If there's an issue that is important to you and you don't know where I stand, please reach out!
Affordable housing is always a topic that comes up. It is important that we have affordable housing for residents. It is important that the city work to maintain housing affordability and work with different groups to create options. Special Assessments and Property Taxes play a roll in affordability and is important we take an approach to those areas with affordable housing in mind.
I've long thought that the policy with boulevard trees should be updated. In my neighborhood, we have overhead power lines. Every couple of years, Xcel sends out crews to trim trees near the power lines (both boulevard and in your yard). Some of the trees in the neighborhood have been butchered and are shown as examples of what not to do for adjacent property owners to maintain those boulevard trees. I believe, that with an additional $1.50 a month, maybe a bit more, there can be a crew or two to help maintain the 11,000+ trees. The benefit here is that any street you drive down, you'll see beautiful trees which provide many benefits. The City of Fargo has a utility fee that funds crews, I think West Fargo should adopt something like that.
Collaboration with neighboring jurisdictions
I think collaboration is good. When projects or opportunities come up for collaboration with neighboring communities, I will evaluate each one individually to determine if it is in the best interest of the residents of West Fargo.
My short answer, when asked if I support the FM Diversion, is "yes". My longer answer is that I see the need for it, and can see what benefit it would bring to West Fargo and the rest of the region. The parts I don't like is the rising costs and a couple of stories I've heard about buyouts that were unfavorable to landowners. With the diversion being built, many will benefit from being moved out of the flood plain, thus putting money back in their pockets as they wouldn't be required to carry flood insurance.
When it comes to Incentives, I want to assess each one individually. There have been times where an incentive was requested with no change in the workforce immediately, but rather a decline a few years down the line. The argument for that incentive was the construction workers it would bring in, but I would wonder if they would be working on a different project. Incentives can be helpful in attracting businesses and residents to the area. It's looking at the whole picture for each one to evaluate and make sure that the decision that's being made is in the best interest of the Residents of West Fargo and other stakeholders.
There is a lot of conversation happening around the Legacy Fund and what it could be used for. The Legacy Fund funds a lot of the state budget, and also feeds the Prairie Dog funds after each bucket fills prior to that one. What I'd like to see with any investments or spending done from the Legacy Fund (or any earnings from it) are sustainable investments that can make a return on that investment. What I want to see is something that is sustainable, for the long term, and will leave a legacy for future generations.
There is a discussion about the expansion of the library, even adding a library building on the south end of town. This is something I support. My family uses the library often, and it's a great resource for the community.
Overall, I'm fairly anti-tax. I do understand that the city provides services that are needed by the public and need to be funded. However, I want to make sure that the tax revenue is being spent wisely and providing the service at a high quality, while potentially making cuts or utilizing tax revenue more effectively in the budget.
I've heard term limits brought up a few times while campaigning. I'm a supporter term limits. While I'm not sure what would be appropriate for a City Commission seat, it is something I'd like in to and welcome any feedback.
Vision for West Fargo
My vision for the future is to have a city that my children would be proud to raise their families in. We’ve seen this happen many times here in West Fargo with children growing up in West Fargo and then raise their family here. I feel this can be done while continuing to grow our strong neighborhoods and being smart with the budget and other spending and investments.
West Fargo Comprehensive Plan (West Fargo 2.0)
I think it's great that there's a plan in place to help drive the strategy and focus of West Fargo. I think it's something very important when looking at building a strong community. There is one area I have been focused on when my interactions with the City over the last year-plus, and that is maintaining or improving the current high quality of life. I believe there have been, and are some decisions being made that directly impact Residents and is diminishing their quality of life. I want to ensure decisions aren't being made at the sacrifice of any Residents' quality of life.