Q&A with Afton Ward 4 incumbent Randy Nelson
Randy P. Nelson
• Age: 51
• Address: 105 Stagecoach Trail S., Afton
• Occupation: Farmer
• Education: High school, some postsecondary
• Family: Wife Julie; daughter Mindy; son in-law Tim; granddaughter Brynlee; and son Alex
• Civic involvement: Planning Commission, one year; City Council, 12 years; Gateway Corridor Commission; Middle St. Croix Watershed Management Organization, eight years; Public Works Committee
Why are you seeking another term for city council?
I feel there is some unfinished business that I want to see through to fruition. I've lived and worked in Afton my entire life and believe I can help keep it a great place for the future.
What are the biggest issues or challenges Afton faces?
Clearly our downtown project is the biggest and frankly most exciting thing happening in Afton. Someone said recently that our downtown is the epitome of what communities all over Minnesota are looking for: quaint, family friendly, great food, nice shops (and) oldest ice cream shop in the state, but it's been neglected for far too long.
I am grateful for the partnerships with the State of Minnesota, Washington County, Valley Branch Watershed—who all realized the value of this project. As well as some federal funding our downtown is going to look better than it has in many, many years.
But more importantly we are cleaning up the environment with flood control and removing failing septic systems from the floodplain.
How do you plan to address these issues?
As I've outlined above, the funding is in place. We plan to start construction early next year.
Since you are running unopposed, what are your goals in the next four years?
Our downtown is No. 1, but beyond that we have road repairs that are long overdue throughout the city. The one thing I've learned after 12 years on the council is that leaving roads unmaintained ends up costing a lot more in the end. We need to be aggressive in tackling this difficult issue.
Any other thoughts?
Afton is where my family has called home for well more than 100 years. It's a privilege to represent the residents in Ward 4.