Woodbury City Council Q&A: Paul Rebholz (Incumbent)The Bulletin asked Woodbury City Council candidates the following questions:
Family: Married, two sons
Civic involvement: Woodbury Days (1996); the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce (1996-2002); the Economic Development Commission of the City (1998-2004); the Washington County HRA (2002-2004); UW River Falls Foundation (1998-2007); Woodbury Lions Club (2008-Present); Saint Ambrose Catholic Church and School (1998-Present); and coaching.
Q: Why are you running for Woodbury City Council?
A: I’ve been involved on the City Council the past eight years and enjoying serving the community in this capacity. I have also been an active volunteer in various city and community activities for the past 17 years. We have several critical projects in the planning phase, moving to implementation and I look forward to advancing them further. These include the Bielenberg Sports Center expansion, Phase 2 residential development and Bielenberg Gardens (Urban Village/Commercial) area at Radio and Bailey. I enjoy the comprehensive and strategic planning aspects of being on the Council and hope I to continue those commitments.
Q: What issues do you think are most concerning to Woodbury residents and how do you plan to tackle them?
A: Managing growth, traffic, and economic development remain three key challenges in our community. These are top issues cited by residents during each bi-annual survey. Guided by our comprehensive plan, we will diligently follow this blueprint for development in the community, and the additional planning necessary as we continue to grow, managing the impact on traffic from additional development. We continue to foster and aggressively pursue opportunities for additional commercial and office development, leading to more jobs in our community. Our involvement with Greater MSP is one specific example of implementing our strategic plan for economic development.
Q: Woodbury is a developing community. How do you envision Woodbury in the future, five or 10 years from now?
A: Woodbury will continue to be a vibrant, leading community in which to live, work and thrive (our mission statement). Residential growth in the Phase 2 area – generally south of East Ridge High School – will be nearing completion; commercial development at Bielenberg Gardens Urban Village area will be substantially complete providing critical services to residents in the southern area of our community; we will continue to be recognized nationally as an awesome place for families - young and old alike – to raise kids, work, and retire. Woodbury will have responded appropriately to residents’ needs particularly as issues and concerns evolve.
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: The council, staff, and Planning Commission recently completed updates to our zoning ordinances. Many of these updates were to provide greater flexibility in dealing with a changing marketplace. I do not have any other specific updates, at this time. On the topic of redevelopment, we have already identified this as a critical part of our Economic Development Strategic plan. Our current zoning should provide what’s needed. Future updates will be considered as and when appropriate, and when the marketplace demands they be considered.
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?
A: I support the current recommendations of the task force, and here’s why. We have 300 acres of public open space at BSC/East Ridge. BSC is an economic driver in our community. Our long range plan always included the need to replace our aging bubble. Our plan from the beginning was to extend the existing levy, but not provide for additional levy dollars to support capital improvements. The current business climate provides unique opportunities as we finalize recommendations to expand the project without deviating from the original financial constraint – the existing levy. Our property tax levy is the appropriate financing source.