Editor's note: This Q&A is part of a series detailing Woodbury City Council candidates. Find the rest of the responses here.

Amanda Hemmingsen-Jaeger

  • Age: 34
  • Education: Bachelor of Science – Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development from the University of Minnesota; Master of Science – Genetics from Iowa State University; Master of Science – Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Family: Husband, two daughters, one cat
  • Occupation: Forensic scientist
  • Community involvement: Member of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) Government Relations Committee, including planning of annual lobbying “Day on the Hill” at the state legislature; local union coordinator; member of the MAPE Paid Parental Leave Organizing Committee 

Why should residents vote for you?

I value all of Woodbury's citizens, and will make sure that the city works for everyone. I will listen to you on how to keep this city safe, environmentally sustainable and accessible for this and the next generation. I will use my policy and science experience to comprehensively analyze and examine the issues to make the best decision I can. I am passionate about advocating and am excited to represent you!

 

What's the biggest issue facing Woodbury?

The biggest issue facing Woodbury is the amount and quality of water. The use of funds from the recent legal settlement is of great importance. We need to make sure that contaminated wells are cleaned up, and that our water treatment facilities are up-to-date to handle the clean- up as well as future demands. Continuing to improve our water sustainability through smart water usage at the residential and business level is of vital importance if we want the next generation to have access to healthy and safe water.

What could current city leadership be doing better?

A City Council-mayor team of five people for 70,000 citizens is a challenge for fully representing the diverse interests and needs of the people. Therefore, current and future leadership can improve engagement with citizens. Using technology, multiple platforms of communication and relationships go a long way for residents to feel a part of a community. Having a culture of transparency and proactive communication will help city leadership truly advocate for their citizens.

The Metropolitan Council expects Woodbury to add 20,000 residents by 2040. The city's 2040 Comprehensive Plan addresses this. What is your opinion of the plan and how will you begin to implement it?

I appreciate the hard work the commission has done to create a broad and thorough strategy for the future of Woodbury. It is important to keep in mind that this long document states guidelines for a vision and goals for the city, and admits the many limitations of the plan. I will use my science and policy experience to balance the 10 guidelines for the city, discuss trade-offs when introducing policy, hold the City Council accountable to Woodbury's citizens and develop a plan to engage, inform and solicit feedback from the community to keep the plan on the right track or change it as needed.