Seifert: Control spending and increase housing
Editor's note: This is a two-part story on the Red Wing City Council Ward 3 candidates. Find the rest of the story here.
Address: 533 Ninth St., Red Wing
Education: B.S. History major, Economics minor University of Wisconsin, River Falls
Family: Wife Karen, grown kids Lisa, Dina, Jason and Michael. Three grandsons.
Occupation: Employed at Hiawatha HomeCare
Civic involvement: Elks; Noontime Kiwanis past member; Red Wing Airport Board; VFW; American Legion; New River Assembly of God; 14 years as Goodhue County Commissioner; Two terms as Chairman of the Board; past member of a number of statewide organizations /committees including projects of The Blandin Foundation and Wilder Foundation; past member /chairman of the following Goodhue County committees: Health and Human Services Board; Economic Development Authority; Parks & Trails; Recycling and Solid Waste; Joint Law Enforcement Center; Technology Committee; Railroad Authority.
What compelled you to run for the Red Wing City Council?
Over taxing and lack of transparency at City Hall.
What local issues are you passionate about? Which issue would you address first if elected?
Affordable housing for seniors, new families as well as employers and managers who are trying to maintain a work force.
The need for taxing and spending control. The 2013 city property tax levy was $14,574,823. Four years later the levy is $23,205,223. That is a 62 percent tax increase in four years.
What have you done to prepare for being on City Council?3.
For 14 years I represented the citizens of Ward 3 as their county commissioner. Now that experience affords the unique opportunity to effectively represent Ward 3 at the City Council.
Having first-hand experience with how local government works will allow me to be effective from day one on the Council.
As a longtime community resident and businessman, I understand the obstacles that owners and managers of small companies have to overcome to be successful.
What unique skills and perspectives do you bring to the Council?
My 14 years of experience with county government and interaction with state agencies is a benefit to understanding how federal/state and local governments work. That experience will help me more effectively represent the interest of Ward 3 citizens on the Red Wing City Council.
How would you prioritize and scrutinize special projects and requests?
First, what will it cost the taxpayers? Is it a community safety need? How widespread is the community interest in the request or is it a wish list project for a very few? Is the request connected to a larger state or national organization? What private financial support is offered or is it all going to be at taxpayers expense?
Red Wing has been facing a shortage of affordable housing. How should the city deal with this issue?
More and better paying private sector jobs would reduce the cumulative number of families and individuals who qualify for affordable housing. Using TIF (tax-increment financing) would incentivize builders to construct more market rate housing in Red Wing and would make existing homes affordable by moderating their rising prices.