Woodbury City Council Q&A: Mark DoreeThe Bulletin asked Woodbury City Council candidates the following questions:
Occupation: Senior principal mechanical technician at Medtronic Inc.
Family: Wife, Jennifer
Civic involvement: District 2 Community Council (10 years); Achieve Language Academy (six years); St. Paul Planning and Streets and Utilities Commissions (six years), Wilder leadership and Woodbury Community Foundations.
Q: Why are you running for Woodbury City Council?
A: I am running for two key reasons. The first is to bring a voice from all parts of the city to the ears of the council by introducing a representative Ward system. Much like the four chambers of the human heart work together for the health and vitality of our bodies so would a four quadrant Ward system bring strength to our city. Second is the $22 million and rising cost of Bielenberg Sports Center. I continue to hear from residents of our city, “are we asking for more wants than needs in our current economic climate.”
Q: What issues do you think are most concerning to Woodbury residents and how do you plan to tackle them?
A: The top issues facing the residents of Woodbury for the past few years as well as in the future is the rate of development and growth, and the traffic associated with that growth. I will bring a fresh perspective to these issues and employ my experience working with the city of Saint Paul on their Streets and Utilities Commission along with partnering with Washington County. I will help devise the best way to grow and manage both while making Woodbury the optimal place to live in the metro area.
Q: Woodbury is a developing community. How do you envision Woodbury in the future, five or 10 years from now?
A: Under my leadership and working with the exceptional staff that the City Administrator has built; I see the city as the place people will want to make their destination to live and work. With low crime rates and a park system that may be the envy of the Twin Cities, a completed Gateway Corridor along I-94, and the new business park at Manning, these will make Woodbury even more desirable. This in turn will bring jobs and grow our tax base so we continue to deliver the services our residents have come to expect, while maintaining low tax rates.
Q: Are there any parts of the zoning ordinance that you wish to change to accommodate for redeveloping areas of Woodbury? If so, what and why?
A: One of the concerns the residents have shared with me while I am door knocking is, “what’s happening with the State Farm building site?” The zoning of this area is one place I may be convinced will need to be changed. I know from attending several Council meetings that a developer has had offers to bring in different business, but the feedback is that the current zoning does not allow for it. I will work with staff to see what can be done to make that area favorable business development.
Q: One of the biggest and most expensive projects the city has taken on is the expansion and remodeling of Bielenberg Sports Center. Are you supportive of using taxpayer dollars for the project and why?
The Bielenberg Sports Center bubble has served its intended purpose. I agree it is time to replace it; for the safety of those who utilize it and for the staff that works within it. With that said I am in favor of using taxpayer monies to build a new domed playing field and updating the structure to meet current building codes. I am not in favor of adding a water park or splash pad, which has been part of current conversations at City Hall. I think $22 million is a great deal of taxpayer money to spend at this time.