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.
Worst non-answer: Chris Schulz
Why raise taxes or cut services when deferring previously planned expenses would balance the budget? If possible I would rather defer these costs than cut a service that someone may need or make cuts that may add more people to the current levels of unemployment. When looking at current economic conditions I’d rather defer or control spending than push that added burden on to taxpayers who are working just as hard to balance their own budgets.
If the budget situation can be solved solely by deferring major equipment purchases, why are we raising the tax rate? Obviously, deferments can’t solve the problem. So, then what’s your answer?
Worst answer on the question about the mayor’s term: Scott Millard
The mayor needs to bond with the people in order to understand what the community needs. This bond can only get stronger the longer they are in office.
If more time in office = stronger bond to the community, then what’s the argument for replacing any incumbent? Why should we toss Gino Businaro’s four years of bonding to start over with you, then?
Answer that raises the bar on what happens in December: Gino Businaro
If the only choice is between raising taxes and cutting services, I would cut services given the difficult time so many are facing with the present poor economy.
Given that Businaro voted for the preliminary levy, is he signaling that he won’t vote for a final levy at that level, or is it posturing? We shall see…
Best answer on the question about the mayor’s term: Mark Windschitl
However, I feel that a two-year term is appropriate and gives the citizens of Chaska the ability to have a mayor who is responsive to the citizens.
Yes, it is critical for the citizens to have a vote on the mayor every two years. Good to see the Mayor and Councilmember Schulz on the right side of this issue.
Biggest cop-out about revitalizing Downtown: Mark Windschitl and Chris Schulz
Patience can be a tough virtue, but we need to be patient for the Downtown Master Planning process to unfold. -Windschitl
I also believe it is critical that we remain patient and look for the results from the Downtown Master Planning process. This is a process the city has invested time and money into and we should allow this important process to reach its conclusion… – Schulz
Just because the Downtown Master Planning Process is still underway doesn’t mean you can’t have opinions. How about expressing one on this topic?
A good idea: Chris Schulz
I would like to see the creation of a book of guidelines that includes processes, procedures and expectations when opening a business in Chaska for those small business owners that are inexperienced or doing it for the first time. This would be useful to those who hope to open a business here and it would be beneficial to ensuring a smooth process for the business owner.
Make Chaska an easy place to do business — now that’s a good idea!