How long have you been in public service?
I have had more than 12 years in office, and many more volunteering.
Why did you choose to be in public service?
Originally it was to ‘right a wrong’. When I didn’t like how the current City Council and Mayor were handling assessments to residents for road reconstruction, I did my homework and came to them with solutions. I got them to lower the assessment rate to residents from 100% to 75%. After that I received many phone calls asking me to run for office. Once elected, I got the Council to agree to lower the rate to 33% to residents and also refund the difference to those who paid 75%. I’ve stayed in office because I’ve come to know that if you care, you can make a difference.
What is your favorite thing about your city, county or area?
I love the small-town feel. I love that people stay in St. Paul Park. There are generations living here and it seems like everyone knows everyone and people care for one and other. That’s hard to find anymore.
What is your city or area most known for? What is unique, or special about it?
Probably our Heritage Days Celebration in August every year. It runs Friday-Sunday in the third weekend in August and it’s often described like a ‘whole town reunion’.
How do people in your community feel a Second Train could benefit them? Or, How do you feel that your community could benefit from a Second Train?
Personally I feel a second train would benefit people the way public transit is a benefit. Those that don't use transit say they don't use it because it doesn't run as frequently as they would like. They want more flexibility. As a user of public transit, I find this to be true as well. Also, in talking with several kids (high school age), they are not anxious to get a driver's license, so I feel a train would benefit them as they venture off to college getting to/from school.
Why are you interested in expanding passenger rail in Minnesota? Or, What is your long-term vision for passenger rail in Minnesota?
My interest in expanding passenger rail and vision is about seeing it more widely used. As our suburbs keep expanding outward, folks are living further and further from employment centers and our highways are filling up beyond capacity. My hope is that one day many folks will prefer rail and other alternatives to driving.