Public safety is of the utmost importance. Our Director of Public Safety and the public safety department have always done an outstanding job making our community a place where most of us seldom think twice about our well-being.
The department has also gone through significant changes in recent years. It is time to review our current model to assess whether or not it is effective and is serving the best interests of our community.
As the population of our city continues to grow, we need to be developing a strategy to ensure our Department of Public Safety has the resources it needs to continue providing a high level of service that our residents deserve.
Our infrastructure is aging, and the increased population means it is enduring more and more wear. While many of our roads and trails are currently being improved, this issue will never go away and therefore we need to be proactively reviewing the existing Transportation Management Plan to be prepared for the inevitable rather than reacting once our infrastructure begins to fail.
A thriving and desirable business community helps stimulate our economy, adds revenue to our tax base and provides residents with conveniences and job opportunities. I want existing and potential partners to know that Lino Lakes is open for business! We should be willing to work together to create partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
Lino Lakes has remained stagnant — just look at the many vacant storefronts. While our surrounding communities prosper by welcoming diverse businesses, Lino Lakes only seems to mostly open redundancies of existing businesses. Our community is not big enough to support them all, so all too often the smaller entities are forced to
close. That’s not fair to residents or business owners. We need to review existing policies and find a better way to
be more business-friendly.
Our schools are the lifeline to our future. I am proud to say that all 3 of my children have attended the local schools. Many of the faculty and staff are residents of our community. I have had the honor of getting to know numerous members of this group over the years and have formed relationships and friendships with many of these amazing individuals.
If we do not support our educators and schools, it is unreasonable to expect them to be able to maintain or achieve the level of excellence we all want for our children. The relationship between the city and the local school districts is critical in so many ways. I will ensure that relationship thrives!
For years, the Lino Lakes leadership has been touting their record on keeping our tax increases negligible. What they haven’t been telling us is that the city has been bonding many of our expenses. A bond is a loan and like all loans, they require repayment. From December 2014 to December 2018, our bonded indebtedness has increased from $18.75 million to nearly $24 million. That is a 28% increase in 4 years. Conversely, our revenue for for the past 4 years has only increased by 1.1%. View the Lino Lakes Adopted Budget
At some point we will need to make up this deficit. Based on our current model, the only way this could be accomplished is through significant increases in your property taxes.
We need a new long-term model. One that includes increased tax revenues from new businesses.
Having a productive, harmonious relationships with our neighboring communities contributes to the quality of life in our city. In the past decade, members of our city government have alienated our neighbors to the point that they are reluctant to engage or collaborate with us.
It is imperative that we reestablish the relationships and trust we once had with them – this will only benefit all of us as a larger community.
Lino Lakes is a Charter City. Our Charter document, enacted is 1982, defines how our city is organized,how it functions and all related procedures. The Lino Lakes Charter Commission is a 15-member body of residents appointed by a District Judge to oversee the City Charter.
Part of the intent of our City Charter and Charter Commission is to provide our citizens with a checks-and-balances system to ensure the City Council does not overstep its authority. In recent years, that balance has significantly been swayed in one direction, leaving our citizen representation paralyzed. I will work to restore the relationship between the Charter Commission, city government and residents while ensuring the Charter is honored, revisiting its intent and effectiveness.