A Strong Local Economy and Transportation Network
- Ensure that Arden Hills remains home to a diverse and healthy mix of corporate and small businesses
- Create a new city website dedicated towards attracting new business and economic development
- Work together with our educational institutions and the private sector to provide a qualified and diverse workforce for our region’s businesses
- Create strong channels of communication with local businesses by providing timely resources, information, and updates from City Hall
- Attract and foster increased BIPOC- and women-owned businesses in Arden Hills
- Seek input from residents and business leaders on where transportation and transit improvements are most needed in Arden Hills
- Work with our state legislators, the Met Council, and other local elected officials to extend the A Line BRT into Arden Hills.
- Continue to improve upon timely street maintenance tasks such as winter plowing and street repair
- Consistently provide up-to-date information on the resources and programs available to local businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19
Rice Creek Commons (TCAAP)
- The TCAAP site and its stalled redevelopment continues to be the best option to add needed housing, jobs, transit, and parks/trails/recreation to our region. We need city leaders who are willing to move the redevelopment forward instead of treating it like a detriment to Arden Hills. I intend to work with Ramsey County in achieving the full potential of the TCAAP site. A potential path forward entails:
-Increasing the size of the development to at least 2,000 units. This balance would give the development an added 540 units of housing compared to the original Master Plan. It also compromises with the concerns of other Arden Hills City Councilmembers and some residents about the 2,500 unit number seen as the maximum range of development.
-Working with Ramsey County on the number and types of affordable housing. Ramsey County proposed 20% of up to 2,500 units be reserved for affordable housing at income levels of 30%, 50%, and 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). Arden Hills proposed 10% of 1,460 units be reserved for affordable housing at 80% of AMI. Arden Hills should work towards up to 20% of 2,000 units being reserved for income levels of 50% and 80% AMI.
To provide context, a family of four earning 50% and 80% of AMI would be earning $50,000 and $75,500 a year respectively. Providing housing for these levels of income is important towards attracting and welcoming entry-level employees, young families, BIPOC residents, and recent graduates to our community.
-Ensure that any TCAAP development doesn’t constrain or degrade city finances, services, and infrastructure to the detriment of current Arden Hills residents.
Environment and Sustainability:
- Maintain our community’s strong network of parks, trails, and green spaces
- Ensure our community remains pedestrian and bike friendly
- Increase the visibility and number of informational resources on the city website for Minnesota home solar programs and incentives
- Reduce energy waste by providing homeowners information on residential and appliance energy efficiency programs
- Consider installing solar arrays on or near City Hall similar to what neighboring cities have done in order to reduce emissions and utility costs
- Advocate for the creation of a city climate action plan
- Safeguard the viability of city curbside recycling services
- Continue to coordinate with Ramsey County in providing compost and yard waste locations
- Protect lake and water quality through reduced runoff, and by encouraging sustainable practices such as rain gardens and buffer strips
- Combat the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in our lakes through coordinated educational resources
Taxes and Budget:
- Ensure property taxes aren’t overburdensome to homeowners and businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis
- Ensure that Arden Hills is able to provide and invest in strong city services in the face of potential decreased revenues due to COVID-19
Housing and a Vibrant Community:
- Work towards policies that keep homeownership and multifamily housing accessible and affordable to those entering the market. This includes easing the shortage of affordable entry-level housing in suburbs such as ours
- Reconsider zoning and other local land use regulations that limit housing supply and restrict the construction of affordable housing stock
- Pursue a wide range of senior and assisted living options in the north metro so that our community can provide for everyone no matter the age
Community Engagement and Accountability:
- Be accessible and transparent to constituents through consistent communication and monthly drop-in events
- To the best of my ability, ensure major city decisions go through a comprehensive community engagement process BEFORE action is taken
- Steer the city website and social media accounts to provide more timely information on city actions, community news, and public health information/updates
- Work to better represent all Arden Hills residents. This means increasing outreach and support for BIPOC community members as well as traditionally ignored groups, such as renters and younger residents.
- Create a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable community for everyone
- Ensure Arden Hills' policing contract with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department reflects the need for reformed and community-based policing
- Establish a city Human Rights Commission
- Start a "Students on Commissions" program to allow interested high school juniors or seniors who live in Arden Hills to apply for spots on City Commissions. Doing so would allow students to have their voices heard while introducing them to civic and governmental opportunities