“To be a progressive and livable community, a walkable village which is sustainable, safe, and secure.”
-St. Anthony Village Mission Statement
Our city’s mission statement represents the foundation for St. Anthony and serves as a guide for me as your city council member. Continued, prudent investment in our city is critical to maintaining this progressive and livable community.
We can see the many results of these efforts. For example, we have been recognized as a leader in collaboration and environmental sustainability as a GreenStep Level 5 City by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Financially, we continue to maintain a Standard & Poor’s AA bond rating, the highest rating a city of our size can reasonably achieve.
Why emphasize St. Anthony’s strengths? Because focusing on our strengths translates into a positive attitude, allows us to tackle difficult issues, and will produce a far better outcome than dwelling on the negatives. As depicted in the movie Apollo 13, an explosion crippled the spacecraft while en route to the moon. With mission control in disarray, the flight director calmly asked this question: “What do we have on the spacecraft that’s good?” The resulting logical and pragmatic assessment became the building blocks for a successful new mission: to bring the astronauts home safely. As a city, we can apply the same principles.
This past year, we have risen to every challenge before us. I’m proud of our staff and especially our police officers, who have been willing to accept critique. The city has voluntarily supported several policing and racial equity initiatives that involve subject matter experts, including the COPS Program, GARE, and the Racial Equity Network Minnesota. As in Apollo 13, St. Anthony has assessed its strengths and responded to challenges in a thoughtful, meaningful way. Work on many fronts will continue; we will never be done improving.
The Southern Gateway project involves many variables, such as density, transportation, affordable housing, aesthetics, environmental contamination, tax-exempt bonds, tax credits, and financial feasibility. My background in commercial real estate financing allows for a thorough understanding of these project variables, and I look forward to using this skill set to help this project fit within St. Anthony’s mission statement values.
As your council member, I will continue to embrace a representative government model, approaching the decision-making process with the best interest of St. Anthony in mind. I ask for your vote on November 7 to continue to build on our community’s strengths.