Council candidate profile: Robert MehlingRobert Mehling has proof he is interested in city issues. He has a degree, actually.
Robert Mehling has proof he is interested in city issues. He has a degree, actually.
Mehling said he had a passion for local government long before he decided to run for Woodbury City Council. The 27-year-old graduated from college with a minor in political science; his emphasis was on municipal management.
Some of Mehling’s campaign issues reflect that interest in local government. If elected, Mehling said he would like to establish “office hours,” outside of scheduled meetings, for council members to meet with local residents at City Hall. A public comment period during council meetings is too formal and intimidating for some people, he said.
More communication is important because it’s about “making people feel more involved in the city and its governing,” he said.
Mehling said he has heard concerns from residents about the need for more residential street lights, and would like to look into that issue. And while the city is known for its walking paths, he said some areas of the city could use more paths.
The city should “generally try to keep (property) taxes as low as possible,” Mehling said. If the city is going to trim its spending, it should look for any redundancies. For instance, he said, maybe there are people in different departments who are answering phones when one person could do the job. Mehling said he is “really pro-growth,” after living in cities that were not growing. Growth is important because it allows a city to provide attractive and popular amenities, he said.
Local issues often are overshadowed by state and national issues, but they are no less important, he said. Cities provide core services, such as emergency responders.
“It’s government at its most basic level,” he said.
Occupation: Graphic designer
Woodbury resident: Four years
Civic involvement: YMCA programs