Tag Archives: Scott Millard
cityhall

Get to the appoint: Chaska Ward 1 looking for a new councilor and other news

Chaska City Councilor Scott Millard resigned his seat effective at the end of the May 20 City Council meeting, and the Council has chosen to appoint a replacement to hold the seat through the end of Millard’s term.  The seat will be up for election in 2014.  Ward 1 residents who are interested in the position are welcomed to pick up an application package at City Hall (inexplicably, there’s no information on this process on the city website’s homepage).  Applications are due back by June 12, and applicants will interview with the Council on June 17.  The appointment will be made at the July 1 City Council meeting.  Don’t know if you live in Ward 1 (the southwest ward)?  Check out this map to see where to fall among the city’s four wards.  Per the Chaska Herald, former Ward 1 Councilor Gino Businaro has indicated he intends to apply.

In other news:

  • State Senator Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen) is attending the 2013 National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College this week.  Certainly such news can (and will) be viewed within the prism of other rumors.
  • Last week was a crazy week for politics in the Sixth Congressional District (which covers Carver and central and western Carver County) as both U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and DFL challenger Jim Graves pulled out of the 2014 race.  Former State Representative, current talk show host, and 2010 governor’s race loser Tom Emmer seems poised to jump in the race, making him the leading contender for the GOP nomination.  Meanwhile, no names have emerged on the DFL side thus far.  The Sixth is the strongest Republican district in the state, so there’s a thin bench of state legislators to pick from.  St. Cloud’s Tarryl Clark, who lost to Bachmann in 2010 before failing to secure the DFL nomination in the Eighth Congressional District in 2012, is sure to come up as a possibility.  State Auditor Rebecca Otto also lives in the Sixth, but is considered unlikely to run.  Graves would have likely stood a stronger chance to win the seat given the fundraising he’s already accumulated, which makes his decision curious.  Politicians who fear defeat are unlikely to make a difference in the long run, so perhaps Graves’s decision is less of a loss to Democratic hopes than thought.

Radio silence, Truth in Taxation edition [UPDATED]

The City of Chaska Truth in Taxation hearing is on Monday, December 5.  As was noted before the setting of the preliminary levy in September, the City has been slow to post final budget information online.  Certainly, one would think this information is put together and available by now.  So, get it out there for people to see and read!

UPDATE 12/4, 9:00 p.m.:  Still nothing posted on the city’s website.  Just not acceptable.

Election Recap

I know it’s nearly a week late, but some family medical issues have kept me from posting over recent days. 

Let’s review the results of the election:

State Senate District 34:  Julianne Ortman (63.5%) defeats Laura Helmer (30.3%) and Tim Biros (6.2%)

State House District 34A:  Ernie Leidiger (65.1%) defeats Leanne Pouliot Kunze (34.9%)

The DFL candidates were facing a stiff tide.  Helmer and Kunze ran probably the best races the DFL has put up in this area in a while, but achieved similar results to previous cycles.

Chaska Mayor:  Mark Windschitl (96.0%) unopposed

Hopefully, we’ll have a race in 2012.  Contested elections are a good thing.

Chaska City Council Ward 1:  Scott Millard (57.9%) defeats Gino Businaro (41.6%)

For the first time since 2002, a Chaska City Council incumbent goes down to defeat.  Interesting that Businaro is the one to pay for the Council’s perceived unwillingness to listen to the people, as Businaro has been the closest thing to a “voice of dissent” on the current Council.   It will be interesting to see what Millard brings to the Council, as his candidate forum appearance gave little insight.

Chaska City Council Ward 3:  Chris Schulz (71.7%) defeats Charles Stech (27.9%)

Stech seemed to have ideas, but for some reason got very little traction in his campaign.  Schulz has grown quite a bit in the last year.  He was confident and in command at the candidate forum.  It will be interesting to see if that command carries over the council meetings over the next term.

Carver County Commissioner District 3:  Randy Maluchnik (52.7%) defeats Jay Swenson (47.1%)

A close race that came down to the last precinct.    Strong performance by Swenson in Victoria was not enough to overcome Maluchnik’s advantages in the Chaska portion of the district.

Brick City Blog Endorsements

State House District 34A:  Leanne Pouliot Kunze

Frequent readers of this blog know that I’m a big fan of Leanne’s.  The two posts linked below give you key reasons to understand why I am so enthusiastic about her campaign for the State House.

I’m Voting for Leanne Pouliot Kunze

Do You Know Leanne Pouliot Kunze?

State Senate District 34:  Laura Helmer

Laura Helmer would be a terrific addition to the State Senate.  A moderate, pro-business Democrat, Helmer intends to start a bi-partisan small business caucus in the Senate — putting actions to her words.  The election of Helmer (and Kunze) would give this area responsible, solutions-focused representation in the Legisalture — a welcome change from the partisan games we’ve seen from Julianne Ortman.

Carver County Commissioner District 3:  Randy Maluchnik

There are certainly some valid critiques one could make of the current incumbents on the Carver County Board.  The septic system situation at the Waconia Ballroom has certainly been handled poorly.  Depending on which property tax metrics you use, you could make the argument that Carver County is somewhat overtaxed.

That said, Jay Swenson (and the challengers in the other districts) have been light on specific changes they would make.  It’s easy to point out things that may have gone wrong in the past, but it’s far more difficult to indicate specifically how you would accomplish what you say you’re going to do.

Randy Maluchnik has been a solid Commissioner.  He has good relations across the County.  He (and the rest of the board) have seemed to get the message on keeping a closer eye on the tax levy, as the county has reduced the levy for 2011.  Importantly, Maluchnik has also rejected the call to make the board a partisan body.  We don’t need partisan politics infecting our county and local affairs.  He deserves re-election.

Chaska City Council:  No Endorsements

As I don’t live in Ward 1 or Ward 3, I’m not going to give a formal endorsement.  However, a few thoughts on the races here.  As I noted about a month ago, the challengers in these races have the burden of proof.  There are decisions made and actions taken by this Council that could provide a platform for making such a case.  Based on what I’ve seen, though, the challengers have not made their case (and granted, not living in the Wards in question, I may not be aware of all the campaign activity). 

I’m particularly hopeful that Gino Businaro will push for increased financial discipline on the city’s part should he be re-elected next week.  His “no” vote on the city budget last year was appropriate, and he should not be afraid to vote “no” again.

Who is going to make the case?

I watched the replay of Tuesday’s candidate forum for the Chaska City Council.  What was striking to me was that the challengers (Scott Millard and Charles Stech) failed to articulate a clear rationale for why they should replace the incumbents (Gino Businaro and Chris Schulz). 

In part, this could be attributed to the bland and overly general questioning, but the challengers themselves ultimately are responsible.  After all, they bear the burden of proof here.  If you can’t provide a compelling argument for why you should replace the incumbent, people aren’t going to vote for you instead of the incumbent.

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Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge: the worst (and best) of the Chaska Herald Q&As

The Chaska Herald published their pre-election Q&As with the Mayor and City Council candidates this week.  As is typical in these sorts of questionnaires, there’s a lot of mushy language and unwillingness to commit to specifics.  Let’s dig in, though, and see who did the worst (and best):

Worst spin:  Mark Windschitl

I am not a fan of raising taxes, especially in these economic times.  That is why the council and I voted to keep the tax levy the same for next year.

When you raise tax rates, you are raising taxes.  Period.  Don’t try to weasel out of what you voted for — if there are legitimate reasons for your vote, then stand behind it.

Best new idea:  Charles Stech

What if I told you there was a business that has hundreds of customers every day in downtown and has outgrown its current location.  Should we try and keep it?  Yes.  This business is the Carver County Library. Give the land (keep the Met Council grant) for a joint powers agreement to build a library/learning area. 

Putting a new library on the former Ohnsorg site might be the proper way to thread the needle with the issue the city is having with finding a suitable development for the former Ohnsorg corner.  A new library would definitely serve a public purpose and would be compatible with the surrounding park area.

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Windschitl unopposed; races on tap in Wards 1 and 3

Chaska Mayor Mark Windschitl will be running unopposed in November’s election, as the two-week filing period came and went without a challenger entering the ring.    Windschitl will have a full term to more fully flesh out his platform and record accomplishments before 2012.

The two City Council races on the ballot this fall will be contested.  In Ward 1, incumbent Gino Businaro will be challenged by Scott Millard.  Ward 3 Councilor Chris Schulz will be challenged by Charles Stech.  More about these races between now and November.


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