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Woodbury elects Amy Scoggins and Andrea Date for City Council

Woodbury’s city council will have a new face in Andrea Date, with voters choosing her alongside incumbent Amy Scoggins following the Nov. 8 election.

Woodbury voters had the tall task of choosing between 10 candidates vying for two city council seats.

Voters elected Scoggins and Date by roughly 28 percent and 16 percent of overall votes, respectively. Close on Date’s heels was challenger Bill Braun, who finished third with 12 percent of votes, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s unofficial tally of all voting precincts.

“I’m honored that the Woodbury citizens have chosen me to represent them,” Date said. “It feels like I have a strong sense of support moving forward.”

Scoggins will begin her fourth term in January, making her the longest-serving council member in the city’s short history. Council member Paul Rebholz did not seek a fourth term, leaving Scoggins as the only running incumbent.

Following Tuesday’s results, Date said Rebholz was among the first to congratulate her on the victory and plans to work with her as she steps her role.

Scoggins said she didn’t run as aggressive of a campaign as others challenging for spots, and relied heavily on her recognition from sitting on the council for the past 12 years and by participating in public candidate discussions.

Both Scoggins and Date ran fairly lean campaigns with minimal advertising and display signs, while others invested heavily in social media, signs, website and other forms of advertising, according to candidates’ financial reports.  

Scoggins said the decision to campaign through mainly public events may indicate that Woodbury voters are willing to do their homework during local elections.

“They don't just look at a name on a sign,” Scoggins said. “They take the time to become educated.”  

With several candidates on the ticket, voters like Kelsey Goneau of Woodbury utilized Facebook’s virtual ballot, which allows voters to see an unofficial ballot based on their polling places.

The feature also links to candidates’ websites and social media pages, which Goneau said is helpful for getting to know candidates’ positions, especially in a nonpartisan race. Goneau also said she relied on other forms of social media to glean issues off of candidates.  

“I was able to see their issues and what they support,” she said. “It’s nice to get a feel for who they are through their websites.”

Both Date and Scoggins highlighted similar agendas they plan to address during the next four years, including the Gold Line bus-rapid transit project and growing concerns about strains to the Prairie du Chien -- Jordan Aquifer, which state agents say could require cities like Woodbury to find alternative water sources in the next 20 years.

While still awaiting more details to emerge about the Gold Line, Scoggins said city officials’ next big step will be making their recommendation to the body of public officials charged with planning the project.

Scoggins said she feels Date’s past experience with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, as well as the city’s Comprehensive Plan Task Force and other advisory committees, will be an asset as the city continues water preservation initiatives.  

“Water is a major concern for me, as it is most people, and will be a priority figuring out to how address that,” Date said.  

Ojibway Park, the redevelopment of Central Park and development in southern Woodbury are also projects Date said she plans to keep on her radar.

Following the results that came in during early-morning hours Nov. 9, Braun said voters should feel fortunate that the city has such access to candidates through local events and other nonprofit groups.  

He added that candidates in this year’s election were all highly qualified for the stepping into the role, and said he feels Date will bring a new perspective for city council.

“She has a skillset that hasn’t existed previously on the council before,” he said.  

Date and Scoggins will begin their terms at the beginning of next year.