Election 2016 Candidate Q/A: City council candidate Jeff Weisensel
1. What would you say is the top challenge facing the city of Rosemount, and how would you address it?
Increasing the city’s tax capacity across the broadest number and types of properties to provide revenue balance for essential city services, equipment and capital infrastructure needed to sustain our community. A strategy to increase the number of commercial and retail buildings is essential and in place today to broaden its tax base percentage above its current 35 percent. Coupled with this strategy is the diligence to continue to be fiscally restrained in spending. City council prioritizes city revenue resources to fulfill our citizens' expectations and to realize a long term vision for the community that is sustainable and prudent in future capital investments, current infrastructure maintenance and public safety needs. There are many pressures on our budget to fulfill many wants and needs. As a city, we need to find more and better private/public partnerships, innovative solutions and technology as well as patience to handle those wants and needs within our ability to pay.
2. Why do you think you should be elected to the Rosemount City Council?
Residents have previously elected me based on practical and positive leadership, productive and results-oriented service and progressive growth vision. Trained as a civil engineer and in the project management profession, I have the knowledge base to address a broad spectrum of local issues including roads, water and development infrastructure. My broad leadership experience on a local level as well as engaging partners on regional, state and national forums provides connections for handling a variety of issues before council. As a competent practitioner, being able to collaborate and communicate are the skills to be a catalyst for change and innovation. I am willing to continue to serve to build a better community for us to live, laugh, learn and love.
3. Rosemount’s population is expected to grow significantly over the next 10 to 15 years. What do you think the city should do to prepare for these changes?
The city is the nexus or convener of connections. We have a “volunteer-rich” community that helps to activate the “neighborliness” and “small town” feeling we all treasure in a growing community. We must continue to create opportunities for everyone to engage as our population grows, ages and becomes more diverse all at the same time. Today we do have long range plans to address infrastructure needs as we experience growth and its impacts. Collaborative outreach into our neighborhoods, schools, businesses and nonprofit communities will allow our smaller yet growing community to be more creative, more diligent and more fiscally restrained at times to live within our ability to pay today to meet the expectations for tomorrow.
4. What steps should the city take to address ongoing facility and recreation needs in the community?
City staff and council engaged our many youth organization partners in the past and will continue in the future. We have many facilities that are not fully completed. Prior to the recent referendum, staff identified $25 million in needs. Council brought to the residents a request to address $14 million of those needs. While it was defeated, the needs still remain. Competition for long range capital funding will require prioritization and a greater reliance on partnerships to share that burden including the school district, youth organizations, business along with the annual city allocation for funding facilities, recreation and amenities.
Occupation: Senior Construction Project Manager, Target Corp
Education: BS Civil Engineering, MS Project Management, NLC Leadership Diamond Certificate
Family: Kathy, wife of 34 years, children Ashley, Kelsey, Lindsey
Civic Involvement: City Council since 2008; Vice Mayor 2009, 2013; Port Authority since 2008; Chair 2010-current; Council Liaison Youth Commission 2011-current; Downtown Redevelopment Task Force 2016; Planning Commission 1997-2004, Chair 2001-2004; Wetlands Ordinance Task Force 1998, 2005, 2013; Dakota Communication Center Board of Directors 2010-current; National League of Cities (NLC); CED-Community and Economic Development Policy Committee 2012-current; NLC University Leadership Fellow 2016-current; Dakota County 4-H Federation Finance Director 2002-2012; Dakota County Extension Committee Chair 2000-2004; American Society of Civil Engineers, MASCE; Project Management Institute, PMI; LEED BD+C, AP; Dakota County 4-H Federation county and project leader, 33 years; Red Cross–Safety Mobile, Blood donor 13+ gal; SOTV Lutheran Church Building Committee 1999-2000; Hearts and Hammers, house captain 2009-2014; RAAA basketball coach six years; Eagle Scout