Q&A with Washington County Commissioner District 2 candidate Stan Karwoski
• Age: 59
• City of residence: Oakdale
• Years lived in district: 29
• Education: Northeast Metro Technical College, design degree; Metropolitan State University, BA business management
• Occupation: Mayor of Oakdale; Graco Inc., 38-year employee, principal designer, retired 2016
• Notable community and civic involvement: Mayor of Oakdale, 2015 to present; Oakdale City Council member, 2001-2014; Washington County Park and Open Space Commission Member and past chairman; Regional Council of Mayors member; Oakdale Area Chamber of Commerce member; Oakdale Economic Development Commission liaison; School District 622 Education Foundation board member and past president; high school student robotics team mentor; elementary school student reading and math tutor; Oakdale Tree Board founding member
Why are you running for office in Washington County Commissioner District 2?
My decision was made with careful consideration, support, and encouragement from family, friends, citizens, business, and community leaders. Serving effectively as county commissioner, I believe, requires a high level of elected experience and dedication.
I serve as mayor of Oakdale, and before that 12 years on Oakdale's City Council combined with my recent retirement from Graco Inc. provides me with available time and experience to dedicate serving District 2 and working effectively with the other Washington County Commissioners for the betterment of the entire county.
What are the biggest issues in the district you're running for?
Quality of life: When I'm out talking to many citizens in our county, the common feedback is their love of our quality of life. Our quality of life as in one's personal life can't be taken for granted and must always be worked on. I will work diligently to keep our quality of life high.
Transportation: We must maintain and develop good roads, bridges, trails, and transit to meet our future needs.
Smart growth and economics: Our county is growing and that's good, but it must be balanced with a long range plan that helps our economy be strong with good jobs, services, and keeping taxes low into the future.
How do you plan to address these issues if elected?
I will work to keep taxes reasonable with smart budgeting decisions that provide pertinent quality services, great parks, protected natural areas and clean water. Allowing citizens and business to keep more of your hard-earned money gives everyone more control to improve the quality of life for yourself and your family.
We also must have very good long-term transportation plans to meet the needs of our growing county. It must take into account the growing needs of our seniors and also the modern workforce. The future Gold Line bus-rapid transit (BRT) planned through District 2 Oakdale and Woodbury, if well planned, can be a successful part of our future transportation.
What distinguishes you from the other candidate?
My elected and governing experience, which includes: city budgets, road and transit development; park and trails development; business development and relations; collaboration with cities and counties for improvements, savings, and efficiencies; and protecting natural areas, environment, and clean water resources.