Editor's note: This story is part of a series highlighting Cottage Grove City Council candidates. Find the other Q&As here.
- Age: 36
- Occupation: IT manager / infantry officer, Minnesota National Guard
- Education: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management
- Family: Wife Joeline, daughter Jaylynn, son Nate
Why are you seeking election?
I'm running for City Council because I want to be a Warrior Advocate for all residents of Cottage Grove. Cottage Grove is truly a beautiful, amazing city. We have seen good things come to our city, yet we still face our unique challenges. I want to keep taxes low, grow business and make sure our water is clean and safe to drink.
What skills and qualifications would you bring to public office?
I'm a veteran, serving combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine. I continue to serve this great nation as an infantry officer in the Minnesota National Guard. I've held many titles such as Marine, soldier and firefighter, however none makes me as proud as that of a devout husband and father. I have a solid history of loyalty, leadership and management. I have a unique ability to work with people of different backgrounds and opinions to get results. I'm raising a family here and want to be actively involved in making it a wonderful, safe environment here for generations to come.
What does the city need to do to ensure all Cottage Grove residents have safe drinking water?
I want to delve more into the drinking water issue. I want to know that the resulting actions from the recent 3M lawsuit are actually working to improve our water. An $850 million payout does no good without action. I'm also concerned with the results in our water after hydrant flushing. The first year we lived in our house we saw black water coming out of our pipes, and still see it periodically. Without full knowledge of the issue I place no specific blame, but given the chance, I'll work tirelessly to clean up and improve our water infrastructure. The safety of our population is my priority and I mean that wholeheartedly.
Is the city doing enough to attract affordable and life-cycle housing?
I believe Mayor Bailey has done a good job, and a growing tax base is proof of it. I share his vision for Cottage Grove's future. There's been noticeable strides and I can't wait to be a part of attracting new families to Cottage Grove with consideration for farmland. Our neighboring cities have higher housing costs and if we can keep housing affordable this will prove beneficial in the end.