Joyce Hall

Joyce Hall
Joyce Hall

Age: 62

Occupation: Technical college instructor, business owner

Family: Husband, Tim, two daughters, one granddaughter

Prior elected offices: City of Hudson District 6 Alderperson elected in 2015, 2017 and 2019

Civic involvement: Daybreak Rotary , volunteered previously as a WestCAP tutor and Literacy Advisory Committee member, Hudson Library Board. religious education teacher, Girl Scout leader, Williams Bay Women’s Banquet Chair, President of the St. Paul Chapter of the Endometriosis Association, and member of the North St. Paul Solid Waste Commission

1. How do you plan to make the city a better place?

I am running because I believe it is time for a change in leadership. Residents have expressed a desire for a mayor who reflects Hudson’s welcoming spirit and who will listen to them and be proactive. They want to preserve the historic charm of the city with development in concert with the neighborhoods rather than changing the character of the neighborhoods. I am also particularly concerned about the lack of progress on pedestrian and bicycle safety issues near the schools and the downtown parking problems. As mayor, I will address these concerns and approach these and other problems by listening to all the stakeholders and find solutions that reflect our shared values.

As Common Council president and three-term alderperson and as a current member of the Finance Committee, Public Safety Committee, Public Utilities Commission, and Hudson/North Hudson Cable Board, I have listened to and acted promptly to address constituents’ concerns. I have gotten the city and the school district working together to begin the process of fixing safety concerns behind the high school. As a member of the Public Utilities Commission for the last three years, I have successfully advocated for the expansion and overhaul of the wastewater treatment plant and the addition of Well 10 to the city water system.

2. As the community continues to grow, how should the city manage future development and the opportunities and obstacles that come with it?

Future development needs to be carefully planned and spelled out in the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which is currently being developed by city staff and the council with input from area residents. The Comprehensive Plan should specify the types of businesses the city wants to attract and where they should be located while also maintaining the character of Hudson and respecting the environment.

The plan should also include income-appropriate housing such as apartments and smaller houses so that people who work in our city can afford to live here.

With development comes new infrastructure needs. As plans are developed, the city needs to look ahead and anticipate the effect of each new neighborhood on the infrastructure, particularly with respect to additional traffic on streets and its effect on the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. Developments need to be a net positive to the city budget to prevent a tax burden on current properties.

An obstacle to be addressed is the need for public transportation. Currently some residents are not able to get to their doctor appointments, grocery stores or jobs because they do not have access to a car. I will work with local businesses to explore creative solutions to address this issue.

3. Identify and elaborate on any other issues facing the council which you feel to be important.

Visitors to downtown need to be able to find convenient parking near their destination. I will lead the effort to make the parking system effective and easier to use.

Street repair needs to be a priority and I will work with the City Engineer and the Department of Public Works to make sure our roads are safe for everyone.

Mental and physical health issues are some of the biggest problems this area is facing. The city needs to take a leadership role by encouraging activities that enhance our lives and making sure the parks are welcoming to people of all ages and abilities and are places to relax and recharge. I will advocate for inclusion of everyone.

The current council has been careful stewards of taxpayer dollars and I will see that we continue to do that by watching expenses and leveraging grant money whenever possible.

When you vote for me on April 7, you are voting for your values. As your mayor, I will work to preserve the amenities that attracted us to move here and to keep Hudson a wonderful place where families and businesses can grow.

Rich O’Connor

Rich O'Connor
Rich O'Connor

Age: 67

Occupation: Certified financial planner/ financial adviser. owner of AdvisorNet Financial office

Family: Wife, Cindy; free grown children; three granddaughters.

Prior elected offices: Mayor of Hudson, previously Minnesota House of Representatives, Ramsey County commissioner

Civic involvement: Chaired the Hudson Hospital Foundation Board, Current member of and former Chair of the Hudson Area Joint Library Board, Hudson Library Foundation Board, Hudson Hockey Association, Hudson Fathers’ Club. Chair the Hudson Plan Commission, Chair the City Finance Committee, member of the Comprehensive Plan Committee.

1. If you are an incumbent, discuss the committees on which you have served, review any accomplishments to which you feel you have made a particular contribution and share your intentions for involvement during the new term.

Accomplishments: Proposed the Tax Increment Finance District at St. Croix Meadows (former Dog Track site) to provide incentive to attract developers to the site – approved by the City Council; worked with developers and the City’s Community Development Directors to bring the St. Croix Meadows Development (dog track site) to the City Council for approval – approved by the City Council; conferring with the City Administrator, Community Development Director and the Public Works Director proposed a Moratorium on future annexation of property until the Comprehensive Plan is complete and until the state determines time and plans for Interstate 94 and Carmichael Rd. projects – approved by the City Council; working with the City’s Community Development Director proposed the Downtown Tax Increment Finance District to provide help and incentive for downtown property owners to renovate and /or redevelop their properties (River City Center project is an example of this) – approved by the city Council; proposed free parking for Hudson Senior Citizens – approved by the City Council; proposed recognizing Martin Luther King Day as a Holiday – approved by the City Council; working with the new City Administrator and City Department Directors brought the proposed 2020 budget tax increase down from 5.5% to 1.7% - approved by the City Council; secured Hudson as the venue for the 2021 two week PeeWee International Hockey Tournament.

2. As the community continues to grow, how should the city manage future development and the opportunities and obstacles that come with it?

The city is currently at its geographic limits. Annexation of surrounding property is the only way we can continue to grow. Should we decide to annex additional property, future development must be measured and well thought out. We are in the process of gathering critical citizen input for updating our Comprehensive Plan that will provide guidance for the council on what Hudson should look like over the next 10-20 years. Any additions to the city must by law be contiguous and can realistically only be to the east or south. I believe the most responsible growth would be an extension of our business park. Commercial development adds the most to our tax base thus keeping taxes to homeowners down. With River Falls publicly committed to expanding their border northward to our southern boundary I believe we should be looking to extend our business park to the south to expand our tax base and create additional job opportunities for local residents. It should be noted that the land on the east side of Carmichael and south of St. Croix Meadows was identified for annexation and added to our Comprehensive Plan 10-20 years ago. It is also important to note that our recent wastewater study has determined that with the above mentioned development we will have treatment capacity until the year 2040.

3. Identify and elaborate on any other issues facing the council which you feel to be important.

Easing the traffic flow on Carmichael Road is one of the issues I am currently working on. We are planning to widen Carmichael to four lanes from I-94 to the middle school. Additionally traffic congestion at the Carmichael/Vine Street intersection needs to be addressed. Providing citywide transportation for seniors and disabled citizens is important to me. Quietly looming is the issue of ageing infrastructure. Some of our water and sewer lines are over 100 years old. We need to devise a long-term strategy to replace old, weakened systems before they fail. Our boating access to the St. Croix River must be upgraded. The past three years our boat launch has been closed 50% or more of the launch season due to high water. We are exploring ways to raise the boat launch and parking lot to better accommodate access to the river. Money from this will mostly come from Federal and State DNR grants. If we are to annex property for future development the city must look to assure housing that local employees can afford.