic development committee. No one will want to invest money into the town, if they cannot get a return on the investment for the risk they are taking to get the business started.
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
Lakeville City Council
Doug Anderson Age: 57 Address: 19827 Jersey Ave. Occupation: Vice president for finance and administration, Hamline Doug University. Family: Married to Anderson Deb Anderson (Erickson) 34 years with two adult children, Bryan and Calista. We have lived in Lakeville 29 years. Qualifications: I have business and senior leadership experience, and I love Lakeville. I am a member and past chair of the Lakeville Financial Advisory Committee. My involvement in community service includes the Jaycees, Lions and, for the past decade, Lakeville Rotary (including as president). I have been involved at Hosanna! (past president). Other board experience includes the Friends of the BWCA (past chair) and Okoboji Bible Camp. My career experience is varied: from public accounting to human services to consulting to higher education. I am a CPA with a B.A. in accounting (UMD, 1977) and an MBA (U of M, 1986). 1) Why are you running for office? If you are an incumbent, why do you want to stay in office? It is time to expand the business acumen of the Lakeville City Council. We must improve our planning, we must assess risk in a better fashion, we must be more unified in our support of our direction, we must ask the hard questions and we must lead in a civil and respectful fashion. My 30-plus years of experience in various types of businesses, and my experience on the Lakeville Financial Advisory Committee, provides the background for me to respond to these needs and serve effectively on the council – to ensure Lakeville is positioned to thrive for years to come. 2) What is your opinion of Lakeville’s current fiscal situation? What is working and what is not? The city has a solid financial position, maintains an Aa1 credit rating and takes pride in its low tax rate. The city has excellent financial staff, competent and committed. What could change? We must take action to not have vacant buildings for years. We must work on improvements in ways to communicate to citizens about the financial position of the city, explore alternative approaches to financing, challenge the
status quo as to operational matters, encourage policy development for use of funds and work to engage constituents into the planning and budgeting process. 3) How do you balance the needs and expectations of the residents of Lakeville with economic realities? We live in a great city. We must ensure that our quality of life is maintained through the provision of essential services and the many other things that we enjoy (parks, arts, senior services, etc.). But we must live within our means, looking for all options to be as efficient and effective as possible. The preliminary budget, a 2.7 percent tax increase, is at a time when many need to cut back on household or business expenses due to continuing economic challenges. With valuation shifts, the budget is a 9 percent increase to businesses, which is not acceptable. Choices must be made. 4) Last year, Lakeville looked at the pros and cons of getting out of the liquor business because of the expectation that millions of dollars will need to be invested in a new facility to meet demand and facilitate the business’s growth. Should the city own and operate liquor stores, even with an average $1 million in profit per year? I am a fiscal conservative, and would much prefer the liquor operation to be operated as a private enterprise. However, it is true the city liquor operation has been profitable. It would be a large impact to divest of this business at the present time. The tax impact would be significant. For the near term, the city must focus on continuing to operate the present stores as efficiently and effectively as possible, identifying ways to reduce cost and drive sales. For the long run, through the continuation of the planning process, the city must assess a long-term direction for the stores. 5) The City Council has had issues in the past with a loss of decorum. Describe how you compromise with those with whom you disagree. I have experience in many types of businesses and roles. For me, the key to effective leadership is working within the context of an agreed upon vision and mutually shared values. We must maintain professionalism and be committed to civil and respectful dialogue. Matters can be discussed, perspective shared and disagreements can be aired within the context of these commitments. In the end, through this process in support of a mutually shared vision, compromise can occur.
David Bares Age: 45 Address: 10942 Kabera Trail Occupation: Owner of Bares Executive Search, a company which provides executive search services David to businesses of all sizes. Bares Family: Wife Heidi, married for 22 years. Children: Lee (a senior at Lakeville South); Alexandra (a freshman at Lakeville South); and Ray (seventh grade at Kenwood Trail Middle School). Qualifications: Lakeville resident since 2000 with children in Lakeville schools and an active servant to our community (Rotary, Pan-O-Prog, Boy Scouts, All Saints and Chamber of Commerce). Education: Cretin High School, Bachelor’s degree from University of St. Thomas and Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law. Vice board chair of Opportunity Partners, a $35 million nonprofit that provides housing, education and employment for people with disabilities. Leadership roles in various community service organizations and a proud small business owner. 1) Why are you running for office? If you are an incumbent, why do you want to stay in office? Through the hard work of people that have come before us, Lakeville has earned recognition as an outstanding place to live, to play, to raise a family and for being responsible with taxpayer dollars. I love Lakeville for all it has to offer and I am running because I want to make sure our city continues the tradition of excellence now and in the future. Let’s make Lakeville known as the most welcoming business city in Minnesota and the best place to live. 2) What is your opinion of Lakeville’s current fiscal situation? What is working and what is not? With nearly 56,000 residents, Lakeville has tripled in size since 1980, and while the recent population growth rate has slowed, we are now among the largest cities in Minnesota. With that comes more needs for infrastructure and services. I worry about our current $110 million bond debt, especially when combined with school debt. We are also facing significant road improvement projects in coming years, so our growth rate must be increased. We need to expand our commercial business to decrease the tax burden on homeown-
ers, while also continuing residential development so we can share the burden and fill our schools. 3) How do you balance the needs and expectations of the residents of Lakeville with economic realities? Lakeville residents expect and deserve a city that works. We need to focus on core services and deliver the best possible return for our money in an efficient and effective manner with an eye on continuous improvement. The city has done a good job at holding the fiscal line in recent years and we can do better. It is hard to comment on community expectations since the city hasn’t conducted a recent visioning process. If elected, I will make sure we are better connected with our community and work to build a city that meets those needs within our means. 4) Last year, Lakeville looked at the pros and cons of getting out of the liquor business because of the expectation that millions of dollars will need to be invested in a new facility to meet demand and facilitate the business’s growth. Should the city own and operate liquor stores, even with an average $1 million in profit per year? I would not support starting the business from scratch today, but since we already have it and because it is well run and highly profitable, I support it. My support is conditional on the concept that profits are used to reduce taxes and not used in support of projects or services that otherwise would not be funded. New stores should be relatively modest in design and in line with what private liquor operations would build themselves. It is not an ideal situation but we could never replace the profits through licensing if we sell the business to the private sector. 5) The City Council has had issues in the past with a loss of decorum. Describe how you compromise with those with whom you disagree. Lakeville citizens deserve a City Council that conducts business in a way that represents our fine community in a positive and professional manner. A public loss of decorum is a failure of leadership for the entire council and indicates a lack of mutual respect and poor judgment. There is a time and place for disagreement (usually at a work session). Once votes are counted it is time to move on. Lakeville needs to focus on growth and I will help lead a new council based on respect for others and decorum. See LAKEVILLE COUNCIL, 7B
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
LAKEVILLE COUNCIL, from 6B
Kerrin Swecker, incumbent Age: 46 Address: 20371 Kensington Way Occupation: City Kerrin Council member, City of Swecker Lakeville and Premier Account Manager, CenturyLink. Family: Married to husband Jaime for 25 years. We raised three daughters in Lakeville who are now grown. Two of them have families of their own. Our youngest just graduated from college this spring. Qualifications: City Council Member, 2007-present. 2012 Boards and Committees: High Performance Partnerships’ Program (Dakota County); Personnel Committee; Public Safety Committee; Housing and Redevelopment Authority member; Dakota Communications Center (Alternate). Previous Boards and Committees: Downtown Lakeville Business Association (alternate); Fire Relief Association; Lakeville Arenas Board (alternate); and I35W Solutions Alliance member. Lakeville Planning Commission: member, 20022007; Chair 2005-2007. Lakeville Rotary Club, 2004-2012: Board Member 20062011; Public Relations Chair, 2006-2011. Taste of Lakeville: Event Chair, 2008; Marketing and PR Chair, 2005-2007. Ro-
tary District 5960, Club Service Director, 2007-2008. Lakeville Area Chamber of Commerce Member, 2006-present. Lakeville Police Reserves, 1998-2004. 1) Why are you running for office? If you are an incumbent, why do you want to stay in office? As a current council member, I am experienced, passionate, responsible, ethical and fiscally conservative. It’s imperative that we return experience to the position. I have spent the past five years doing my homework, researching issues and new ideas and looking for creative ways to reduce or control spending. I am always prepared and engage in discussion or ask difficult questions during our meetings or work sessions. I will continue to work to keep our tax rate one of the lowest in Dakota County, to make prudent budget decisions, to challenge spending, to recruit and retain business and industry and to protect quality of life. 2) What is your opinion of Lakeville’s current fiscal situation? What is working and what is not? While the rest of the world is in economic upheaval, the city’s current fiscal direction is and always has been steady and safe. The fiscal challenges that lie ahead beyond 2012 are unknown. What is working is solid fiscal management by department directors who keep within their assigned budget and prudent fiscal management and oversight by the existing City Council. We rank 48th out
of 50 metro cities in per capita spending. Some areas for improvement are longterm debt, how we finance our infrastructure and how we utilize individual governmental funds that we have today. We need to look at technology investments that could reduce future expenses. 3) How do you balance the needs and expectations of the residents of Lakeville with economic realities? The community’s needs and expectations will be better defined in the upcoming Strategic Visioning process. Our needs and expectations are not the same, but the defining principle is to ensure that residents are safe, they can get to and from work and school safely and utilities are operational. Balancing the remaining quality-of-life issues requires an understanding of how much businesses and residents are willing to tolerate financially and make prudent, ethical and informed decisions. My job isn’t to pacify or placate, but to make tough decisions that benefit the majority of the community, even if it’s not always a popular vote. 4) Last year, Lakeville looked at the pros and cons of getting out of the liquor business because of the expectation that millions of dollars will need to be invested in a new facility to meet demand and facilitate the business’s growth. Should the city own and operate liquor stores, even with an average $1 million in profit per year? While I don’t believe that any form of government should be competing with the
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private sector, I don’t see Lakeville selling its liquor operations. Municipal liquor operations results in a 6.8 percent reduction in the city’s share of property taxes. Net income is committed to financing capital projects and equipment which would otherwise have been financed with taxes. I would conclude that unless the majority of households are willing to approve property tax, $1.6 million in annual cash flow is good for taxpayers. We need to continue to discuss when and if we should expand liquor operations and its financing. 5) The City Council has had issues in the past with a loss of decorum. Describe how you compromise with those with whom you disagree. It wasn’t the entire council having issues with a loss of decorum, though we all have to take responsibility for it. The issues were more about personality and principle differences, which were mostly resolved when Council Member Laurie Rieb and I called for a special meeting. Compromise is finding agreement through communication, a mutual acceptance of terms. With personality differences, compromise is the answer. With principle, compromise can be difficult. We need to disagree with respect. We have to pick our battles, understand the stakes, stay calm, be respectful, speak for ourselves, state the facts, not try to “win” and compromise.
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
51 Community Newspapers Over 650,000 Minnesota Homes
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
House District 56 Dan Hall, incumbent, Republican, Senate District 56 Age: 60 Address: 12936 Portland Ave, Burnsville Dan Occupation: State senator Family: Happily married for 38 Hall years, eight children, seven grandchildren Qualifications: two years as state senator, vice chair of environment and natural resources committee; priorities are faith, family and freedom; attended Augsburg College (All-American in hockey); school principal, Minneapolis YMCA director; founder and CEO of nonprofit Midwest Chaplains; minister (since 1982); Burnsville Police and Fire chaplain (19 years); youth sports coach (15 years); Open Arms food shelf volunteer coordinator (10 years); youth hockey camp volunteer (24 years); YMCA Youth in Government volunteer adviser; lifelong Minnesotan; Burnsville resident (since 1991). 1) An August report from the Minnesota Budget and Management Office says a $1.1 billion general fund deficit is projected for the 2014-15 biennium. Should the entire amount be closed with spending cuts?
The deficit needs to be closed with a combination of spending cuts and growth. My plan is to continue policy changes that will help businesses in Minnesota increase performance, resulting in more jobs and a boost in revenue. In the past two years, we took a $6 billion deficit and brought it to a $1 billion surplus. And, we can do much more in the next two years! 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a discussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. What if any reforms do you support? Should the governor’s proposals include enhancing businesses and reducing tax burdens, I would undoubtedly support it. Should he propose a $6 billion tax increase, it would not receive my support. Minnesota is already one of the highest taxed states in the nation. Higher taxes are not the answer. Minnesota needs lower rates, a broader tax base, and a corporate tax structure that encourages building new businesses and expanding existing businesses. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What can the Legislature do to improve job creation in the state? We have worked hard to provide tax relief for businesses, decrease overregulation
and grow the private sector. As we continue to work in these areas we will measure legislation by whether it will help or hurt job growth and create a positive economic environment in Minnesota. This will make our state an attractive location for investors and venture capitalists to start or expand their businesses. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? I supported an increase in pupil funding two years ago, and I will continue to do whatever it takes to give our Minnesota students the best education we can. However, it takes more than money to achieve excellence in education. It also takes the commitment and accountability of teachers, parents and students working to achieve a common goal. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Continuing to maintain and improve our roads and bridges should be a top priority. Distribution of transportation funding needs to be transparent to ensure light rail and other mass transit used by a relatively small portion of the population is not overly subsidized at the expense of work which benefits the large majority of Minnesotans. We
are always exploring innovative financing solutions to Minnesota’s transportation needs. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? I believe that my opponent and I share the same goals of having the best education for our students, the safest state possible and a free market economy. We want to see more jobs and businesses prosper in Minnesota. How we do that is where the differences between us lie. I believe that the government does not make jobs, but can hinder or help companies by giving them the freedom to expand and enhance their companies without placing on them the undue pressures of high taxation or overregulation. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? The everyday life of my constituents can be very hard and filled with unnecessary burdens. I want to provide a culture of freedom, where people can express themselves and be in a community that gives instead of takes. The government should help to provide a more peaceful society, whether it’s in business, or everyday life of our families. I believe in working hard, playing fair, doing the right thing and expecting the best of myself and others.
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
Leon Thurman, DFL, House District 56
the 2014-15 biennium. Should the entire amount be closed with spending cuts? No. Two ways to resolve deficits: Age: 71 cut spending, increase revenue. I’m Address: 1621 W. 140th St., for both, but no cuts that hurt chilBurnsville dren and vulnerable people. CutOccupation: Education consulspending-only is the Republican tant, specialist voice educator, The Leon way; cut environment protection, Leon Thurman Voice Center Thurman Medicaid, health care and other aid Family: Eligible bachelor Qualifications: Lived in Minnesota 35 for low-income and disabled people, and years; Burnsville 22 years. Small business school funding. Minnesota’s economy is owner. Lifelong teacher. Ed.D. (Doctor expanding, now, thus increasing revenue. I of Education degree, music major, the- will work with Republicans who will work atre minor), University of Illinois, 1977. with DFLers to balance our budget, end Teacher for public schools and universities, the budget deficits we’ve had, and replenprivate colleges, University of Minnesota ish our rainy day fund. No more gridlock! 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a disMedical Center. Founder/founding faculty, The VoiceCare Network and its in- cussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. ternational continuing teacher-education What if any reforms do you support? I support: Comprehensive review of the courses, 1982-present. Post-doctoral study: neuroscience of learning/teaching and ver- Minnesota Tax Code to identify options bal/nonverbal communication; published for simplification and equitable taxes for education author and consultant. Elected all income earners, then negotiations. One chair, Precinct 17, old DFL Senate District income tax increase of at least 2 percent on 40, 2010, re-elected 2012. Elected alternate individuals after their first $500,000 of indelegate to DFL State Convention, 2010; come. Eliminating tax breaks for wealthy chair, nominations committee, new DFL people and large corporations unless they Senate District 56; elected delegate to DFL are tied to incentives for settling and/or expanding in Minnesota, and providing livState Convention, 2012. 1) An August report from the Minnesota ing-wage jobs. Reporting of all yearly indiBudget and Management Office says a $1.1 vidual and corporate income, regardless of billion general fund deficit is projected for where it originated or where it is deposited,
t c e l E e R
to be subject to Minnesota taxes, credits, and deductions (no tax havens). 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What can the Legislature do to improve job creation in the state? Jobs are created by increased ‘demand’ for products/services. Optimal demand happens when lots of people have livingwage jobs and know where to buy products and services they need or want. Businesses want to locate where demand will likely be high, well-educated/trained workers are available, shipping is easy, health care is affordable, and quality of life is high. The Legislature can appropriate funds for programs that provide incentives for businesses to start up, locate, and/or expand in Minnesota, with incentives tied to livingwage job-creation goals. Minnesota Investment Fund does that. Minnesota Trade Office helps businesses find markets worldwide (eliminated by Republicans!). 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? The public school per-pupil funding formula desperately needs thoughtful restructuring so that the needs of Minnesota’s 337 school districts are more clarified and more clearly targeted. The formula’s language also needs to be more understandable. I believe that this process will support a need for increased school funding that can result in even more effective learning, teaching, administration, and student health. One specific funding reform would be automatic annual inflation-rate increases in the formula. A specific program/funding reform would be significant human counseling for children and their families, not just career counseling, and schoolwide emotional intelligence and empathy education. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Immediate transportation need is updating/repair of roads and bridges. Current bond interest rates are very low. The Legislature needs to provide budgetary bonding authority ASAP to meet this ur-
gent need. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has a comprehensive Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan (includes plans for future rail transit along the I-35W corridor), and related 20-year State Highway Investment Plan. The Metropolitan Council has a comprehensive transportation plan for the metro area that extends to the year 2030. The I-35W Solutions Alliance has been a leader in meeting the transportation needs of the cities through which I-35W passes. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? We agree: marriage benefits society, voting should be fraud-free. We disagree: He believes marriage is a sacred religious rite that commits one man/one woman to each other. In state government, marriage is a legal commitment (a contract) between any two citizens who love each other and want a stable relationship. It confers legal responsibilities/privileges and requires a state-issued license. The extent of voter fraud is almost zero. He wants to prevent it with expensive/unnecessary voter IDs. I see Republican intent to suppress voting among communities that typically vote DFL. Constitutional amendments that limit these freedoms and liberties are ludicrous. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? Affordable health care for all Minnesotans is crucial. Legislature needs to support Gov. Dayton’s development of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange to effect the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As the state’s finances stabilize and grow, funding is desperately needed for homeless, disabled, mentally ill, and abused people. We’ve got to get a fist-grip on the physical and mental abuse of women and children, and on the abduction and trafficking of Minnesota’s children for sexual exploitation. “… the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its (vulnerable) members.” Pearl S. Buck
■ Managed the state’s budget responsibly,
moving a $5.1 billion budget deficit to a $1.2 billion budget surplus without tax increases ■ Passed several pro-jobs measures into law, reducing the tax and regulatory burden on job creators which provide long-term, sustainable changes to improve our jobs climate ■ Prioritized students by advocating for education reforms like teacher basic skills, consideration of quality plus seniority in teacher layoffs, and speeding up delayed state aid payments to schools ■ Chief author of Employee Freedom /Right to Work legislation ■ Chief author of bill to end taxpayer funding of abortions in MN (vetoed by Governor Dayton) ■ Member of Senate-House Conference Committee on Voter ID legislation to craft ballot language that passed constitutional muster when challenged in court ■ Co-author of lawsuit reform and Marriage Amendment legislation ■ Authored seven pieces of legislation that were included in omnibus bills signed by the Governor
FOR LAKEVILLE CITY COUNCIL
Prepared and Paid for by the Thompson for Senate Committee, PO BOX 1294, Lakeville MN 55044 (Jon Koznick, Chair)
Paid for by Bares for Lakeville City Council, 10942 Kabera Trail, Lakeville, MN 55044
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
House District 56B Will Morgan, DFL, House District 56B
to seek savings through greater efficiencies, cutting wasteful spending and ending programs that no longer serve their purpose. Then we Age: 45 must look at every line of the budAddress: 409 Oakland Lane, get, prioritize what must be done Burnsville and make sure our choices miniOccupation: Physics and chemmize harm to individuals, families istry teacher, Burnsville High Will and our fragile economic recovery. School Morgan My preference would be a bi-partiFamily: Wife, Denise; three san solution that ends the perpetual cycle boys: Jack (6), Sam (5), Charlie, (2) Qualifications: B.A., physics, Carleton of borrowing and budget shortfalls. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a disCollege, Northfield; M.A., education, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona; cussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. 22 years teaching experience, Burnsville What if any reforms do you support? We should look at property taxes, fisHigh School. Board member of CDLC, Prince of Peace Church, Burnsville. Mem- cal disparities and restoring the renter’s ber, Grace Lutheran Church, Apple Val- rebate. Governor Pawlenty put together ley. Former state legislator: elected 2006, a commission of stakeholders from the business community, elected officials, lare-elected 2008. 1) An August report from the Minnesota bor groups and economic think tanks sevBudget and Management Office say a $1.1 eral years ago. I’m sure any serious look billion general fund deficit is projected for at tax reform will consider their recomthe 2014-15 biennium. Should the entire mendations. Any changes should help to make our tax system fit better in the 21st amount be closed with spending cuts? We must not forget this doesn’t include century economy without damaging our the cost of paying back the $2.4 billion fragile economic recovery. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate the current Legislature borrowed from schools. That increases the projected defi- was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What cit to $3.5 billion. We should look first can the Legislature do to improve job cre-
ation in the state? We have to listen to small business owners who will be the drivers of a more robust recovery. I’m hearing they need relief from government red tape and unnecessary, outdated regulations. Changes to our tax code should be sure to keep the competitive needs of Minnesota businesses in mind. Those changes should help in the short term. Medium and longterm steps would include investments in transportation and high-speed internet infrastructure as well as maintaining an excellent education system to prepare a top-notch workforce to compete globally in our 21st century economy. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? Local school districts are struggling with class sizes and have been forced to make horrible choices to reduce budgets (e.g., increasing class sizes, closing schools and considering four-day school weeks). A funding increase will be part of efforts to improve our local schools. We must always be working to improve how we deliver education on the policy side as well. The status quo is never good enough for
our kids. Improved teacher training and giving local districts more flexibility to provide mentorship and professional collaboration between experienced and new teachers would be a good start. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Congestion relief improves quality of life and reduces the cost of commerce. We regularly use bonding to improve roads and transit, and have given county commissioners the authority to impose additional sales taxes to pay for regional improvements. Investments in transportation infrastructure and expanding transit options have helped reduce congestion along the two major corridors serving the south metro. We must continue to seek partnerships with all levels of government and listen to the needs of individuals and businesses to continue to improve our system as the metro area continues to grow over the next 20-30 years. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? I am certain my opponent and I agree on the importance of small businesses in growing our economy. I am just as certain See MORGAN, 12B
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
Roz Peterson, Republican, House District 56B
College, B.A. business management and psychology cum laude 1) An August report from the Minnesota Budget and Management Office say a $1.1 billion Age: 47 general fund deficit is projected Address: 12295 162nd St. W., for the 2014-15 biennium. Should Lakeville the entire amount be closed with Roz Occupation: Cerron Commerspending cuts? Peterson cial Properties, Realtor; small No, for the simple fact that our business owner and real estate current revenues are increasing faster investor than what Management and Budget Family: Husband Tim (25 years), two forecasted back in February. According children to their July economic update, the state’s Qualifications: 2009 Business Person of the Year, CAC Spirit of Caring revenue has increased $336 million Award, Hosanna! member, former Sny- above what was projected, led by greater der Drug (Lakeville, Savage, Cannon revenue generated by our corporate taxFalls & Northfield) owner, ISD 194 es. This shows that when our economy Board of Education vice chair; strate- is working better, however slight it may gic plan and magnet schools task force, be, our fiscal picture improves. By stimMinnesota School Boards Associa- ulating our economy and getting people tion director, Dakota County Regional working again, our revenues will be sufChamber chair, Minnesota State High ficient. We must still, however, reign in School League director; executive & eli- the spending side of the equation. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a gibility committee, Lakeville Chamber discussion on tax reform in the 2013 sespast president and foundation chair, sion. What if any reforms do you supBig Three Board director (Cities, Counport? ties and Schools), Downtown Lakeville Our tax system is overly complicated Business Association, Community Eduand oppressive. Many Minnesotans, cation Advisory Council, former Girl Scout leader and Hope for Tomorrow both individuals and businesses, do mentor. Education: Gustavus Adolphus not realize many of the deductions and credits they qualify for. We must reduce
STATE REPRESENTATIVE ELECT
ROZ PETERSON Vote Roz Peterson November 6th www.rozpeterson.com Paid and prepared for by “Elect Roz Peterson” Committee 12295 162nd St. W., Lakeville, MN 55044 952-892-1782
the confusion for average Minnesotans and businesses who cannot afford high priced accountants to sort out their fiscal pictures. Many people file their taxes on their own, and we owe it to them to create a system that leaves the money in their hands and not first filtered through government’s hands. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What can the Legislature do to improve job creation in the state? Government must create a better atmosphere for business. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation ranked Minnesota 45th in Business Tax Climate because businesses are over taxed in Minnesota. For example, in addition to the local property taxes individuals pay, businesses must also pay a property tax to the state. This is $800-plus million annually in revenue that could be used toward expansion, hiring new employees, or increased wages for current employees. Mind you, these are not just the big corporations that pay this, but also local small businesses. We must allow businesses to retain their revenue which stimulates job creation. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? I support paying back the money that was borrowed our schools. We need to look at all the different funding formulas and address unfunded mandates that take money away from the general fund. A free public education for our children is in our state constitution and critical to produce a highly educated workforce. It is best to look at education systemically, from early childhood to post secondary. I support more flexibility and less bureaucracy at the local level to help drive innovation and creative ways to adapt our educational system for the 21st century student. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Our main emphasis should be to move people and goods in the most ef-
ficient way possible. I-35 is a critical interstate freeway. The daily bottleneck at the river crossing needs solutions. Common sense environmental permitting and eliminating antiquated laws will reduce the costs and shrink bureaucracies in MnDOT that enforce current requirements. MnDOT needs authority within existing funding to expedite congestion relief projects in the metropolitan area. Metropolitan transit governance reform is needed, which includes more transit planning involvement by local elected officials, who are accountable to the citizens, rather than unelected bureaucrats. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? We both want to improve our schools, help small businesses grow to improve our economy and strengthen the middle class. Taxes are too complicated and there are too many outdated laws. There are several unfunded mandates at the city, county and school level that make the current status quo unsustainable with the current funding. We both agree that constitutional amendments are a poor way to legislate. We don’t want gridlock at the state Legislature or see another state shut down. It is time for everyone to work together to solve our problems without sacrificing principles and stop playing party politics. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? My top priorities are growing private sector jobs and the economy, providing quality education to our children and healthcare that is affordable. We can foster job growth by keeping the tax burden low and streamlining regulations. By allowing more flexibility at the local level, we can innovate and create new ways to deliver core government services. It is also important to keep freedom of choice for our people and protect them from an ever growing, over reaching government. I am prepared to be a servant leader as your representative and ask you to vote Roz Peterson for State House 56B.
MORGAN, from 11B
port clean water, the arts, parks and trails and protect our outdoor heritage. Even though the constitutional language approved by the voters was fairly clear, there have been attempts by some legislators to divert those new funds for other purposes. Voters did not create a slush fund for anybody’s pet projects! If elected, I will work to make sure those funds remain dedicated to the purpose approved by the voters. We must protect our legacy!
we agree on the need to reduce red tape and unnecessary regulations on businesses in order to make our recovery robust and provide greater prosperity for all. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? Four years ago Minnesota voters approved the Legacy Amendment to sup-
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
House District 57 Greg Clausen, DFL, Senate District 57
the highest sales tax rate in the five-state area yet taxes the least amount of goods. Exploring an E-commerce sales tax will raise Age: 65 revenue and support Minnesota Address: 13277 Huntington businesses. Property taxes (curTerrace Apple Valley, MN 55124 rently the leading source of state Occupation: Educator revenue), income taxes and sales Family: Married for 42 years Greg taxes need to be balanced in to Roberta; three adult chil- Clausen terms of revenue produced. dren: Steve, Beth and Julie; three 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate grandsons: Dylan, Ty and Jack with was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. two grandchildren expected in 2013 Qualifications: I have spent over 40 What can the Legislature do to improve years in public service as a classroom job creation in the state? As a state, we need to align available teacher, coach, Apple Valley assistant principal, Rosemount High School jobs and the skills needed by workers principal and district office administra- to be hired. This “skill-set” alignment tor. I currently secure federal and state requires an investment in training profunding for District 196 by writing grams by both the private and public and administering grants. In the com- sectors. Using public funds to invest munity, I am a member of the Dakota in public projects creates jobs and adCounty Affordable Housing Coalition dresses infrastructure needs of the and serve on the Dakota Woodlands state. Focusing on employment growth Homeless Shelter Board of Direc- and improving the business climate by tors. My experience as an educator evaluating, restructuring, and strengthand community involvement will bring ening existing programs such as the leadership, consensus building, public Angel Tax Credit, JOBZ, New Jobs service, sense of community respon- Tax Credit and the Minnesota Investsibility and a strong work ethic to the ment Fund through tax relief and job creation will encourage growth. Minnesota Senate. 4) Would you support an increase to 1) An August report from the Minnesota Budget and Management Office the state’s per-pupil funding formula? say a $1.1 billion general fund deficit Why or why not? Are there areas of eduis projected for the 2014-15 biennium. cation funding or policy reform you supShould the entire amount be closed with port? Education is the infrastructure that spending cuts? A balanced approach is needed to drives the Minnesota economy and reduce the deficit through tax reform, ultimately the quality of life for our managing budget spending, budget re- citizens. Minnesota schools need conductions and revenue enhancements. sistent and sustainable funding and Spending cut discussions must include yes, I support an increase in the state’s studies on their effectiveness and con- per-pupil funding formula. Education sequences. All spending cuts will af- funding has not kept pace with inflafect some aspect of society and have tion over the past 10 years. Unfunded the potential of creating damaging special education mandates alone have reductions in essential public services offset increases to the general fund and loss of jobs making economic re- passed by the 2011 Legislature. Changcovery difficult. We must cut spending ing student needs are challenging through prudent and prioritized bud- schools. Limited English proficient stuget reductions, identify cost-saving and dents, technology, homeless students efficiency measures to manage budget and the number of students receiving spending, study tax reforms, identify free or reduced meal service have afand close tax loopholes and create rev- fected education budgets. 5) How should Minnesota address its enue enhancements. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a unmet transportation needs in the fudiscussion on tax reform in the 2013 ses- ture? Minnesota’s transportation infrasion. What if any reforms do you supstructure requires a balanced investport? Tax reform must be studied by un- ment program in long-term solutions derstanding the effect on jobs, personal for transit growth in an environmenincome and impact upon the middle tally sound way. Mass transit programs class. Taxes and their relationship to utilizing light rail, Metro Transit, crejob growth and personal income drive ative solutions (in/out same lanes based swings in state revenue. Minnesota has on time of day, differing work hours,
roundabouts), bike and walking paths are all solutions working together to meet our transportation needs. Bonding bills for road and bridge construction, repair and mass transit initiatives will fulfill the needs of current and future generations of Minnesotans with the costs shared and paid over time by users. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? I believe we have ideological differences but share common concerns for the Minnesota economy, job growth and education. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? Over the past several months I have had hundreds of conversations on the needs of Minnesota families and communities. Citizens have shared concerns on the economy, balancing the budget, education funding, environmental issues, how to pay for higher education, concerns about the middle class and job growth. However, the reoccurring
theme is the frustration over the inability of the Legislature to work together to address key issues which affect the Minnesota quality of life. I will work to restore public confidence in the Legislature for the “common good” of Minnesotans by developing a shared vision to move Minnesota forward.
B E I R★ ★★
COMMITTED TO: ✓ Collaboration ✓ Communication ✓ Quality of Life ✓ Community Visioning ✓ Leadership & Respect ✓ Low Taxes & High Quality City Services ✓ Representing All Citizens of Lakeville Prepared and paid for by Laurie Rieb for Lakeville Mayor Committee. 9710 170th St W Lakeville, MN 55044
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
Pat Hall, Republican, Senate District 57 Age: 58 Address: 13884 Glendale Court, Apple Valley Occupation: Pastor/adjunct professor Pat Family: Married (wife, Debra), Hall three daughters (Molly, Renee, and Bethany) Qualifications: My wife and I have lived in this area for 20 years. We raised our daughters here, with all three having graduated from ISD 196. I have been involved in the community as chaplain to the Rosemount Police Department and have been an ordained pastor for the last 23 years, including ministering to families impacted by the I-35W bridge collapse. Prior to being in ministry, I was employed in the insurance, printing, and banking industries. I know the values and needs of the residents of Senate District 57 and possess the life experience to serve you well at the Legislature. 1) An August report from the Minnesota Budget and Management Office says a $1.1 billion general fund deficit is projected for the 2014-15 biennium. Should the entire amount be closed with spending cuts? We live in a difficult and challenging economic time. In recent years, many
families have had to learn to live within their means to survive. Government should be no different. The next biennial budget is projected to take in $1.7 billion in more revenue than the current budget. We don’t have a revenue problem – we have a spending problem. It is possible to prioritize spending, reduce government waste, and live within our means to balance the state’s budget. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a discussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. What if any reforms do you support? I support tax reforms that simplify the tax code and do not increase the tax burden on individuals, families, and businesses. The key to creating jobs and improving the state’s economic climate and budget situation is for the Legislature to not increase the tax burden on individuals, families, and businesses but, rather, to allow them to keep more of their hardearned money to spend and invest as they see fit. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What can the Legislature do to improve job creation in the state? The private sector is the engine of job creation. We must create a tax-and-regulatory environment that is hospitable to job creation and growth. Unfortunately,
we fall short of that mark. The Tax Foundation ranked Minnesota 45th in 2012 for state tax business climate. This is not acceptable. To improve our state’s business climate, the 2013 Legislature must pass a balanced budget that does not increase the tax burden on individuals, families, and businesses and must repeal unnecessary and burdensome regulations that hinder job growth and creation. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? I support ensuring our schools receive the funding they need to succeed. Adequate funding, however, is not the only touchstone of a strong public education system – strong academic performance, teacher and administrative accountability, equitable funding, and access to good public schools – are also touchstones of a strong public education system. I will support legislation and policies that promote these principles, with the goal of ensuring our students receive a worldclass education. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Minnesotans are fortunate they have many choices for travel. Most drive their own car, while some use mass transit, such as the bus or light rail, to travel. While it is important we maintain a va-
riety of options that Minnesotans can use to travel, my focus will be to support transportation projects that meet the needs of how most Minnesotans choose to travel – which is by motor vehicle. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? One area in which I believe my opponent and I agree is that a world-class public education system in Minnesota is vital to our children’s and grandchildren’s success. I am proud of the fact that all three of my daughters are graduates of Independent School District 196 – Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan and that I have been an educator most of my adult life. While in the Legislature, I will support policies and legislation that continue to improve our public education system. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? As a longtime resident of the Apple Valley-Rosemount area, I know our communities succeed when we are given the liberty to make decisions for ourselves. That is why the guiding principle of my political and governing philosophy is to ensure that individuals, families, and businesses are provided the maximum ability to decide what is best for their personal and economic well-being.
BELLOWS > G J
VALUES VISION VALOR
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
House District 57A Roberta Gibbons, DFL, House District 57A
There is no way that we can continue down this path. We must keep all options on the table including revenue generation and budget cuts. Age: 50 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposAddress: P.O. Box 240364, Aping a discussion on tax reform in the ple Valley 2013 session. What if any reforms Occupation: Personal lines in- Roberta do you support? Gibbons surance agent I absolutely support Governor Family: Husband, Patrick and Dayton’s efforts to reform our current two sons – Christopher and Michael tax system. I also support his efforts to Qualifications: Lifetime resident of restore tax fairness to our citizens and Minnesota. Associate of arts degree – to close corporate tax loopholes that alRochester Community College. Past preslow corporations to receive tax breaks for ident, state representative and show director for ICES. Past president and finance shipping jobs overseas. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate chair of the Cedar Park Elementary Site was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What Council. Former member of the Cedar can the Legislature do to improve job creAvenue Bus Rapid Transit Local Advisory ation in the state? Group. Current MIIAB Board Member. The Legislature can lower tax rates for Co-founder and past chair of the Young small business owners, close corporate Insurance Professionals of Minnesota. loopholes that allow big corporations to 1) An August report from the Minnesota Budget and Management Office says a benefit by shipping jobs overseas, attract $1.1 billion general fund deficit is projected new companies with sustainable wage for the 2014-15 biennium. Should the entire jobs to the state, invest in Minnesota by passing an appropriate bonding bill which amount be closed with spending cuts? The current legislature has tried to will create jobs and invest in education which will give Minnesota the crop of well balance the budget through a series of extreme cuts, budget shifts and tax cuts. educated citizens that we need in order to
Tara Mack, incumbent, Republican, House District 57A
discussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. What if any reforms do you support? I support any reform that makes Minnesota a better place to do business. Right now we have one Age, address, occupation, famof the highest income tax rates ily, qualifications: Not provided Tara in the country. Many small busi1) An August report from the Mack nesses pay taxes through the indiMinnesota Budget and Managevidual income tax. By reforming ment Office says a $1.1 billion general or closing some credits and deductions fund deficit is projected for the 2014-15 we can lower the rate and make Minnebiennium. Should the entire amount be sota more friendly for job creators. The closed with spending cuts? Corporate Income Tax is another area No – economic growth is also part of in need of reform. Currently, this tax the solution. Right now we are ahead is very regressive and results in less job of revenue projections for the current creation and lower wages for Minnesobiennium. This higher tax revenue is ta workers. We should reform this tax due to increased economic activity. as well to help trigger more job growth. By not raising taxes and attempting to 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate make Minnesota a more friendly place was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. to do business, we gave job creators a What can the Legislature do to improve reason to expand their business. This job creation in the state? resulted in more economic activity, Tax reform is critical to showing more job growth and higher tax reve- businesses at home, in other states and nues. This economic growth, combined abroad that Minnesota is open for busiwith the slowing of state spending, will ness. By streamlining the code and lowresult in a budget solution, which again ering tax rates, the cost of doing busidoes not require tax increases. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a See MACK, 12B
attract new companies. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? Yes, I would definitely support an increase to the per-pupil funding. In addition, I would also support allowing for inflationary increases in state funding to schools – something that hasn’t happened since 2003. I also believe that we need to review and/or reform the tuitions that are being charged by MnSCU educational institutions. Finally, I believe that we must pay back the $2.4 billion shift to the K-12 budget. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Minnesota faces continued deficits in our transportation/transit funding needs. We need to increase transportation/transit funding – and work more closely with our elected officials in Washington, D.C., to secure additional federal funds in an effort to promote multi-modal methods of transit as well as improvements to infrastructure. I also believe that we need to continue to embrace light and commuter rail as viable mass transit methods. 6) What issue or issues might you agree
with your opponent on? In her campaign literature, my opponent has indicated that the creation of jobs is her biggest issue. On this point, I agree. However, she has voted against job creation bills time and time again. She voted against the Jobs Now Tax Credit (H.F. 2690). She voted against Governor Dayton’s bonding bill request of $775 million and the $496 million bonding bill thereby creating a loss of potential jobs. She also voted “no” on the jobs that will be created by the construction of the new Vikings stadium. I see each of these as job building opportunities for the people of Minnesota. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? Currently, middle class Minnesotans and small business owners bear a disproportionate share of the tax burden. And while the GOP-led Legislature will tell you that they haven’t increased taxes, the fact is that we have seen substantial increases in property taxes and additional fees all while the top 1 percent of taxpayers have seen their tax burden reduced. We need to reform our current tax system and create a fairer tax structure for all.
Little FOR LAKEVILLE
MAYOR It’s time for a Little leadership. Prepared and Paid for by the Little for Lakeville Campaign Committee www.LittleforLakeville.com
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
MACK, from 11B ness will be reduced. This means more jobs for unemployed workers and higher wages for Minnesota employees. We also need to cut red-tape and eliminate duplicative regulations which make it harder to do business in Minnesota. This issue has bi-partisan agreement, as evidenced by the permitting reform of last session. There is more to be done, however, to really make it easier to create jobs in Minnesota. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? I am very proud of the work that was done over the past two years in regards to the per-pupil formula in education
funding. District 196 schools saw an increase in the per pupil formula resulting in an additional $1.5 million each year for the biennium. For the first time we are seeing greater equity in funding for our south suburban schools, which is an issue that has been a priority for me since I was first elected. I will continue to work for reforms that put students first, empower parents and prioritize the dollars for better outcomes. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? We need to look for ways to reduce the time and cost for highway construction. There is evidence that constructing a mile of highway in Iowa, for example, is much cheaper than constructing a mile of highway in Minnesota. Streamlining environmental permitting, as we
did for counties in 2012 is one possible cost reduction that will free up monies to be used in other areas. In regards to transit, we need reform in who has the authority to do transit planning and return the decision making to local officials who are more responsive to the needs of their communities. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? My opponent and I would agree that providing a quality education system is imperative to the future prosperity of our state. Investing in students ensures a better workforce, stronger and healthier families and more productive citizens in the future. We would both agree that borrowing money from the school districts to pay for state budget deficits is not good policy and that it should be a priority to pay the schools
the money that is owed as quickly as possible. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? The area of health and human services is one that I have spent a great deal of time on over the past several years. This area comprises nearly 40 percent of the state budget and has been consistently increasing at an unsustainable rate. In the past two years, I worked on reforms to bend the cost curve while delivering better services to people more efficiently. There is still work to be done in this area in regards to integrating technology, rewarding those who provide better outcomes in healthcare and reforming how we manage and pay for an aging population.
training is completed. Longer-term, when middle-class people have money, they will buy more goods and services, creating demand. This demand will create more jobs and grow our economy. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? We should increase the per-pupil funding formula to the extent necessary to lower class sizes, increase secondary course offerings responsibly, and reduce school fee burdens on our families. For example, Lakeville schools have some of the highest activity fees in the state. Having a “thorough and efficient system of public schools,” as our Minnesota Constitution states, is not just about the students themselves. Rather, it is about the future of our government and economy. We also must provide full funding for all special education mandates and ensure that we prepare all students to participate in a vibrant Minnesota economy. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Minnesota needs to promote transportation policies that will reduce our future costs. Responsible public transit initiatives should be part of this solution. Investing in research to make our roads and bridges more durable and less costly can also be part of the solution if that research is likely to pay
for itself. A solid transportation infrastructure is necessary for the business climate in this state, so smart spending in this area can help to bring more revenue and jobs into Minnesota. Finally, we must monitor our funding formulas to ensure that they match future patterns in transportation use. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? Both my opponent and I publicly oppose the state’s borrowing from schools, although my opponent voted for this funding shift in the 2011 special session. I am both pro-life and proSecond-Amendment, and I believe that my opponent’s positions on these issues are similar. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? We need to end divisive state government and start working together for the people of Minnesota again. As your senator, I will represent the interests of everyone in District 58. Everyone realizes that their senator cannot make everyone happy all the time. That said, I will represent the interests of everyone in the district the best I can, and I will encourage others in the Legislature to adopt a similar attitude. Shutting down our government over party politics is wrong, and I will do everything I can to keep a shutdown from happening again.
House District 58 Andrew Brobston, DFL, Senate District 58
ford to do so. We need to ensure that the state is not spending unnecessarily. However, those of us like me who are able to pay more in taxes will probably need to do Age: 34 so. In short, we need to cut inefAddress: P.O. Box 73, Vermilficient and unnecessary spendlion ing, and we also need to raise Occupation: Software devel- Andrew revenue. Brobston oper 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proFamily: No family in Minneposing a discussion on tax reform in the sota. 2013 session. What if any reforms do Qualifications: First-time candidate for public office. Currently a software you support? We need a progressive tax system in developer and small-business owner. which people with higher incomes pay Doctor of Musical Arts coursework at least as much a percentage of their completed at the University of Minincome in total taxes — not just income nesota in 2008. Thesis completion retax — as people with lower incomes mains in order to receive this degree. pay. Further, we need to bring back Master of Fine Arts in saxophone perthe homestead credit, whose eliminaformance from the University of Iowa, 2006. Bachelor of Music Education tion raised property taxes on business and Bachelor of Music degrees from and farms even when local tax levies Wartburg College, 2000. Three years remained the same. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate of K-12 teaching experience in music, was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. 2000-2003. What can the Legislature do to improve 1) An August report from the Minjob creation in the state? nesota Budget and Management Office In the short term, we need to get says a $1.1 billion general fund deficit is projected for the 2014-15 biennium. people who are out of work, people Should the entire amount be closed with working part-time who would like to work more, and people in low-wage spending cuts? It seems unlikely that the state can jobs into some of the better-paying close the entire deficit with spending jobs that are already available. I procuts alone while still meeting its obli- pose focused, shorter-length job traingations. I understand that people do ing, in partnership with businesses and not wish to pay more in taxes and that, the MnSCU system, to prepare these further, many people simply cannot af- people for good-paying jobs and to ensure that they will have jobs when the
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
Dave Thompson, incumbent, Republican, Senate District 58
els are built on presumed rates of government growth. So the forecasted deficit is in relation to forecasted increases in spending. Assuming that revenue remains stable, we will be able to spend Age: 50 as much money in the next bienAddress: 9175 211th St. W., Dave nium as in the current biennium Lakeville without cutting spending or raisThompson Occupation: Attorney. Ining taxes. house counsel for Lakeville business. I believe strongly that government Family: Married to Rhonda for 27 takes more than it should out of the years. Daughter Amanda is a sopho- private sector. Limited government remore at The University of North Da- sults in good jobs provided by profitkota. Son Phil is a junior at Lakeville able employers. There will then be fewSouth High School. er people in need. Qualifications: I believe strongly in 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a a citizen legislature. Therefore, I do discussion on tax reform in the 2013 sesnot believe any special educational or sion. What if any reforms do you suptechnical expertise is necessary. In my port? mind, a legislator should be an individTax reform should start with simpliual who thinks clearly and has common fication. America’s citizens and busisense. In addition, he/she should have nesses spend billions of dollars ana set of experiences in life that bring nually on tax compliance. This is an about maturity and insight into “the unbelievable waste of resources. way the world works.” Second, we should change the tax I have worked in the private sector system to rely less on income taxes befor over 30 years, 25 of them full time. cause this type of tax discourages proMy experience includes many years as ductive activity. We should not discouran employer as well as an employee. age high-income earners and successful I am also a husband, father and first businesses from locating or expanding term state senator. in Minnesota. 1) An August report from the Min3) The Minnesota unemployment rate nesota Budget and Management Office was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. says a $1.1 billion general fund deficit What can the Legislature do to improve is projected for the 2014-15 biennium. job creation in the state? Should the entire amount be closed with Many politicians yearn for “crespending cuts? ation” of “good jobs” while at the same We must first be clear about what time enacting policies that make it difa “deficit” means. Our forecast mod- ficult for businesses to prosper. Busi-
nesses do not exist for the purpose of “creating jobs.” No entrepreneur ever opened a coffee shop “to create jobs.” Rather, a successful, profitable business owner has the ability to hire employees and pay them well. So, government should facilitate business through creating a favorable business climate. This is done by minimizing regulation, avoiding burdensome employment laws, and keeping taxes low. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? I do not support additional funding to our schools at the state level. Obviously we must fund schools to a reasonable level if they are to function properly. Minnesota does that. The data demonstrate that the success or failure of a school in Minnesota is not correlated with funding. In fact, the schools receiving the largest appropriation per student are at the low end of performance. Simply throwing money at the problem doesn’t work. The key to success of our educational system is making parents and teachers responsible for outcomes. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? First, we need to have the right philosophical approach. Many politicians want to promote transportation that encourages a certain kind of behavior. Many who promote light rail and other
forms of mass transit are attempting to force people out of automobiles. As policymakers, we should respond to the way the people want to live, rather than trying to dictate how they live. Most Minnesotans still prefer automobile transportation. We must expand the road system to meet demand. Buses should be preferred to trains because buses don’t require a separate infrastructure. Also, buses can more easily accommodate changes in demand. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? I strongly opposed the “school shift.” It appears my opponent also opposed it. On this issue my opponent and I are both on the opposite side from Governor Dayton. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? If Minnesota is going to lead the nation in business, employment and standard of living, we must strive to improve our educational system. This will require reforms that hold teachers and administrators accountable for student outcomes. We must also find ways to create incentives for parents to send children to school ready to learn. Too many of our educational resources are spent on providing goods and services that should be the responsibility of parents. We must get our schools back to a focus on core academics.
Should the entire amount be closed with spending cuts? The $1.1 billion deficit is less than 3 percent of the budget and can be managed without tax increases. The 2014-15 budget will be based on the February 2013 forecast and will change between now and then. The latest report from Minnesota Management and Budget shows increased revenue of $444 million. If this trend continues, the budget deficit could be reduced. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a discussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. What if any reforms do you support? Local Government Aid is an area that needs reform. The state picks winners and losers by choosing which cit-
ies that get property tax relief through LGA. Because Lakeville does not get any LGA, our taxpayers are paying to reduce taxes of wealthy homeowners and competing businesses based solely on their zip codes. Property tax relief should be focused on ability to pay with more money being used for individual property tax relief. Business property tax relief should be distributed statewide. Fiscal Disparities is a metro area property tax redistribution program that also needs reform. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What can the Legislature do to improve job creation in the state?
House District 58A Mary Liz Holberg, incumbent, Republican, House District 58A
tees, 10 years on House Republican Caucus Executive Board. As a freshman I was one of the Top Five Legislators; St. Paul Legal Ledger. Other awards are the Outstanding Woman in Age: 52 Government; State Women of Address: 16749 Ides Circle Mary Liz Today, and the Lakeville DistinLakeville, MN 55044 guished Alumni award; Lakeville Holberg Occupation: Small Business High School. Lakeville Planning Owner Commission 1989-1995, Lakeville City Family: Husband Tom, Two grown Council 1995-1998, Chamber of Comchildren and 1 grandchild merce member since 1994 and founding Qualifications: Lakeville resident member of the Friends of the Lakeville for 41 years and small business owner Area Arts Board. since 1987. State representative since 1) An August report from the Min1999, chair House Ways and Means nesota Budget and Management Office committee, previous chair of Civil Law says a $1.1 billion general fund deficit and Transportation Finance commit- is projected for the 2014-15 biennium.
See HOLBERG, 14B
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
HOLBERG, from 13B While Minnesota’s rate continues to be lower than the U.S. rate, there is room for improvement. The Tax Foundations 2013 Business Tax Climate report ranked Minnesota 45th in the nation. This is unacceptable and a key barrier to job creation in the state. We should lower the corporate tax rate and reduce regulatory burdens. We are competing globally for jobs and Minnesota must strive to keep and attract job creators. Additionally, our higher education system must be more responsive to workforce needs. Recent public private partnerships to tailor training programs for existing job vacancies have been a good start. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? The current budget included an in-
Colin Lee, DFL, House District 58A Age: 33 Address: 17372 Jalisco Lane, Lakeville Occupation: Software engineer Family: Engaged Colin Qualifications: I volunteer for Lee Lakeville Lions, Lakeville Friends of the Environment, and Project Homeless Connect. I am also a small business owner and taught private high school at Saint Thomas Military Academy. 1) An August report from the Minnesota Budget and Management Office says a $1.1 billion general fund deficit is projected for the 2014-15 biennium. Should the entire amount be closed with spending cuts? Cuts must be part of the solution, but we should also raise revenue by capping tax expenditures and closing tax loopholes for foreign operating corporations and foreign royalties. We cannot afford more cuts to our schools, where some class sizes are now larger than 40. Instead, we should reduce the growth of health costs by pooling K-12 staff policies statewide. My opponent’s budget protected wealthy corporations and the richest Minnesotans but raised property taxes on middle class Minnesotans and borrowed billions from our schools with no plan to pay it back. I will balance the budget fairly. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a discussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. What if any reforms do you support?
crease of $50 on the formula, one of very few areas of the budget that received an increase. Future funding decisions will be dependent on the fiscal condition of the state. Last session we implemented teacher and principal rating systems, eliminated the Jan. 15 contract penalty, and began funding reforms based on outcomes. I also supported the elimination of the “last in first out” policy that was vetoed by Governor Dayton. It would allow school boards to make staffing decisions based on curriculum and teacher performance and not solely on years of service. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Minnesota’s transportation needs should be addressed through costeffective investments in the areas with the highest needs. We need to expand capacity to relieve congestion and implement cost-efficient transit solutions. The I-35W Busway is an example of a
transit improvement that also expanded capacity in the corridor for nontransit users. Use of hybrid and electric cars will continue to diminish gas tax revenues and we should explore ways to make sure that owners of electric vehicles pay their fair share of transportation infrastructure costs. Under-performing transit corridors with excessive subsidies should be eliminated. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? I expect my opponent would have supported the recently enacted accountability reforms that require those who deliver taxpayer funded services to limit administrative costs, fraud and waste. Equity in the tax system as well as individual and business property tax relief might be another area of agreement. Funding fairness for K-12 education would also benefit Lakeville. I am sure we both agree that Lakeville’s residents are the key to our success and their deep commitment to volunteerism
has strengthened our community and is a key factor in the high ratings that our city enjoys. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? Federal funds make up nearly 30 percent of our “all funds” budget. With the federal government borrowing 40 cents of every dollar they spend, it is highly likely states will be forced to supplement federal programs with state dollars. For example, the state costs for the federal health care program will be a huge burden on our budget when federal funding expires. Unfunded federal education mandates will put growing pressure on our schools and limit districts choices for programming. Minnesota must urge our federal officials to eliminate unfunded mandates and restore the state’s right to implement the priorities of our residents.
We must make real changes and reforms to make Minnesota government more efficient and accountable to taxpayers. I will cut wasteful spending and seek to audit government programs to get rid of programs which aren’t working. Last year, I petitioned House Republicans and produced an investigation into HMOs which were overbilling taxpayers. I support capping tax expenditures and closing tax loopholes. Property taxes have more than doubled since my opponent took office. I will fight to reverse this trend which harms small business owners and seniors living on fixed income. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What can the Legislature do to improve job creation in the state? Businesses create jobs. My opponent opposed the Angel Tax Credit. We must increase the annual limit on these credits for early investments in small businesses which commit to create new jobs in our state. Unemployment is much lower among college graduates. We should offer scholarships for unemployed workers to train in understaffed professions. We should offer a “short time work” program to reduce layoffs and severance, rehiring, and retraining costs at Minnesota companies. Minnesotans deserve a Legislature that stands up for working people instead of protecting corporate special interests. We
cannot afford to throw money at a lobbyist wish list. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? Yes, the formula has not kept up with costs. Costs per pupil have grown with inflation and health costs. It is unacceptable to balance budgets by raising property taxes which leave elderly homeowners homeless. Our state government must accept its constitutional mandate to uniformly fund school districts. Lately, my opponent’s budgets have flaunted our state Constitution by passing her responsibility onto local levies. I support responsible reform of First In Last Out to make performance a factor. I support the flipped classroom so our students can learn from the best-of-thebest lectures while getting personalized assistance in class. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? I oppose intrusive mileage taxes which require providing your GPS locations to government. The gas tax, tab fees, and motor vehicle sales tax should remain our primary means of funding transportation. Safe, efficient roads are one of the most important services government provides. We must never skimp on repairs over the false belief that it is good for business. It is not. We should accept federal grants as available, but need to take greater responsibility for our state aid to county roads. A number of county roads like Dodd
Boulevard/County Road 9 have needed improvements for many years. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? We agree some form of Last In First Out reform is needed to keep our best teachers, but I believe both performance and experience must be factors. We agree private sports stadiums should not be a priority for public spending. We agree that the president should be elected by national popular vote instead of an electoral college, so Minnesotans are heard and Minnesotan votes matter despite living in a state where not a single Republican nominee has won since Nixon. We both agree Republicans should have their voices heard. I wish we agreed that every citizen must. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? A well-educated workforce is key to a strong economy, good jobs, and a prosperous middle class. This is why Minnesota has such low unemployment and record Fortune 500s per capita. By 2017, 70 percent of new Minnesota jobs will require a college degree. Yet tuition has tripled under my opponent. Every Minnesotan should have the opportunity to work. My opponent voted repeatedly to cut education. She voted just last year to cut almost 20 percent from our university. She borrowed $24 million from Lakeville schools to balance the budget last year and offered no plan to pay our kids back.
Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide October 26, 2012
House District 58B Jim Arlt, DFL, House District 58B
nor the projected $1 billion in inflation costs. The inflationary cost should be addressed by spending cuts. The $2 billion unmet obligation to our public schools may necessitate a tax revenue increase. If the Legislature continues an all spending cuts approach it may continue the pressure on local units of government to raise property tax rates again. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a discussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. What if any reforms do you support? With State cuts to Local Government Aid and the elimination of the Homestead Credit the property tax burden to homeowners, farms, and small businesses has grown disproportionately and this needs to be reformed. I will push to bring back the Homestead credit that was eliminated last year. Any tax reform should be focused on reducing the tax burden from the small business owners and all middle class taxpayers. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What can the Legislature do to improve job creation in the state? The unemployment rate in Minnesota dropped to 5.9 percent from 7.2 percent mainly from retirements. We need to target specific manufacturing companies to expand or locate here. This can be accomplished by increasing the funding of the Minnesota Investment Fund, by having strong infrastructure through bonding, and having a strong educated workforce by providing affordable high quality education oppor-
tunities through our colleges, technical colleges and high schools. We need to focus on lowering the unemployment rate of our returning veterans, currently unemployed and recent college graduates by offering a business tax credit for each new Minnesota employee hired by a Minnesota employer. 4) Would you support an increase to the state’s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? I would support an increase to state per pupil funding to offset the increasing transportation and heating costs. Inadequate state funding over the last 10 years has led to local property tax levy increases of about $800 per pupil. There currently is a $600 million gap in state payments for mandated Special Education costs to our public schools. This underfunded mandate has also caused our public schools to request increasing property tax levies. I would support a policy reform of eliminating accounting shifts for public education so that neither political party can use our schools as their credit card. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Minnesota’s failing infrastructure can be unsafe for our citizens; it damages our economy and makes our state less desirous for a business to locate to. Because of past neglect our current needs for road repairs and bridge replacements outweigh our capacity to fund them. We have historically used bonding to improve our roads and bridges and this should be increased. We also need to work closer with town-
ships, cities, and counties to put together a comprehensive plan for traffic flow and identifying roads and bridges in need of repair. This coordination will increase efficiency and help lower costs 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on? I believe that we would both push for a government that is efficient in accomplishing those things that state government is tasked to do. I believe that we both would agree that taxes need to be held to a minimum. We both believe that there can be other determining factors besides seniority for teacher layoffs though the implementation method would differ. We both would agree that duplication in regulations and obstacles to efficient permitting for building projects should be eliminated. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? State law enforcement efforts to combat identity theft and financial scams that target the elderly are handcuffed because they are severely underfunded. The Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force funding has been cut over the last eight years from over $1 million to about $300,000 currently. Legislation introduced to reinstate this funding and to provide funding to investigate financial scams that target the elderly has not been successful in the Republican-controlled Legislature the last two years. The state legislature needs to truly balance the budget. This can be done by dropping the partisanship and work to an agreement.
to pass a loan forgiveness bill which will lower the taxes of Farmington School District residents by over $30 million. I have been a parent volunteer in area young athletic programs, attend Age: 41 All Saints Catholic Church in Address: Farmington Lakeville, and generally do whatPat Occupation: Network engi- Garofalo ever my beautiful wife Julie tells neer me to. Family: Married, 2 children 1) An August report from the MinQualifications: I am completing my nesota Budget and Management Office fourth term in the Minnesota House says a $1.1 billion general fund deficit of Representatives. Last session I had is projected for the 2014-15 biennium. the honor of chairing the House Edu- Should the entire amount be closed with cation Finance Committee. This chair- spending cuts? manship allowed me the opportunity I expect that when the updated bud-
get forecast comes out at the end of November, you will see this deficit erased. The structural changes we made during the 2011 budget, particularly in the Health and Human Services budget, have already saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars. I expect you will continue to see these changes producing positive budget results going forward. But if a deficit still exists, yes, we should cut spending. 2) Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a discussion on tax reform in the 2013 session. What if any reforms do you support? If by reform we mean simplification, reducing credits/deductions, and
lowering rates - then yes I support that. However, my concern is that when Governor Dayton uses the words “tax reform” – it is just another way of trying to raise taxes on the small businesses of Minnesota and the citizens of Dakota County. 3) The Minnesota unemployment rate was at 5.9 percent as of August 2012. What can the Legislature do to improve job creation in the state? Keep a lid on taxes, aggressively recruit out of state businesses to relocate here, continue to reform education to produce an educated, high quality
Age: 54 Address: 19988 Rhoda Avenue, Welch, Ravenna Township Occupation: Law enforcement 33 years, retired Jim Family: My wife is Renae Arlt. Arlt Together we have six children and six grandchildren. My 86-year-old mother, Pat Arlt, resides with us. Qualifications: I have had the privilege of serving the citizens of Minnesota for 33 years in law enforcement. I was the Interim Director with the Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division prior to retirement. I have worked on legislation, testified at subcommittee hearings, and reviewed legislation for the financial impact caused by the legislation. I have helped to bring together businesses, business organizations, non-profits, social service agencies, and law enforcement agencies to solve crime issues. I was elected by other law enforcement agencies to serve on the board of the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit, an International organization of law enforcement agencies. 1) An August report from the Minnesota Budget and Management Office says a $1.1 billion general fund deficit is projected for the 2014-15 biennium. Should the entire amount be closed with spending cuts? This $1.1 billion projected general fund deficit should be met by spending cuts. This does not address the over $2 billion accounting shift of public school payments (my opponent was the chief author) that have not been paid
Pat Garofalo, incumbent, Republican, House District 58B
See GAROFALO, 16B
October 26, 2012 Farmington/Lakeville Voters Guide
House District 58B GAROFALO, from 15B workforce, and develop greater higher education/private sector business partnerships. 4) Would you support an increase to the stateâ€™s per-pupil funding formula? Why or why not? Are there areas of education funding or policy reform you support? Last session Governor Dayton and the Legislature increased education funding by over $650 million. Under current law, state education funding is expected to exceed $15 billion in the next budget cycle. I think it is prudent to ask how those increases are being used before committing to yet another increase. We want to fund schools, but we also need accountability for results. 5) How should Minnesota address its unmet transportation needs in the future? Maintain our current roads, expand corridors that are high congestion areas, and continue to develop cost effective transit projects like the Cedar Avenue and 35W busways. 6) What issue or issues might you agree with your opponent on?
I agree with my opponent that we are both lucky to have the fantastic spouses that each of us have. 7) What are other issues of importance to you and what can the Legislature do to address them? I am proud of the fact that I am one of the few candidates endorsed by both business and labor. The best results at the Legislature happen when we work together to get things done. Regardless of the problem or the proposed solution, I look forward to working with Governor Dayton and other legislators to maintain the high quality of life we have in Minnesota.
Terry Lind Committed to our
schools and our community.
LAKEVILLE SCHOOL BOARD PRIORITIES: Ă Student achievement Ă Community engagement Ă Reduced class sizes Ă Responsible fiscal policies
Terry Lind November 6th