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Afton's Snyder, Palmquist seeking new terms in office

This fall will see familiar names on the ballot at Afton City Hall.

This November Afton City Council Member Bill Palmquist and Afton Mayor Pat Snyder will be up for re-election. Both said they intend to file for another term.

Council Member Randy Nelson's seat will also be up for re-election.

Nelson could not be immediately reached for comment.

Snyder, who is currently serving her second two-year term as mayor, said she intends to file for re-election because she wants to continue to see Afton improve.

"I want the progress we've made as a city to continue," she said. "That's not to say that it wouldn't if someone else were elected mayor, but I feel I'm in the best position to keep the momentum we've got going."

Snyder previously served as a City Council member and on Afton Planning Commission.

She said she feels the city is prepared to face development pressures as they arise in the future, but there are still several areas where Afton has more work to do.

One of the main issues Snyder sees facing Afton is the need to balance community needs and desires with a limited budget.

"I think we've been very successful so far and I hope that will continue," she said.

Other issues Snyder said she feels are important to address include the city's levee project, storm water and septic system improvements and working with Washington County on the redesign of St. Croix Trail.

Snyder said she has enjoyed her time serving as an elected official in Afton.

"Firstly, I've really found the issues themselves interesting and I've learned a lot," she said. "Secondly, I have enjoyed getting to know so many people in the community.

"I am not a very outgoing person by nature and my positions within the city have allowed me to meet and interact with so many people I might not have otherwise."

Palmquist, currently serving his first term on Afton City Council, said he decided to file for re-election because he would like to continue working on many of the city's projects.

"I would like to see some of the projects through that we have started working on," he said.

Palmquist said the specific projects he wants to see through include the levee project, the city's storm water treatment plan and working to meet the state's total maximum daily load standards.

Additionally, Palmquist said he would like to do long-term planning for the city's streets and infrastructure needs, including the redesign of St. Croix Trail.

"This project will help with our efforts to revitalize the village commercial district as well as do a better job of handling storm water and treating it before it enters the St. Croix River," he said. "With all of the creative and aesthetically pleasing ways out there to accomplish this treatment I think the two goals for that street design will go hand-in-hand."

Palmquist said he is also aware of the pending development pressures as the economy improves.

"We will need to be open minded to ideas that will maintain our residents' property rights but also work to ensure we are able to preserve the rural lifestyle that makes Afton so unique," he said.

Palmquist said he has enjoyed serving on Afton City Council.

"What I enjoy about being on the council is the opportunity to hear from residents and work to help them in any way we can," he said. "I believe we have all done a lot of work over the last three-and-a-half years to change the tone at City Hall.

"Our meetings have been respectful even during difficult subjects and seeing that change has been a welcome relief to myself, and I believe, most of the people in Afton."

Candidates can begin filing July 31 at Afton City Hall during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Filing will open until 5 p.m. on Aug. 14. There is a cost of $2 to file.

Candidates can also file online at the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.

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.

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