COUNCIL ELECTION DRAWS 8 IN FRAY
TWIN LAKES PROJECT IS PROMINENT TOPIC
September 7, 2005
STEVE SCOTT, Pioneer Press
Roseville residents frequently enliven City Council proceedings with the slings and arrows of outrage, adding to spirited debate at public meetings.
So, it's little wonder this fall's election has drawn a diverse, eight-person field of candidates vying for three open seats on the council. Next Tuesday's primary will narrow the field to the top six vote-getters, who will square off in the general election Nov. 8.
The field includes two incumbents, three candidates running again after previous election setbacks, and three residents making their first try at public office.
The city's hottest topic -- the Twin Lakes redevelopment project -- will have an uncertain effect on this campaign. The current council in June approved a final development contract on the project's first phase, as well as a 25-year financing proposal committing future property taxes to the major retail and housing project in northwestern Roseville.
But candidates are positioning themselves on the underlying, ongoing issues -- retail density, public financing on private projects, environmental cleanup and traffic control. Future phases at Twin Lakes, as well as other redevelopment projects, could force a new council to reconsider the same difficult questions.
The incumbents seeking re-election, Amy Ihlan and Tom Kough, both ardently opposed the Twin Lakes project. Another incumbent, Greg Schroeder, supported it but decided not to run again, opening up a third seat.
A candidate forum will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the John Rose Oval. The forum's sponsor is the Roseville Citizens League, formerly known as the Roseville Citizens Council for Fair and Open Government. The group coalesced in 2002 in an attempt to force the mayor to resign and has since broadened its concern to include other city issues.
In preparation for the forum, the league has gathered candidates' positions on issues and posted them online at www.rosevillecl.org.
Steve Scott may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-228-5526.
ROSEVILLE CITY COUNCIL [Appeared on Page B3.] Three open seats. Tuesday's primary election will reduce the field of eight candidates to the top six vote-getters, who will face each other in the general election on Nov. 8. (I) designates incumbent.
Background: Lifelong resident of Roseville. "I've seen all the changes."
Family: Married with three children.
Occupation: Self-employed in start-up fragrance business. Former city clerical employee.
Political/civic experience: President of Friends of Twin Lakes, a citizens group that sued the city to force further environmental review of Twin Lakes redevelopment project. Founded Rose Fest parade and Roseville ambassadors program. Chaired city's 40th anniversary committee.
Education: University of Minnesota (geology, anthropology). Studied one year at University of Stockholm (Swedish).
Viewpoint: Major concerns fall under redevelopment: traffic, environment, parks. "I'm not anti-redevelopment, but the Twin Lakes proposal the way it stands threatens the future of Roseville socially, financially and environmentally." Favors more homes in Roseville, not more retail.
For more information: 651-646-7998.
Background: Has lived in Roseville all but 18 months of his life and 43 years in his current home -- with its "Welcome to Roseville" display featuring the rear end of a donkey aimed at Roseville City Hall across the street.
Family: Married with five children, two others deceased.
Occupation: Retired (railroad, building maintenance, construction, firefighting and business ownership).
Political/civic experience: First time in politics. "I went through the school of hard knocks and had jobs that required brains, brawn and common sense."
Education: Alexander Ramsey High School.
Viewpoint: "I don't believe we should spend all of our money on these big fancy parks and arboretums that everybody from everywhere else takes advantage of and the citizens of Roseville pay for it. It will run us senior citizens out of our homes." Council needs members with "common sense, not lawyers and people who can buy their way into political jobs."
For more information: 651-484-1008.
AMY IHLAN (I)
Background: Grew up in Columbia Heights; lived in Roseville for five years.
Family: Married with one daughter.
Occupation: Attorney, adjunct college ethics professor.
Political/civic experience: Ran unsuccessfully for council in 2003 but appointed to council vacancy in January 2004, then elected in special election in April 2004. Previously served on board of Minneapolis Mediation Program. Member, League of Women Voters.
Education: Macalester College (economics, business and political science), Harvard Law School, University of Minnesota (Ph.D., philosophy).
Viewpoint: Focused on protecting neighborhoods, local businesses and the environment. Opposed council approval of first phase of Twin Lakes, particularly the tax increment financing and planned inclusion of a big-box retailer. "We need to make careful development choices that control traffic and preserve our parks and green space." Promotes alternative transportation, "such as public transit and pedestrian-friendly streets."
For more information: www.amyihlan.org, e-mail at email@example.com.
TOM KOUGH (I)
Background: Lived in Austin, Minn., until moving to Roseville in 1986. Served in U.S. Air Force in Korea 1951-55.
Family: Married with four children, two others deceased.
Occupation: Part-time steam engineer for General Mills. Former engineer for NRG, Minneapolis, and Hormel in Austin, Minn.
Political/civic experience: Elected to Roseville City Council in 2001. Former mayor and City Council member in Austin, Minn., 1980-86.
Education: Albert Lea Vocational Technical Institute (steam engineering), Army Corps of Engineers School, Fort Belvoir, Va.
Viewpoint: 2006 city budget must limit tax increases to 5 percent. "Elderly people can't stand a substantial increase." Twin Lakes "was wrong"; supports housing element but believes big-box retail proposal violates city's comprehensive plan and that residents do not support project's tax increment financing.
For more information: 651-639-8268. E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background: Lived in Roseville for 30 years. "I still remember when we had a drive-in theater."
Family: Married with three children.
Occupation: X-ray technician, Rosedale Medical Center.
Political/civic experience: Ran unsuccessfully for council in 2004 special election. Roseville Parks and Recreation Commission for nine years, three years as chairwoman. Served on Twin Lakes Stakeholder Advisory Panel. Served on North Suburban Youth Foundation, Roseville Gymnastics Association and Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Commission.
Education: Northwestern Institute of Clinical Laboratory Technology (lab and X-ray).
Viewpoint: An active volunteer, wants to be more active in policy- and decision-making. "We're an aging community, with a school district with reduced funding; there aren't enough small, starter homes for young families who want to move into the area." Retail is necessary for city's tax base, and wants to seek funding for a community center.
For more information: www.galepederson.com, e-mail at email@example.com, 651-489-7900.
Background: Former assistant commissioner for Minnesota Department of Education, former Minnesota assistant attorney general and director of children's advocacy. Grew up in Montana and moved to Roseville in 1988.
Family: Three children.
Occupation: Attorney and mediator, Jesson & Pust, P.A., St. Paul.
Political/civic experience: Ran unsuccessfully for Roseville mayor in 2003. Served on Roseville Planning Commission; League of Women Voters; volunteer counsel for North Suburban Senior Council; District 623 special education and policy advisory councils; St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce; Roseville Rotary; numerous other organizations and committees.
Education: Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. (English and business), University of Minnesota Law School.
Viewpoint: "We need to strengthen our neighborhoods by balancing the housing options affordable to seniors and young families, maintaining our parks and community space, and reducing traffic problems." Wants increased citizen involvement "to ensure that our government respects diverse views and reflects the shared vision of the community."
For more information: www.PustforRoseville.com; e-mail at Tammy@PustforRoseville.com; 651-484-2573.
Background: Lifetime Minnesotan and resident of Roseville for 14 years.
Occupation: Regional sales manager for an industrial equipment company.
Political/civic experience: Ran unsuccessfully for Roseville mayor in 2003 and City Council in the 2004 special election. Served on Twin Lakes Stakeholder Advisory Panel. Member of the League of Women Voters.
Education: University of Michigan (mechanical engineering).
Viewpoint: Focused on "the need for some strategic long-term planning in Roseville, related to demographic changes as well as infrastructure. We need to figure out what we need to be doing in the next several years and how to get from here to there." Supports creation of public safety advisory commission to address "structural issues of police and fire, traffic and pedestrian safety."
For more information: www.roe4roseville.org, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-487-9654.
Background: Lived in Falcon Heights, Latin America, Africa and Europe before moving to Roseville five years ago.
Family: Married with two daughters.
Occupation: On furlough as commercial pilot from American Airlines.
Political/civic experience: First run for public office. "I decided to run after realizing that the current City Council is taking Roseville's residents and businesses in the wrong direction." Served on Roseville Human Rights Commission, volunteered with Minnesota Senior Federation.
Education: University of North Dakota (aviation). Attending Hamline University Law School, expecting to graduate in May with certificate in alternative dispute resolution and law degree.
Viewpoint: "After years of contentious public hearings and council meetings, the City Council has still not fully informed the taxpayers that they will be paying for the majority of the $40 million (in tax increment financing) for the Twin Lakes project. ... The majority of residents and businesses in Roseville do not want to pay for this."
For more information: www.bobventers.org, e-mail at email@example.com, 651-207-9769.
Edition: St. Paul
Index Terms: BIOGRAPHY CANDIDATE PROFILE ROSEVILLE
Correction: Fri., Sept. 9, 2005
A story in some editions of Wednesday's local news section about the Roseville City Council primary election should have indicated that Joy Anderson ran unsuccessfully for the council in 1993.
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