ELECTION: Town of Star Prairie race developsTown of Star Prairie voters will select two supervisors from a field of three candidates. The candidates and their responses to an election survey follow.
Town of Star Prairie voters will select two supervisors from a field of three candidates. The candidates and their responses to an election survey follow.
Name: Gary Hanson
Position seeking: Town of Star Prairie Board supervisor
Family: Single, never married
Municipality or school district of residence: Town of Star Prairie
Year living in community: 22 years in Town Star Prairie, 30 years in Somerset area.
Occupation: Small Business Owner, Bake Star, Inc., designing and manufacturing of specialty bakery equipment for large wholesale bakeries.
Public Service experience: Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics; Jr. Achievement Mentor, Paint-A-Thon, Highway Cleanup, Minneapolis Planning Council, member of Sons of the American Legion, fraternal organizations, ASTM: Sanitation Bakery Standards Board, WITC Student Senate/Alumni.
Two top issues facing the board:
1. The current board has done an outstanding job. However, they have not been anticipating impediments and issues before they become problems. They are spending all their time putting out fires and fighting alligators. They are also not paying enough attention to the activities of other governmental groups that directly impact on our town. As an example, I see Hudson is proposing a storm sewer assessment fee on all property, because they lacked the development planning to have addressed the issue before it required a treatment facility. As a business owner and engineer I have learned to look at issues before they develop into problems.
2. The current board is in negotiations with the City of New Richmond to allow them to annex a section of the town. Although this agreement would prevent future annexation of the town, our board is a little too trusting (i.e.: the big city vs. little town, with a full-time city administrator, 10 times our staffing, when an agreement seems too good to be true, it usually is.) The current draft agreement has a number of problems that will prove costly to the taxpayers of Star Prairie. It provides that we pay for any improvements New Richmond wants to the area, then allows them to annex it, leaving us with the bill (i.e.: paved bike paths, a parkway and an expressway). Further, I am concerned that the agreement is selling out those town’s residents that have a court settlement resulting from New Richmond’s landfill pollution.
Why did you decide to run for office: I decided to run for office because I want to take some of my expertise and a common sense approach to the issues facing our community. Preserving the small town nature of our area, against the changes coming as a result of the new Stillwater bridge.
Name: Thomas John Heintz
Position seeking: Star Prairie Township Board supervisor
Family: Wife Lynsi and 1-year-old son Knox
Municipality or school district of residence: Town of Star Prairie, New Richmond School District
Years living in community: 12 years
Occupation: Owner of TNT Metals
Public service experience: I have been a supervisor on the Star Prairie Town Board for the past two years.
The top issue facing township: I believe the boundary agreement with the City of New Richmond, as it pertains to protecting the way of life for our residents as long possible while allowing for an ease of transition for both entities involved. The next issue in my opinion is being fiscally responsible with the tax dollars of our residents. Contrary to some beliefs, here at the township level our budget is small compared to the area, responsibilities, and amount of roads that we have to maintain. This means getting the most we can out of every dollar and being accountable for those dollars and how they are spent.
Why did you decide to run for office: I have decided to run for re-election on the support of the residents that I have received over the past two years of being a supervisor. I’m thankful the residents support me and my straight-forward approach to the board and its actions. I like the ability to be involved with different people/groups of our township. Our township is very diverse in the individual abilities of residents and that I believe makes us very unique. It allows us to move forward with confidence as a township. Thanks for the past and future opportunity to serve Star Prairie Township.
Name: Patty Schachtner
Position seeking: Town of Star Prairie supervisor
Family: Married to Joe Schachtner, six adult children and four grandchildren
Municipality or school district of residence: Town of Star Prairie, Somerset School District
Years living in community: since 1989
Occupation: Chief Medical Examiner, St. Croix County; Health Care Professional at Somerset High School.
Public Service experience: 16 years with New Richmond Area EMS; 23 years volunteer Star Praire Area First Responders and 20 years as director.
Two top issues facing the board or council you are running for: I feel the two top issues are finalizing the boundary agreement and planning for the future. Finalizing the boundary agreement is very important because the lines of our township need to be solidified. This allows us the ability to plan better for our community. Meeting the needs of a changing community while maintaining the rural setting we all enjoy should be our primary focus. In order to properly plan for the future we need to have a proactive approach when looking at our assets. I also feel board members should look toward the future with a visionary perspective.
Why did you decide to run for office: I believe serving your community is an honor. Being elected for a second term will allow me to continue to listen and act on the residents behalf on local governmental issues.