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Four Rosemount City Council candidates state platforms, vision for city

ROSEMOUNT — Four candidates will compete for two open seats on Rosemount City Council in the Nov. 6 election. All four spoke and answered questions during the forum hosted by Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 13, inside the city hall chamber.

The candidates are: Tammy Block, Paul Essler and council members and incumbents, Mark DeBettignies and Shaun Nelson.

Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste is running unopposed for mayor and decided not to participate in the forum because he desired all the time to be devoted to the candidates' answers. Maureen Scallen Failor, president of Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, served as the moderator for the one-hour forum.

Tammy Block

As a 19-year resident, Block works as an attorney who practices in Rosemount. She has enjoyed volunteering with schools, athletics, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in Rosemount, and she served on an advisory council for District 196 for Community Education.

Block said her platform would focus on seeing the city obtain more amenities for residents of every age, including seniors. She wants to vitalize downtown Rosemount so residents had more opportunities to stay, shop, work and be entertained in Rosemount.

"I think our downtown can still be a place where so many other towns flock to on the weekends," Block said. Another focus would be to attract businesses and corporations.

"Rosemount has a lot of residential space and residential taxpayers and we don't have as much on the corporate side as our neighbors in Eagan and Apple Valley to offset costs and reinvest back into the community," Block said.

Mark DeBettignies

Incumbent DeBettignies and resident for 34 years and has served on the council since 2002. He has served on numerous task forces and committees and helped lead the Rosemount Planning Commission for six years.

"I feel I have been diligent and effective in making those decisions with our tax dollars in this community," DeBettignies said.

Paul Essler

Essler, a 14-year resident, has developed a passion and love for the community. In his 25-year career, he said he could use his skills in accounting and finance and the commercial and residential sector of the real estate industry.

Essler said his platform would focus on developing a strong master plan with a vision for Rosemount in five, 10 and 20 years. He would look to work with the council and city staff to forecast long-term goals and a pathway to reach goals.

"I want to work on a vision, on what we need and what we can support and we need to be proactive in going after new business and amenities into our city," Essler said. He said he would like to leverage a volunteer group of youth who can give back to the community in a new Rosemount Community Volunteer Association.

Shaun Nelson

Council incumbent Nelson said he wants to continue to be "fiscally responsible with taxpayers' money and I want to continue to support what this council has done over the last decade."

Nelson touted how he would like the city to attract to new breweries. He will champion more police officers to make a safer community. Nelson would like to continue to engage the community to host more community bike rides and encourage the city to host tournaments that will encourage guests to spend money in town.

"This is my fourth year on council ... and I want to continue to be a part of the solution," Nelson said.

The Rosemount City Council forum can be viewed via the city's website, on the city's YouTube or cable channel.