We took time to correspond with each candidate for city council and school boar in St. Michael-Albertville as we prepare for this important 2018 election. Kevin Kasel, St. Michael Mayor, is running unopposed for a second term as leader of the county’s largest community.
Here’s a look at the Mayoral Candidate
Family: Married to Linda for 32 years, daughter Kayla, son Aaron
Years in St. Michael community: 16
1.How, specifically, would you like St. Michael to grow into 2020 and what is the city’s role in promoting that growth?
The Comprehensive Plan determines where the city will allow residential, commercial, and industrial development. The standards for development are determined by city code. When development happens should be up to the market. The city should allow the market to work and avoid using subsidies, changes city code, or making large changes to the Comprehensive Plan to encourage or discourage growth. The more we allow willing buyers and willing sellers to operate without undue government influence, the healthier our city will be.
2. Residents are often concerned about keeping taxes low and the city’s budget flat. What’s the best way to do that while combating rising costs?
In a growing city it is easy to believe we can afford amenities that larger communities enjoy. However we must always look at how the city will pay for these amenities in the future under a worst case scenario. In the end the main job of government should focus on the basics like maintenance of infrastructure.
3. Families have responded to city surveys stating they’d be in favor of a proposed park or community center aimed at recreation and entertainment. Is this something you could support? If so, what the best way for the city to make this happen?
While these facilities may be popular, they are expensive, and how to pay for them is problematic.
One way to pay for them is to hold a referendum, but I do not believe they would be approved if put to a vote in a general election.
The other way to pay for them would be with current revenues. One of the fees developers pay to the city is for Park Dedication. The reasoning is growth will require expansion of current facilities. As such Park Dedication fees must be used to build new facilities. However since the amount of development, and in turn Park Dedication fees, can fluctuate greatly, a very conservative approach should be used so residents are not subject to a large property tax increase should development slow or stop.
4.How can the city play a larger role in supporting local business?
The best thing the city can do to support local business is to encourage people to shop locally, keep taxes low, and avoid subsidizing new commercial development.