Incumbent Marc Carrier is running unopposed for one open council seat in Waconia – Ward 1 (seat is 4-year term).
1) Why do you want to serve on the Waconia City Council? (100 words)
Carrier: I have had the honor of serving on the City Council for the past two years. During that time I have developed a deep sense of appreciation for how our actions have a direct and immediate impact on every person who lives in Waconia. I look forward to representing the citizens of Waconia over the next four years and working together toward continued positive improvements
2) What areas of the city budget need to be cut? Are there any areas that need additional funding? In what cases would you support a tax increase? (250 words)
Carrier: Any area or item of the budget that is not essential needs to be cut. Waconia taxpayers should be happy to know that the city staff and council members perform a rigorous review of the budget every year before passing a budget; everyone involved in this process takes the responsibility of being good stewards of the city seriously. Over the past few years, the economic downturn has created challenges for individuals and the city alike. Expenses for maintenance and repair of city infrastructure were cut or deferred, which creates its own challenges that we must now deal with. When I would support a tax increase? My thoughts on this are along the same line as when are cuts necessary—only after a thorough and careful review of the budget should increases be implemented. Taxpayers demand and deserve a well maintained city with the services and amenities of a first-class city. As we all know, this comes with a price and our challenge is to determine the proper balance of wants and needs that we can afford. This means that it is vital for every resident to get involved and communicate with city leaders. As I have done so far during my time on the council, I will continue to solicit input from community members, but it is important that citizens not wait to be asked what is important to them.
3) What ideas do you have to help promote residential, business and job growth in Waconia? (250 words)
Carrier: Promoting growth in the areas of residential, business, and jobs go hand-in-hand. By supporting existing businesses, as well as attracting new business and industry, we can create more jobs that in turn will inspire more families to move to Waconia. Continued growth will increase the demand for our local businesses, groceries, hardware, home furnishings, restaurants, and other retail. Growth is an integrated process and cycle that when properly attended can have tremendous positive impact in the community. But if it is not properly managed, the inverse can occur. We are very fortunate to have a very strong base of businesses, manufacturing, retail, and service here in Waconia. Utilizing tools such as the City Revolving Loan Program or tax-incremented financing, when appropriate, are items I fully support to help grow our businesses, jobs, and resident’s prosperity.
4) What is the most pressing issue facing Waconia? What would you do to address this issue? (250 words)
Carrier: I believe the most pressing issue we face is dealing with the volume of infrastructure repairs and maintenance that has grown over the past several years due to necessary budget cuts and delays. I have heard from many residents that they would like to see our roads and trails improved. And another area that deserves additional attention is our sewer and water system. Because sewer and water is buried out of sight, we don’t often think about this and take this very valuable service for granted. If left unattended, however, the impact of a sewer line failure can lead to significant inconveniences at best and unimaginable consequences at worst. City staff has done a remarkable job maintaining our systems with the limited funds available, but now we need to proactively address our various systems and make the necessary investments. The alternative of more delays will result in greater taxpayer expense and headache down the road.
5) Why should voters consider you for Waconia City Council? (100 words)
Carrier: I have a deep appreciation for the jewel that our city is and all it has to offer. I look to help make the city even better by representing all the citizens of the city so that the city can reflect what each of us want our city to be. Accessibility is foremost for me, and I want anyone that wishes to discuss issues facing the city to feel free to contact me for that purpose. I will listen to all opinions, suggestions, and ideas and bring those forward to process of governance.
6) Please tell us about your background and or experience. (100 words)
Carrier: Born and raised in Maine, I moved to Waconia 16 years ago with my wife Jean, son David and daughter Kathryn. I graduated college with a degree in accounting and have worked in business for 30 years. I am the Chief Financial Officer for Summit Academy OIC located in North Minneapolis. Outside interests include sailing, music, and soccer. I have been a soccer referee for 15 years refereeing local youth games, Minnesota High School and NCAA Division II and III schools in the upper mid-west. I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Waconia and earning their trust.