It's a two-person race in a special election for an open seat on Cottage Grove City Council.

The Nov. 5 ballot includes candidates Roman Kreeger and Justin Olsen.

One of them will fill a vacancy left by the departure of sitting council member Wayne Butt. Butt was appointed to City Council last year to replace Wayne Johnson, who was elected to the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Voters should note that they may be casting their ballot at a different location this year. In 2018, the City of Cottage Grove rearranged precinct boundaries.

For polling locations, visit https://www.cottagegrovemn.gov/government/elections/voting_locations.php

Name: Roman Kreeger:

Information not available

Name: Justin Olsen

Age: 49

Address: 7165 71st street south, CG 55016

Occupation: Retail District Manager

Education: Park High - CG, University of MN - Twin Cities

Family: Wife, Kim - Son, Corbin (17), Daughter, Rose (15)

Civic involvement: See below

What makes you qualified to serve on Cottage Grove City Council? I was blessed to serve our community as a twice elected City Council member in 2008 and 2012. Volunteer Public Safety, Health, and Welfare commissioner for four years before first seeking election to the City Council in 2008. Past President of the Cottage Grove Strawberry Festival Committee, Former Vice-President of the Cottage Grove Economic Development Authority, Past Vice-President of one of our local Lions Clubs, and longtime volunteer coach for CGAA youth sports.

What is the biggest challenge facing Cottage Grove and how would you address it as a city council member? Fiscal responsibility that properly balances our city’s overall tax levy, bond rating, & infrastructure needs for the long-term prosperity of our community. I will aid in addressing this challenge by working closely with city staff and other council members on line item budgeting by department to ensure we are spending wisely where needed without incurring unnecessary expenses, while simultaneously working to expand our tax base through sensible growth.

What life experiences would you bring to the job and how would they affect your decision making? Over 25 years of Multi-Unit Business Management Experience in a variety of Retail & Wholesale Industries that includes responsibility for managing budgets exceeding $100 Million annually will serve to inform all spending and budgetary decisions throughout my tenure on the council.

What will be your top priority if you are elected and why? Sensible growth in our business sector to increase our city’s tax base and create living wage jobs will be my top priority so we can fairly manage our property tax levy while simultaneously supporting the high level of service delivery and infrastructure management residents deserve from local government.

What sets you apart from your opponent? I grew up in Cottage Grove, graduating from Park High School in 1988. I've served this community in a variety of volunteer related capacities for many years in addition to my prior service as a twice elected member of the city council. Those experiences have given me an intimate knowledge of the city, its history, future vision, and the shared values of our residents - which were instilled in me as I grew up in Cottage Grove, went to school here, and settled here with my wife to raise our family.