COMMITMENT TO THE RESIDENTS OF WHITE BEAR LAKE
Preserve the history, character, and charm of our city – especially downtown. White Bear Lake is not just another “suburb” but rather a longstanding city with a rich history that is worthy of remembering and preserving for future generations.
Create and maintain an environment where small businesses can thrive. Small business is, and always will be, the backbone of any thriving community. The simplest way to accomplish this is to maintain low property taxes and avoid needless local restrictions that stifle private investment in the community.
Ensure that residents’ voices are heard by their local government. I have observed in recent years a pattern where local officials are not listening to the concerns and wishes of those who live and work in the community. This must change. Local government should always be responsive to those it serves.
I oppose the Rush Line coming to White Bear Lake. I believe the projected ridership rate for White Bear Lake residents is overstated (especially now as companies continue remote work policies), and the claimed benefit to local business is simply unfounded. Even if the data supported a "need" for the Rush Line, the multiple stations needed for this project and the constant bus traffic coming through the city does not fit the small-town character of our community.
Any housing plans and development must be carefully considered in the context of its surrounding area. An otherwise well-intended project cannot result in a fundamental change to a neighborhood setting. I recognize that additional multifamily housing may have a place in the long-term future of our community, but where the development is located is critical. Most importantly, those that live, work, and operate businesses near a proposed development site must have an opportunity to voice their opinion.
Having a strong, active, and engaged police force is essential to public safety. White Bear PD has long enjoyed a great reputation for actively engaging with residents through Manitou Days, Marketfest, National Night Out, Citizen Police Academy, and other community events. Residents of White Bear are fortunate to have this positive interaction. As someone who has represented law enforcement officers, I understand the tough job officers have and the many difficult and dangerous situations they encounter everyday. These men and women deserve our thanks and support, and the backing of leaders in local government.
My top budget priority is to restore the city’s fiscal policy to the frugal approach that made White Bear Lake the envy of so many cities across the metro and state. White Bear used to pay cash for capital improvements; now we borrow to fund these projects. The city has steadily increased its tax levy, and has borrowed through municipal bonds, for the past several years. This is not sustainable. When faced with difficult financial choices, the city, like any business or family, must look to the expense side of the budget, not just the revenue side.