Thank you to the people of Shoreview for electing me to serve as your 2023 mayor. I appreciate your support and whether you read a campaign flyer, helped distribute them, hosted a sign or voted, it all made a difference and is appreciated!
As our city moves forward and our 26-year Mayor Sandy Martin retires, it’s important to continue our legacy of being a community with stable and forward thinking leadership. We are also a community that invests in the community, infrastructure, has a AAA bond rating and is fiscally responsible through a tradition of maintaining lower than average taxes and financial planning. Your votes demonstrated support of that type of leadership and I commit to continuing it.
Let’s work together to continue our success. Thank you for your support!
Last week I had the opportunity to have a first look at Shoreview’s Cafesjian Art Trust Museum and it’s an exciting addition to our community. This museum houses the collection of former West Publishing executive and philanthropist Gerard Cafesjian. The museum features primarily glass art, including the work of Dale Chihuly. Within coming months, the museum will be open to the public through tours by appointment. In addition to the art, the museum also will feature a library on the arts. The facility includes an a floor to ceiling Chihuly chili pepper glass sculpture and two outdoor sculptures. You may know the Cafesjian name from the Cafesjian Carousel in St. Paul’s Como Park.
Today I watched a team of volunteers plant a pollinator garden following their planting of an accompanying rain garden. The garden was the vision of the Arden Hills/Shoreview Rotary Club and had their financial support but additional funding was needed to complete the project. With the help of a grant from the Shoreview Foundation the project was set in motion.
Enter Ramsey County with design expertise, the Rice Creek Watershed District with design and location ideas and the City of Shoreview with pollinator and rain garden native plant recommendations. Once the design and location were determined, volunteers from both the Rotary and the Shoreview Garden Club did the planting and completed the project. An idea germinated into reality today and the results are both beautiful and environmentally beneficial.
Sixteen years ago I first volunteered for the city of Shoreview on the Economic Development Commission. It was the first time I became involved with local government and Economic Development always interested me. Our city staff and our team created a Business Retention and Expansion program to both identify our key businesses and build outreach to them toward keeping them in Shoreview and helping them grow.
Nine years later I was appointed to the Economic Development Authority where I still serve. This group works on housing policy, identifies needs and builds programs to help with affordability, low cost loan programs for residents including down payment assistance and policies that provide guidelines for developers and protections for renters.
In 2016 I ran for City Council and was honored to win a seat that I still hold. During all of these transitions, our city was led by our current Mayor Sandy Martin. Her leadership provided balance and transparency. She balanced the needs of the city and citizens, worked hard to build trust with the community through transparent government and managed to hold taxes down while expanding the Community Center, and continually investing in parks and trails.
Now our Mayor is also transitioning to retiring from her office. My transition is to run for Mayor in 2022, intending to sustain the success and stability of our community while looking toward the future needs of the community. I don’t believe I would be running for Mayor without learning from one of the best. I intend to do my best to live up to her legacy.
After a successful 2020 re-election to the Shoreview City Council (thank you so much Shoreview voters!), it’s on to a new year.
The City Council continues to meet virtually at this time. We look forward to meeting in person again as more are vaccinated and it’s safe to do so. Citizens, as always, are welcome to attend these virtual meetings and participate. One of our city staff watches for any citizen comments throughout every meeting to ensure that all who choose to participate can do so.
In addition to participating on City Council, I continue to represent Shoreview as a member of the Ramsey County League of Local Governments. We hold monthly virtual meetings with speakers or panels for all RCLLG members. Members of this group include all Ramsey County elected officials at the county and city levels, city staff, school boards as well as individual and associate members. RCLLG also has a sub-group that is working on Mental Health needs, utilizing the concerns and efforts of all members. This group is in its early stages of identifying key actions.
As part of my City Council role, I continue to also serve as the Shoreview representative on the Lake Johanna Fire Department Board. This board is also comprised of other member cities (Arden Hills and North Oaks) and members of the Fire Department. We meet to review the Relief Fund and LJFD activities which range from service levels to financial activities. A key part of our regular meetings currently is to review progress toward building a new fire station in Arden Hills which will eventually replace the current station at Victoria and County Road E.
On the City Council side, we continue work on the redevelopment of Deluxe Corporation’s site and ongoing activities around Phase 2 of the Shoreview Commons project. Design plans for the Commons project have been approved and the project will soon be bid. Phase 2 includes a Friendship Garden and creative playground areas. During a visit to the Commons area, this week, I noted people using the walking paths and skateboard park even on a blustery day. Phase 2 improvements will bring even more opportunities for using this expansive outdoor space.
My first experience volunteering on a Shoreview Commission was when I applied for the Economic Development Commission. Economic Development had always been an area of interest for me yet the experience on the Commission gave me back much more than I expected. I felt more engaged with the local government, with my city, met fellow residents and city leaders and learned so much!
There are currently openings on 5 Committee/Commissions. The openings are with the Planning Commission, Economic Development Authority, Bikes and Trailways , Parks and Recreation and Environmental Quality Committees.
Applications are available at www.shoreviewmn.gov website and can be submitted until November 20, 2020.