City of Plymouth: The City of Plymouth is the Seventh largest city in Minnesota (with a population of almost 80,000) and the Fourth largest economy. Plymouth has had a large amount of growth and most of the city is built out except for some areas in Ward 1 (see growth and development). Many years ago, Plymouth was voted one the best cities to live in. My focus is to bring back that notion that Plymouth is the Best City to live in.
Background: I am currently the City Councilmember for Ward 1. I do wear many hats and am able to balance supporting my constituents with my other responsibilities, and it has been wonderful to hear their needs, get to know City Staff as well as understand the role and process of City Government.
I am educated formally as an RN (U of MN) as well as I hold an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation.
I am a business owner, author, speaker, mom of two school age children, wife and educator.
I have spent a lot of time serving on the Plymouth Civic League putting on Music in Plymouth as well as a Trustee on the Endowment Fund for Music in Plymouth.
My family and I attend St Mary’s of the Lake in Plymouth. In my free time, I dedicate my time to volunteering to help make the community a better place.
Representation in City Government: I believe that the role of City Government should be focused on infrastructure to provide services to residents. Fire, Police, Utilities, Parks and Rec, Roads and streets are what I feel the role of City Government includes. I don’t believe that City Government should be a partisan role and feel we should stay out of politics. No matter the side, we all need solid streets, effective utility systems and beautiful parks to enjoy.
When the City is focused on these issues, it can provide efficient services and also keep the cost to all residents low. My focus on the Plymouth City Council, from hearing from Ward 1 residents, has been to keep the taxes low in our area and be focused on our core services.
Commercial: The economic climate in Plymouth is very strong and it is very important to keep it strong. There are approximately 60,000 jobs in Plymouth, and some say there are almost as many residents as there are jobs, which is remarkable. I additionally own a business in Plymouth as well as being a resident. We have a large industrial park that supports medical technology, innovation and manufacturing.
It is critical for the City to support our Commercial sector as their presence in our community provides many jobs as well as revenue for city services. Supporting our businesses as well as our residents brings synergy to our community.
Transit: I am the Liaison to the Suburban Transit Association. The STA is a commission of suburban transit providers that work together. The STA includes Plymouth Metrolink, Maple Grove Transit, Southwest Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority. By working together with these four groups under one umbrella, we can share best practices among cities and provide efficient, high quality transportation to residents. Additionally, I attend work sessions for expanding Bus Rapid Transit into Plymouth or other transit projects.
Environment: Wendell Berry once said, “The Earth is what we all have in common.” Plymouth is a beautiful community that we need to preserve. My family has planted over 1 Million trees and installed solar panels on our home. In relation to City Government, I look at Environmental issues that can better the quality of life in Plymouth and also preserve our natural resources. Plymouth has taken steps to better the environment and I support those steps as well as look at the new proposals that would fit our community and be a sound financial investment for residents.
Education: While my professional life is focused on education and ensuring that all children have access to education; I have additionally authored a book, Creating Brilliance, focused on educating all children to set them up for long term academic success. It is a strong passion of mine. I also partner with other organizations to provide high quality education to all children.
Education related to the City falls on the School Boards. Plymouth has Four School Districts and the Plymouth City Council has liaisons to each of the School boards, but we do not govern or impact their policy making decisions.
Role of a Councilmember: As a representative of the residents of Ward 1, I receive feedback, requests from residents and vote in a manner related to that feedback. I believe that Councilmembers should be extensions of the resident’s voices. What I have enjoyed most about my tenure, is meeting one on one with residents to hear their concerns and what they feel passionate about. Our community has residents of diverse backgrounds with diverse needs and wishes. It is the role of a Councilmember to hear those residents and vote accordingly.
Growth and Development: Most of Plymouth is built out and the remaining areas of growth are in Ward 1. With growth brings new residents, businesses and tax revenue. However, I feel that we need to be cognizant of our growth. Intentional developments that serve the area residents is critical to my decision making for approving projects.
Ward 1 Projects
Hollydale: I was notified of Hollydale’s pending purchase in the summer of 2019. I have met with, listened to, attended neighborhood meetings and studied this property. The Council entertained the possibility of purchasing the land for either green space or to continue the use of a golf course. The Council had several meetings specifically related to purchasing it as well as meetings to hear resident feedback. Ultimately the Council abandoned the possibility of a City purchase due to lack of consensus on the Council. There are additional futuristic steps prior to this project’s approval.
City Center 2.0: Plymouth’s City Center is located near Cub, Applebees, etc. The Council is looking at development to redo this area and make it more of a central area of the city. I hear from many residents that we need more Restaurants in Plymouth. There are different aspects of this project that we are looking to add, change, continue in this area.
County Road 47: With rapid development, comes the need to change the infrastructure. County Road 47 is a road owned by Hennepin County and the Council is looking at proposals to improve the road conditions for the residents that live in that area and have a workable solution with the County. This is a large upcoming project for Ward 1.
Plymouth Creek Center: In September of 2019, the Council voted to expand the Plymouth Creek Center. This project is one big reason for the increase in taxes in 2020 and for the next few years. I did not vote for this project as I heard from many residents in Ward 1 that did not support the expansion. It did pass with a 4:3 vote and will start construction this fall.
If elected, I plan to continue the “Plymouth way” of keeping Plymouth a beautiful place to live for all residents.