City council: Tim Judy
The development of UMore will be big job for the city council. What do you think of the proposed plan? How do you think the city should handle it?
Having had architecture coursework at the U of M, I have for a long time been interested in the experimental community of Arcosanti, located in the Arizona desert. January 1989 my family visited Arcosanti, almost 20 years after building had begun, and not much had been done. Twenty years later, this project has progressed very slowly and is not even close to finished. The Italian architect is now 91 years old. Who will guide this project when he is gone? I believe UMore Park will be similar to this.
Much closer to home, we have another stunning example that should stand as a forewarning. The envisioned town of Jonathan, now a development within the city of Chaska, was the idea of Minnesota State Senator and real estate developer Henry McKnight. It was begun in 1967 as a planned community and, like UMore Park, planners chose a site outside the Twin Cities.
Jonathan became the first new town in the United States to receive a guarantee of financial assistance from the federal government as part of Title IV of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968. This was granted in 1970 and in 1979 the development corporation folded and Jonathan was annexed by the city of Chaska. Jonathan was to have a town center, shops, and high density housing. By the 1980s the population was to be 50,000. Today, Jonathan is a neighborhood in a homeowners' association of about 8,000 residents.
I think Rosemount should distance itself from UMore Park. UMore Park should be an incorporated city of its own. Many projects like this have stalled and end up costing taxpayers a large sum of money to finish ... if it ever gets finished. I do not want to see Rosemount taxpayers footing the bill for this project in the future. If state officials want to see UMore Park built, then the state should be responsible for all costs.
The mining of sand and gravel is unlikely to pay for much more than the beginning stages of UMore Park. Where will the money come from after that? In the next 20 to 30 years, the costs associated with this project could potentially increase 100 percent or more.
Residents have been encouraged to attend meetings about UMore and give input. My position would be to make sure Rosemount citizen taxpayers get a fair deal with the UMore project and resident input is actually supported by our elected officials at city hall.
The next few years will continue to be challenging, financially. What would your priorities be when setting a budget?
Priorities have to be to provide basic services to the citizens of Rosemount. If we encourage UMore to be separate from Rosemount, we can concentrate on our own city.
With no money to do development projects, we would not need city planners and community development staff. We could keep more day to day staff working for the community with the money saved from letting go higher paid staff.
What is the role of the city in attracting development?
One of our town's largest industries to give residents a big tax break was Genz-Ryan who left Rosemount because the city did not try hard enough to keep them in town. It seems easier to keep the businesses you have rather than to go out and try to attract new ones.
The city has no business forcing new businesses to relocate only where they want them to. Businesses must have the choice to seek out and find the location that best suits their needs.
It is not attractive to incoming businesses to be overwhelmed by needless and multiple permits and have to wait around while the planning commission and city staff create new laws and additional fees to hold up the process. Minimum government involvement and supporting individual needs of businesses is what is needed.
What is the most important issue facing Rosemount and how do you hope to address it?
Individual citizen respect and personal rights of Rosemount residents.
I am pledged to respect the personal and private rights of individuals. I will fight to permanently protect the right of all Rosemount residents and businesses to own private property.
Citizens deserve a government that uses common courtesy in dealing with residents and is friendly toward the people. A user-friendly government will make a world of difference to our town. Respect for the wisdom of citizens will help our city bring about solutions to the complex problems we face today.