Q&A with Washington County Commissioner District 2 candidate Cheryl Anderson
• Age: 56
• City of residence: Birchwood Village
• Years lived in district: 16
• Education: Bachelor's of arts and licensed social worker in Minnesota
• Occupation: Administrator/owner of Social Service Solutions Inc.
• Notable community and civic involvement: Public service experience includes: chairwoman of the Citizens' Review Panel for Child Protection Services in Washington County, also served as a member of Washington County Citizens Advisory Committee, both assignments were County Board approved; board and committee member on Ally People Solutions Inc. for 14 years; experience with successful lobbying at the State Capital for funding and services
Why are you running for in Washington County Commissioner District 2?
In 2002-2007 and 2007-2008, I served on two committees for Washington County: The Citizens Review Panel for Child Protection Services and the Citizens Advisory Committee.
I had the opportunity to meet and work on projects with the staff at Washington County. I enjoyed working with the Washington County staff and learning how the county operates. I decided that I would welcome the opportunity to someday run for a seat on the County Board.
In May I attended the County Board meetings and decided I wanted to try for this opportunity. I was honored to win enough votes during the primary in August to take me to the general election on Nov. 8. I look forward to the results on Nov. 8.
What are the biggest issues in the district you're running for?
The No. 1 issue is the proposed Gold Line bus-rapid transit that is projected to run from downtown St. Paul's Union Depot traveling along Interstate 94 east and ending in Woodbury.
Currently Washington County is obtaining feedback from residents and local businesses on the draft proposal for the Gold Line. Washington County does not have a transit system to connect to St. Paul and Minneapolis. If you live in Washington County and you work, you most likely will need a car. The younger generation and seniors want transportation options.
The second issue needing our attention is to look at how Washington County can bring in corporate businesses that provide careers with great benefits. Since the end of the Great Recession, Washington County has experienced growth in the following service industries: retail, restaurants, grocery stores, and hospitality services. Two large corporate businesses moved out of Washington County. It would be good to add new businesses to bring in different types of employment options and to add to our tax base.
The third issue is the changing demographics of our county. I know Washington County is studying the expected projected needs of its citizens as we age and examining how to attract new residents. I would like to work with the citizens and Washington County to develop plans moving forward to address our changing demographic needs. Questions that come to my mind are: what are the anticipated service needs, do we have enough providers, appropriate housing, transportation options et cetera?
How do you plan to address these issues if elected?
It would be a priority for me to be involved in every aspect of the proposed Gold Line project. I would solicit feedback from all stakeholders and work as a member of the team to determine if the proposal is going to move from the proposed stage into the project development stage.
For the second and third issues that I have identified, I plan to work with residents, business owners, staff at Washington County, state leaders, et cetera, to network and identify proposals and potential projects to best meet the needs for everyone in Washington County.
What distinguishes you from the other candidate?
I would bring to the County Board 30 years of advocating on the behalf of others. I am passionate, a great listener, and I vow to work hard. I enjoy meeting people and learning as much as I can.
Change is good, I am ready, and I welcome the changes that I would be presented with if I am elected to represent the residents of District 2.