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Candidate line up for council primary

Two years ago, the city of Rosemount got 23 candidates for its council election, leaving voters with a long ballot to wade through in November. This year, residents will have a chance to pare the field down a bit.

The city of Rosemount will hold its first municipal primary Tuesday, Aug. 10. Six candidates have thrown their names into the hat for the two open positions.

The top four finishers will go on to campaign in the general election Nov. 2. Here is a run down of each of the six candidates.

Mark DeBettignies

Occupation: Business manager

Family: Married with two children and five grandchildren

Mark DeBettignies has served two terms on the city council and said he has enjoyed the experience. Like Shoe-Corrigan DeBettignies thought about what the city has coming up and decided his experience would come in handy.

"There are some things coming up that I feel I should continue to focus on," said DeBettignies.

One of the biggest things he wants to see the council focus on is reducing the tax burden on home owners by broadening the tax base.

He said since he's been on the council they have concentrated on creating smart city budgets. Going forward DeBettignies said he hopes to continue doing that.

Having led a committee on the reconstruction of the 42/52 interchange several years ago, DeBettignies said he wants to keep his finger on the the pulse of what is happening with the project.

"I'd like to see it come to fruition," said DeBettignies.

Having been involved with bringing the library to town, DeBettignies said he also wants to take part in the future of the other parts of the property, which includes the former St. Joseph's Church and school.

Additionally, DeBettignies said he wants to step up efforts to bring more senior housing into Rosemount and athletic fields to property on Akron Avenue that was donated to the city by Flint Hills Resources.

"I've enjoyed my two terms and just think there are more things that I can do," said DeBettignies.

Maila Ellefson

Occupation: Preschool teacher

Family: Married with four children and eight grandchildren

This is the second time Ellefson has run for city council. She also ran in 2008 when there were 25 others running. Ellefson said her first experience campaigning didn't deter from running again.

"I feel like I can make a difference and get things done," said Ellefson.

Active in a number of church and community organizations including the Rosemount Area Arts Council, Ellefson said she is a go-getter and good listener. Both qualities would help her on the council, she said.

"I feel that it is very important to listen to what the concerns are of the residents and address these issues," said Ellefson.

Tim Judy

Occupation: Zookeeper

Family: Married with one daughter

All American citizens should have personal rights, said Judy. And in Rosemount some of those rights have been violated. As a city council member Judy said he will pledge to respect personal and private property rights of Rosemount residents and to restore trust in the local government.

"My desire to return the voice of regular citizens to city hall is strong," said Judy in an e-mail.

Judy said he would like find ways to lessen the burden on taxpayers. And create a council whose mission is to work for Rosemount residents.

Judy said he is well educated and has a good sense of logic. Additionally, he has spent considerable time and effort fighting for what he believes in and will continue to do that as a city council member.

"For years, I have attended Rosemount city meetings and testified at city meetings and hearings. I have met personally with city staff. I testified in defense of private property rights and opposed the city's use of eminent domain against Rosemount businesses at the 2006 Minnesota House of Representatives Local Government Committee session in Apple Valley. I have attended Minnesota State Capitol meetings. I have authored multiple Opinion Letters to Editors of local newspapers regarding city business and businesses," said Judy.

Joe Kurle

Occupation: Residential draftsman

Family: Married with two daughters

Kurle said a decision by the Rosemount Port Authority to take property through eminent domain in 2008 led him to want to run for council. He said the city's decision has caused distrust in the community and as a city council member Kurle said he would like to rebuild the community's trust in their government officials.

In 2008 the Rosemount Port Authority voted to take downtown property that had been classified as blighted from Kurt Hansen to build the Waterford Commons project. The port authority consists of seven members. Four are members of the city council.

Although the matter was settled out of court the city used eminent domain to gain the property.

"I want to bring the government back to the people," said Kurle.

In addition Kurle said as a city council member he wants to focus on managing the city's budget. He said the current council has done a good job and he wants to continue on that pace.

Kurle works in the construction business. He believes his experience in the industry will help him lead the city, including dealing with the growth associated with the UMore project.

Kurle said he wants to be part of the UMore decision to ensure the project is something in line with the wants of Rosemount's residents.

"I want to make sure that residents can voice their opinions about the project," said Kurle. "I know some of the neighbors aren't crazy about it."

Last but not least Kurle said he want to investigate bringing more amenities to town for seniors.

As a small business owner Kurle said he knows how to run an organization and said he's ready to take on the office.

Kim Shoe-Corrigan

Occupation: High school teacher

Family: Married with three daughters

Having been on the council for eight years, Shoe-Corrigan said she went back and forth on whether she wanted to run for a third term.

Eventually though she decided that there are some big projects on the horizon that could benefit from her two terms of experience.

"I think the experience I have is important to share," said Shoe-Corrigan.

Shoe-Corrigan said the pressing items she sees affecting the city are the UMore project as gravel mining starts up soon and continuing to work on expanding the tax base.

"Lifting the tax burden off residents is important," said Shoe-Corrigan.

Shoe-Corrigan said she has enjoyed serving the residents of Rosemount and if elected again will work hard to do it well. She added that if she is reelected, this will be her last term.

Dennis Winsor

Occupation: Executive for a recruitment company

Family: Married with four children

For the last few elections Winsor has been asked by friends and colleagues to run for city council. This time around he finally decided to heed the call.

"I'm a pretty straight forward guy and I call myself a realist," said Winsor.

Winsor said that sort of attitude will make him a good city council member. Winsor said he's dedicated to finding the middle ground and finding solutions to problems that works for everyone involved.

For most of his life Winsor has run one company or another. His experience has given him a lot of insight on how to run an organization.

"I understand budgets and making tough decisions," said Winsor. "I think that better qualifies me than most."

Winsor said there are difficult decisions to be made and he's willing to do it.

"We have to control costs and the tax burden. Things are going to get worse if we don't," said Winsor.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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