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Santini would bring business knowledge, city experience

Jennifer Santini

Editor's note: This Q&A is part of a series detailing Woodbury City Council candidates. Find the rest of the responses here.

Jennifer Santini

  • Age: 37 Education: Bachelor of Arts — Colby College and Juris Doctor — New England School of Law
  • Family: Married and two sons (3 and 1)
  • Occupation: Attorney
  • Community involvement: 2040 Comprehensive Plan Task Force chair, Woodbury Economic Development Commission member, East Side Learning Center board member, Wills for Heroes volunteer, MSBA Probate and Trust Section Council and Legislative Committee member

Why should residents vote for you?

My law degree and years of legal advocacy for families and businesses provides me with the expertise to be an effective member of the council. As a small-business owner, I understand the stresses many local business owners and entrepreneurs face and strive to help guide them to growth and success. I have also proven my commitment to the city of Woodbury by serving on various advisory commissions for the past eight years and, throughout that service, have learned how our city infrastructure works and the challenges we will face as the city continues to develop.

What's the biggest issue facing Woodbury?

Our growth. As the city grows, the strain on our environment, natural resources and infrastructure will continue to compound. Additionally — our growth, coupled with the changes of our current residents, requires us to anticipate and better serve what those changing demographics demand.

What could current city leadership be doing better?

I think as city leadership, we can be better communicators, facilitators and educators.

The Metropolitan Council expects Woodbury to add 20,000 residents by 2040. The city's 2040 Comprehensive Plan addresses this. What is your opinion of the plan and how will you begin to implement it?

As chair of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Task Force, I take great pride in the time spent by numerous citizens serving on the various advisory commissions, the city staff, as well as the public engagement to update the plan. It is important to understand the plan was not a full rewrite from the 2030 plan but rather a revision and update. It is also important to understand that the plan serves as a guide to the city and should not get into the minutia of day-to-day operations of the city. Implementation occurs through many other means of city planning, such as the Economic Strategic Plan, the Parks Plan, the Water Supply Plan and the Planning Commission. It is important that the plan be flexible and adaptable to changes as they occur. It is important to not restrict our ability, as a city, to adapt by putting certain requirements in the plan. I value the Vision & Guiding Principles from the plan as they were derived from direct feedback and input from the community and should be consulted often when implementing any decision. Those sections embody what you, as proud Woodbury residents, feel is important to maintaining a great community.

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