2012 Dayton City Council Primary Elections

Six candidates vie for two open seats on Dayton City Council. The Primary Election takes place Aug. 14. Read more about the candidates here:

 PHIL FORSETH

CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY: My family and I have lived in Dayton since 1978. My wife Lillian and I are the parents of seven children. We’ve owned and operated Protronics, a television and electronics repair shop in Anoka for 32 years. I served in the Air Force during Viet Nam as a missile guidance technician and did classified missile research and development. I am a member of the American Legion, St. Stephens Catholic Church, the Dayton Lions, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assoc. I served as mayor of Dayton for eight years from 1990-98. I’ve served as a Dayton Public Safety Commissioner for 2 years, and a city council member for the last 8 years. I have also served on a number of other committees and task forces to protect the interests of our community.

TOP 3 ISSUES: Like most cities Dayton has many challenges, the I-94 interchange and economy are probably the two biggest.

We have made great progress on the first, the I-94 interchange. Mayor Doug Anderson went to Washington and with the help of congressman Erik Paulson received a grant for $800,000 to complete the planning for the interchange. We expect approval from MNDOT and the county to be completed shortly. At that point the project will be “shovel-ready.” All we will need to build it is the funding. The interchange will make our industrial and commercial areas on County Road 81 thrive, helping to buy down taxes for the rest of us. It will also increase safety at the interchange in Rogers.

We are at the mercy of the second. The economy has hurt Dayton as it has all of the local communities. We’ve had foreclosures and reductions in value as well as delinquent property taxes. This adds up to reduced budgets, tough decisions and changes in the way we do things. To maintain a balanced budget we have had to make cuts, including laying off staff. Despite these challenges we are in good shape financially. Standard and Poor just ratified our AA-bond rating and we have a nearly 50 percent budget reserve in case of emergency.

Dayton has 1,200 households supporting 32 square miles of real estate; not very many people supporting a large area of land. This drives up taxes, when we plow a road it costs the same whether there are 10 people on it or one, but the cost per home drops when there are 10. When the recession hit we had almost 1,000 new homes being discussed. These homes would have brought down our taxes considerably. I am not for development for the sake of development, my record shows that, but these were nice developments. They conformed to our new open space plan and would have given us the needed tax base while preserving the country feeling and open space we all moved here for. We have some builders starting to show interest again so maybe the end is in sight. We are reaching out to encourage builders to look at Dayton.

Our biggest strength is our people. Our community in the last 20-plus years has weathered many storms but we have always come together, talked it over and found a solution.

When Lil and I got married we spent over year looking for our new home. We found Dayton and we have been here 32 years and have never wanted to live anywhere else. It’s full of good people and it’s a great place to raise kids. A large portion of that time I’ve served on the City Council or Public Safety commission. It seems like I am always asking for your vote, but I am going to ask once again. In return I promise to continue to work hard to make Dayton a better place to live and to be a good steward of your trust.

HILMER HARTMAN

CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY: I grew up in Dayton near the historic village. I attended grade school at P.S. 39 in Dayton where the senior center now stands. I attended high school at Anoka and graduated in 1944. After school, I started farming with my parents. I was drafted into the army in 1953 during the Korean War and served 21 months mostly at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The war ended and I resumed farming.

I was elected to the town board of Dayton in 1960 and served ten years. I helped in getting the merger of the township and the village approved by the citizens. I was elected the first mayor of the combined township and village. I helped in building the Senior Center, the two fire stations and the maintenance building at Diamond Lake. I helped modernize the fire department and organize the firemen’s benefit association. I also served on the fire department for almost 14 years. I worked hard for improved roads and to require land developers to improve the roads instead of the taxpayers. I also helped to draw up the building codes and regulations to make Dayton a good community. In total I served in elected office about 42 years.

Some people will be concerned about my health. In 1996 I had a stroke, which left me partially paralyzed and hampered my sense of balance, and 6 years ago I had a lawn mower accident. Despite this, I am actually quite healthy for someone my age. Aside from my stroke and accident, in the last twenty years I have only needed to see a doctor for my yearly check-ups. I only take two pills every day, one baby aspirin and one for cholesterol.

Throughout my entire adult life I have tried to base my decisions on The Golden Rule.

 

TOP 3 ISSUES: The retiring mayor and council in recent years have expended much energy and expense to acquire an access to I-94 at Brockton. If the council in 1972 had taken my advice when I left office the first time, Dayton would have had access for forty years for free.

Dayton has a history of slamming the door when opportunity knocks. For example, for years I have favored the extension of County Road 121/Fernbrook Lane northward to the river with a bridge connecting I-94 to U.S. Highway 10. Three Rivers Park and Scenic Rivers would no doubt oppose this vehemently. Elm Creek Park extends about 5 miles wide between Hwy. 169 in Champlin and Zanzibar Lane in Dayton. I am told Central Park in New York is only about 700 acres and has two roadways through it, where as Elm Creek Park is almost 5000 acres and has no north/south roads through it. Highway 169 was upgraded through Anderson Lakes Park in Bloomington with minimal impact. A Star Tribune story several years ago cited a MN-DOT study that identified the highway crossing of the Minnesota River in Shakopee to be a major bottleneck to be remedied, and the lack of a river crossing between Anoka and Elk River as a second problem. If properly designed, the extension of County Road 121/Fernbrook Lane would not harm the park, and it would provide a much-needed alternative route out of the metro if an accident occurred on I-94 or 101. It would also make Elm Creek Park much more accessible to the entire metro area. This supports the idea for an extension of County Road 121/Fernbrook Lane through Elm Creek Park.

I believe recent Dayton councils have been wasting taxpayers’ money by hiring expensive staff and consultants who don’t even live in Dayton and cutting back the workers who do the work. If you call City Hall to ask a simple question, you get a 5-minute recorded message that makes you want to hang up in frustration. The city paid for expensive park plans on the Blesi property that the city doesn’t even own, and they also bought the Stephens property which is 17 acres of river frontage, and paid a very high of a price for it. Decisions like these are why the city is in trouble.

 JAMES JADWIN

CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY: Married approximately 40 years to Mary Jo and have resided in Dayton also for approximately 40 years.  We have 2 adult children, both college graduates. I have served on the Dayton City Council in late 1970’s and early 1980’s. I also served as Mayor of Dayton for one term in early 2000’s.  I am a Dayton Lion’s member for over 25 years, and currently a committee member of Boy Scout Troop 204. I am employed as an investigator with a Minneapolis law firm and have been there for over 45 years.

 

TOP 3 ISSUES: Finances, wages, and expenditures.

Finances: The outstanding loan debt right now is $37,606,116 as reflected in the 2011 Dayton City Audit.  The interest, for one year, on the long-term debt for 2011 was $1,558,447. Since the time I was Mayor, this debt has been accumulating. I think we need to review each of the loans to see how the principle & interest amounts can be lowered since, as it stands, we will be hit hard with principle & interest payments from multiple loans in the future. When I left the office of Mayor, many of the outstanding loans were paid off which reduced taxpayer debt.

Wages: Currently, our city employee annual cost is $1,444,444. Our current council has laid off some employees, which has not really addressed this high annual cost.  There has been no wage cuts or across the board freeze in wages but rather an annual increase to some of our higher paid employees. I would like to see each individual wage reviewed with attention being made to wages paid to similar employees by other cities our size.

Expenditures: In the past, the city would have each department budget for major items that are needed and wait until enough money was set aside to make the purchase. This is not being done now rather they are borrowing the money to purchase these items, which is costing the taxpayer the cost of the item plus loan interest. We should go back to budgeting each item before purchase is made. We are currently spending lots of taxpayer dollars on researching projects, which are not approved yet or formalized enough to move forward.  Why doesn’t our current council listen to the people that live in our city and make decisions beneficial to all? I would like to see this wild spending changed.

 

JERRY JORDAN

CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY: I am a very involved patron of the City of Dayton. I have been a resident in this city since 1969. My highest achievements in my time in the city are: volunteer Dayton Fire Fighter for 35 years; Dayton Fire Chief for 10 years; Dayton Fire Marshall for 8 years; Dayton Police Reserves for 4 years; and Dayton Lions for 10 years.

I am also a very involved member of St. John’s the Baptist Church. I am on the building and grounds committee.

I have been a local K.C. member 12 years. I donate my time for the Party in the Park Committee.

Profession: carpenter, construction worker, excavator, truck driver, self-employed

I am a very big family man, I have been married to my wife, Pam Jordan, for 38 years. Son: Chad Jordan; daughter: Katie Ege; daughter: Anna Jordan. I also have 7 grandchildren that are my world.

 

TOP 3 ISSUES: I would love an opportunity to represent the City of Dayton and help the residents of Dayton with the following issues: budget, taxes, future growth and keeping the city safe through emergency services programs

I appreciate the support and look forward seeing where the future leads.

 

ERIC LUCERO

CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY: My wife Erum and I married in 1997, and we have been part of the community for over 12 years since moving to Dayton in April 2000.

In 1998, I started driving commercially for McGlynn Bakeries in Fridley. While driving a truck full time third shift, I attended college during the day.

I obtained my AA in 1999 and my AS in Law Enforcement in 2000, both from Century Community College. I obtained my BS in Law Enforcement in 2001 from Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul. While nearing completion of my bachelors, I became introduced to the field of digital forensics. To acquire the necessary computer skills to complement my law enforcement education, I obtained my Network Design and Development Diploma in 2002 from the then NEI College Technology in Columbia Heights.

In 2003, I was laid off from my McGlynn’s truck driving job when Krispy Kreme entered the Minneapolis market. The layoff resulted in me finding my first job in computers by answering desktop support phone calls from people needing help with computer problems. I decided to return to Metropolitan State University of which I obtained my BAS in Computer Forensics in 2007, and I then obtained my MBA in Strategic Management and Information Technology in 2010 from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Since starting in computers on the Helpdesk in 2003, my career has woven me through several employers and positions. My present role is Principal IT Technologist in the computer security space.

Beginning in 2007, I have also been teaching college courses part-time. In 2010, I obtained my Real Estate License, and in 2011 I obtained my General Contractors License, both to support the small businesses I formed in Dayton (Pride of Homes, LLC and Historic Village Properties, LLC).

 

TOP 3 ISSUES: My goal is to achieve the lowest possible property taxes, highest efficiency of the city’s budget, and implement a strategic approach of both preserving Dayton’s country living while spurring economic growth of both business and housing. I seek to bring a “New Voice” to the Council by providing new leadership, new strategic ideas, and new accountability.

I have been door knocking in all areas throughout Dayton. The top three issues based on the feedback I am receiving from the voices of Dayton residents are: out of control property taxes; the necessity to increase the economic vitality of both business and residential property; and the need to construct the I-94/Brockton Interchange in Southwest Dayton’s industrial park.

In order to achieve economic viability and lower property taxes for Dayton’s future, it is absolutely essential Dayton expand the count of both businesses and residential households within its borders. There are approximately 1,200 rooftops in the city of Dayton comprising a city population of approximately 4,800. The fact that Dayton’s population has fallen below the 5,000-population benchmark has negative consequences for Dayton regarding state funding aid. Moreover, Dayton has a level of fixed operating costs and fixed debt obligations, which cannot immediately be changed. If Dayton does not increase the resident and business base, the net effect will result in spreading the City’s fixed costs over fewer residents in the form of increased taxes.

The construction of the I-94 / Brockton Interchange will spur economic development. Spurring economic development in strategic sections of the city will contribute to the needed increase in Dayton’s population and number of businesses. An increase in Dayton’s population and number of business will help lower property taxes by spreading fixed costs over a greater population base. My goal is to preserve the historical nature, which Dayton has enjoyed for many decades by using a strategic approach to manage Dayton’s growth. The preservation of Dayton’s country living as well as growing Dayton strategically can both be accomplished.

Additional feedback I have received while door knocking include: The need for more effective management of the city budget, reduced property values due to the city not enforcing property upkeep and the high number of foreclosures, sub-standard parks, and poor quality roads.

I have a combined background of both business and strategic thinking. I have made a career of using my strategy and business backgrounds to formulate effective policies to achieve success. I teach these skills to my students in the college classroom and I practice these skills in my personal life. I am the best candidate who will bring new energy and innovative ideas to the Dayton City Council, and I will help implement effective strategy, policy, vision, and quality of life for the future of our great city. My website can be viewed at www.voteforlucero.com. Thank you.

 

CHARLES RICKART

Candidate Biography: I am a seventeen-year resident of the City of Dayton. I have been married to my wife for 28 years and have two children, ages 18 and 23. Both children grow up in Dayton, attended Dayton Elementary School and graduated from Champlin Park High School. Throughout the years I have been active in the community through coaching athletics; a member of the CPHS hockey booster club; as a member of the Northwest Horseman’s Association; as a past member of the Dayton planning commission and past chair of the City’s Assessment Committee.

I am a graduate of North Dakota State University with a degree in civil engineering, specializing in transportation engineering. I am a registered Professional Engineer and Professional Traffic Operations Engineer. I am a part owner and principal with a local consulting engineering firm with offices in Golden Valley, St. Cloud and St. Paul. I have been with the firm for over 16 years and have extensive experience working with city councils and planning commissions on primarily transportation planning and engineering projects.

 

TOP 3 ISSUES: 1. Budget / Finances – Although the city recently received an upgrade in there bond rating, it appears that the city is borrowing ahead and mortgaging our future. How is the city going to afford paying for these bonds when they come due?  How is the city going to continue to provide the current level of service without significant tax or fee increases? These are two of many difficult questions that need to be answered so that all current and prospective residents and businesses understand what the financial impact will be to them in the near term and long term. There needs to be open and transparent discussions on the city’s budget and finances even if the results are not positive. The city needs to put a realistic financial plan together that minimizes impacts to residents and businesses in Dayton.

2. Sewer and Water Connections – The city recently extended the date for mandatory connection for the NE sewer and water project area from Oct. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2015. Although this is good for the affected residents, several issues have arisen with respect to the location of the services not meeting standards and additional costs being incurred. How will the city address these issues after the construction warranty periods have passed? If the city is expecting residents to connect to the systems, the city cannot also expect the residents to pay these additional costs. A plan needs to be put in place on how these costs will be paid and to insure residents that the additional unexpected costs are not their responsibility.

3. Planning for the Future – The city completed a Comprehensive Plan update in 2007/2008 that was adopted in 2009. The vision for the Ccity to the year 2030 voiced by the community was for, ”open space and natural resource protection, preservation of Dayton’s rural character, managing growth appropriately, and expanding the city’s tax base through additional commercial and industrial development.” The guiding principles for development of city goals and policies that were outlined in the plan were to: “protect natural resources; provide for parks and recreation opportunities; guide land and manage growth; plan for an effective transportation system; and create and expand opportunities for employment growth.”  The next required Comprehensive Plan update will not be until 2018. I believe it is time to evaluate how the city has done in following these guiding principles, where the city is at in achieving the vision outlined by the community and make adjustments to the plan as needed.

It is extremely important that any new development be planned in an orderly, thoughtful manner. The primary theme throughout most issues facing the city is planning. It will be extremely important for the next city council to take its time and work with the appointed commissions and the residents of Dayton to plan a city that makes us all proud to be residents.

 

DAVE SALONEK

CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY: I have been a Dayton resident for 25 years, with my wife, Connie, and two children, Jessica and Ryan. I spent 25 years in the meat industry, have raised elk in Dayton since 1993 and made this my full time business creating Elk Marketing selling various elk meat products throughout the US. Graduated from Delano high in 1976, spent a few years in Crystal and bought property in Dayton in 1986 and built our home in 1987. Enjoy the area, have spent 25 years hunting whitetails here and believe that is what brought me here.

 

TOP 3 ISSUES: I believe Dayton needs to see some expansion in the current population area, in the form of very thought out planning to bring the proper residential homes to the city. Also promote some business base to the city to help with the tax base to create the revenue it takes to operate a city without taxing the residents at the current levels. The last 6-10 years these costs have been put on the Dayton resident by over spending beyond the revenues the city has brought in, the economic lapse in housing has added to this problem but the gamble of borrowing today for what might happen tomorrow has created the current situation the city faces This can be corrected but it will take less spending, little or no borrowing and more income to get this on the correct track.

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