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Afton: Meyer wants back on council

It has been four years since Kuchen Meyer found herself sitting at the council table in Afton City Hall.

Meyer served as the Ward 2 council member from 2002-2006, but in 2006 she lost her seat to current city council member Joe Richter.

Now, Meyer said she is ready to get back into the council seat.

Meyer said the biggest issue that has inspired her to serve once again is the pending possibility of Afton becoming a charter city.

"The charter commission and the Afton charter has brought me back into the arena -- I'm a proponent of the charter," she said.

Meyer said she supports the proposed Afton Charter because it gives Afton residents the opportunity to have more input in the city.

"I would like to see people have more say in their government -- give citizen a bigger voice," she said. "The charter takes some of the unlimited power from the government and puts it back in the hands of the citizens."

Meyer also said she supports the charter because it makes officials more accountable.

Meyer cites the example of the Pearson property in Afton, where the city council rezoned a commercial property residential. She said this is a perfect example of officials having unlimited power.

The council's actions resulted in several lawsuits.

Meyer said a charter would prevent the City Council from changing ordinances whenever they wanted.

"Whether you like them or not, ordinances are the law," she said.

In addition to the proposed charter, Meyer said she is very concerned with Afton's continuous high legal fees.

"The legal fees, and number of lawsuits are ridiculous," she said. "We need to bring more reasonable minds into the local government."

Additionally, Meyer said she would like to see the council keep citizens better informed.

Meyer said she would bring a reasonable mind, an ability to negotiate to the council. She also said she is a great listener.

"Reasonable minds is what we need, not absolute power," she said. "We need to come together and look at what we want for the future of Afton."

Kuchen Meyer

Age: 53

Occupation: technical service specialist

Family: Married, two sons, one daughter, two grandchildren

Afton resident: 19 years

Civic Involvement: Afton City Council from 2002-2006, Lower St. Croix Water Management Organization, vice-chair of the St. Croix Valley HRA

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976