by Dennis Dalman
Troy Goracke said that if he is re-elected to the St. Joseph City Council in the Nov. 3 election, his top priority is to re-examine the city’s assessment policy to see if there is a different way to implement, a way that would be less expensive for residents.
Elected four years ago to the city council, Goracke is a service-repair technician for Minnesota Computer Systems, Inc.
Incumbent Goracke is one of six candidates vying for two four-year terms on the council – the two seats now held Bob Loso and himself. The other candidates are Loso, Kelly Beniek, Carnie Mack, Paul Orvis and Mike Osterman.
The St. Joseph Newsleader asked the candidates many questions about city-related issues. The following are Goracke’s answers:
Goracke earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in environmental science and a minor degree in education, plus a degree in communication arts and design.
He has extensive experience in service to the City of St. Joseph. He served as a city-council member for the past four years and currently, on the city’s planning commission from 2016 to 2018, and on the economic-development association from 2018 to the present.
Goracke named three top issues he would like to continue working on: the city’s assessment policy, the proposed new community center and the East Park bonding issue, establishing new businesses in the city’s Industrial Park and finalizing/balancing the city budget for 2021.
As for assessment policy, Goracke said there must be a better way to make the policy more fair, less expensive for city residents.
Parks also demand his attention.
“I want to take a look at parks in St. Joseph for possible improvements,” he said. “My top focus would be to get a public bathroom at Klinefelter Park.”
Goracke said that in his four years as a city council member, he has learned about the many facets of city government.
“I value my many years of work experience in many different fields like technology, manufacturing, education and customer service,” he said. “I feel that experience helps me connect with residents of all economic backgrounds. I bring this experience to each (council) meeting and am able to speak not only as a council member but as a neighbor/friend/father, co-worker and visitor.
“I would like to see a weight room in the community center,” he said.
Goracke gives the city a good grade on handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think we are taking care of St. Joseph residents the best we can under the Minnesota State Statute and the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines,” he said. “Our EDA (St. Joseph Economic Development Administration) has stayed on top of grants available for small-business owners and continues to work with Stearns County administration to provide assistance for applicants who did not (yet) receive funding.”
When the city’s economy rebounds, Goracke would work with the mayor and other city-council members to review the city’s capital-improvement plan to determine what the very first projects should be.
“It will be a team effort,” he said, “and we appreciate our residents’ input.”
St. Joseph, said Goracke, is a warm and welcoming community with a diverse selection of faith organizations, school systems and supportive small businesses.
“This is where you raise your kids with strong family values and you appreciate that small-town feel. I would recommend getting involved with the Jaycees and the Lions’ Club as they provide opportunities for new and existing residents to meet, network and socialize for a cause.”