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Woodbury candidate wants to reduce council salaries, introduce ward system

Mark Doree

Mark Doree said he doesn't feel well represented by the current Woodbury City Council, and one of the things he would change if elected is to introduce a ward system.

Doree was the last one to file for one of two at-large council seats up for election this fall. He joins Joe Grinols and Mike Thissen to challenge incumbents Amy Scoggins and Paul Rebholz.

"After taking a long look at the current pool of candidates I felt that my family wasn't really being represented," he said. "And that's the primary reason why I'm running."

But that's not the only reason why he decided to file.

Doree, who's often seen sitting in the audience at City Council meetings, said he was surprised to see that three of the five council members voted to raise their salaries.

"I was shocked," he wrote in a submission to the Bulletin, "as so many fine citizens of this great city are struggling with a down and out economy."

He continued on to say that if elected he would call for a new vote to have the pay reverted back to previous rates.

"Serving on the council should be seen as a privilege and should focus on the positive direction of our city as we grow and not grow our own net income," Doree added.

He also explained that because all five of the current council members live in one part of the city, he said it would better serve residents if a ward system were to divide the city into a grid.

"That will represent a more even voice on the City Council while maintaining the mayor's position at-large," he said.

One of the major issues he would address if elected is the $22 million price tag for the new Bielenberg Sports Center expansion project.

He said he understands the need for a new facility, but is concerned about the long-term debt it would add to the city.

"Are we asking for more wants than needs at this time?" Doree said.

He is also concerned about pedestrian and bicycle versus car crashes that the city has seen and wants to find a solution to increase traffic safety.

Doree was one of the volunteers to remove buckthorn from area lake shores and has volunteered for the Woodbury Community Foundation and Woodbury Days. He has also served on various committees in the city of St. Paul.

Joe Grinols, who also filed for election Tuesday, could not be reached for comment.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.