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Mayor: Bill Droste, Incumbent

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?

UMore Park is nearly 5,000 acres of green space, with approximately 3,200 acres in Rosemount and the remaining acres in Empire Township.

The proposed plan to develop UMore Park included the following principles;

• Advance the University's research, education, and engagement mission.

• Ensure that all planning and development activities are conducted to the highest standards of fairness integrity, and sound business practice.

• Respect the needs of neighboring communities.

• Protect and enhance the value of UMore park.

• Retain oversight of UMore Park planning and development.

• Plan in such a way so as to optimize the value of UMore Park.

• Improve the long-term financial health of the University.

• Utilize market value as a benchmark in assessing alternative strategies.

Although these are board of regents principles, they provide a structure that will ensure good quality development. The proposed gravel mining requires us to look both long and short-term regarding impacts to the city and existing homes to the west and north of this property. Because of the size of UMore Park, the concept plan offers many opportunities that would not be afforded to normal development of much smaller size and forces us to take a long- term view. Development will be a long process involving many decades, however if it is done well, it will be a highly sought after area to live, work and play.

The next few years will continue to be challenging, financially. What would your priorities be when setting a budget?

Eight years ago, Rosemount had the highest tax rate in Dakota County. Since 2003, we have consistently worked at moderating that rate to position Rosemount in a competitive range within the county by reducing the tax burden on business and households. We did this through long range planning, managing debt and delivering services in an efficient and creative manner. During this time core public services i.e. police, fire streets, water, etc. remained priorities. Because of the reduction of property market values and the lag factor associated with property values, we will need to continue looking for efficiencies and new ways to deliver local services.

What is the role of the city in attracting development?

The city has the responsibility to plan for projected growth and ensure plans are coordinated with regional systems including transportation, sewer, water and utility systems. Plans must also be in tune with markets and changing demographics. Housing stock will need to change to meet the demands of aging populations. Rate structure's for building permits must be reasonable and the permitting process should be efficient and streamlined so that we are not driving development away to other communities. Cities can influence development by working with the development industry to assist in looking for opportunities to grow. We should also work with citizens to identify gaps in services and create plans to fill those needs.

What is the most important issue facing Rosemount and how do you hope to address it?

Creating a strong job base is the most important issue facing Rosemount. When people are employed and you have strong economic growth most municipal financial issues are minimized. Three key elements for job growth are infrastructure, competitive tax base and pro-growth business strategies. Focusing on these issues will benefit job growth in Rosemount and the region over time. The proposed development of UMore Park will provide many opportunities and challenges as plans evolve. When the business park element is implemented, it will add value to the region through job creation, workforce development, business development, entrepreneurial opportunities and education. The funding secured for a transit station scheduled to be built in 2014, is a component that also supports future job growth.