Name: Sandra Cordie
1. Please briefly share relevant background and experiences.
Sartell City specific:
Sartell City Council
Sartell/LeSauk Township Joint Planning Commission
Environmentally Sensitive Areas Task Force – co chair
City Tag-Line Task Force
Future of the Community Event
Sartell Centennial Committee
Celebration Lutheran Church – charter member, many committees and positions
Sartell School – countless school committees (Middle School Activity Night coordinator, booster clubs, band parents’ organization, senior parties, athletic advisory council, Safe and Drug-free Schools committee and more).
2. What, in your opinion, is the major issue facing Sartell?
Our major issue is providing all the amenities the Sartell citizens would like to see in their town without overburdening them with taxes.
Examples of amenities are athletic fields, community-resource center, library, skate parks, dog parks, additional trails especially connecting to other Central Minnesota trails and more.
It is also important we continue to add a business base to our community in all aspects (retail, medical, commercial, industrial).
3. How would you address that issue, if elected?
We need to prioritize both short term (what is feasible to address within a short time frame) and long term. These issues can be included in the Sartell Comprehensive Plan.
4. Please list your top five priorities for the City of Sartell from among the following (or options): road construction and repairs, public safety, economic development, non-athletic recreation, culture and the arts, youth activities, river development, a city community center, the needs of senior citizens, athletic options, park developments, police department needs, fire department needs, city staff development, city budget, the environment and more.
(Not in any particular order)
a. Safety and security of our citizens. Everyone needs to feel our town is a safe, clean, secure place to live. It’s important our children and adults have the freedom to play outdoors and inside without concern for basic safety. It’s important we welcome citizens and businesses to our community.
b. Maintain roads and trails so we aren’t replacing due to neglect.
c. Encourage businesses to come to our town.
d. Partnership with Sartell-St. Stephen public schools. We have an outstanding school system, and we can and should work together to provide for citizens from pre-kindergarten to adults. Whether we are spending school tax dollars or city tax dollars, it all comes from our citizens.
e. When and where appropriate, assist Verso. We don’t want that building to sit empty and unused.
5. Do you support the development of a Sartell Community Resource Center. When should it be built? Should it be developed in a current building?
There is no question a community-resource center has been a wish of many citizens of Sartell for some time. Currently, both the city and other groups are working on timelines, plans and ideas for a community center. I think we all wish it was here sooner than later. However, it is also important to plan appropriately so we aren’t short-sighted or backtracking in a few short years. We need to live within our means.
6. Do you think city taxes are too high, too low or just about right?
While no one wants their taxes to go up, I think our city staff does an outstanding job of controlling expenses and projecting revenue/expenses. We need to be diligent and frugal in these economic times.
7. What “ideal” industry or function would you like to see on the site of the Verso paper mill?
First of all, everyone needs to remember the Verso plant is owned by Verso. The plant, the dam and the land all belongs to or is operated by Verso. What I would like probably has little bearing with what Verso intends to do. I’m quite certain Verso would like to sell the complex. And, Sartell would like to see the facility be an operating business.
What would I like to see established at that site would be a business(es) that:
• provides good paying jobs,
• is environmentally conscious
* cares about the community by supporting events, community concerns
It would be great if the new business(es) were situated to allow access to the Mississippi River for recreational purposes (walking trails, picnic places and more). However, as I’ve said before, that may be a pie-in-the-sky wish, but it doesn’t hurt to think differently.
8. What is Sartell’s greatest strength? Its greatest weakness? If you could wave a magic wand, what would you most like to bring to Sartell?
I think Sartell’s greatest strength is its citizens and civic leaders. During the past several years people have chosen to move and live here because of the condition of our town, schools and churches. That is evidenced by the following:
• Continually voting to support the school system and the financial support for the Sartell-St. Stephen Education Foundation
• Attending and financially supporting fundraisers based upon causes or individual crisis needs (ie: Maria Legatt – heart transplant, John Maus – Verso explosion victim fundraiser, homeless tent, several 5K races and more)
• Participation at Sartell Summerfest – volunteer-led
• Attendance at school functions (athletic and non-athletic)
• Sartell civic groups: Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Lions and more
• We have an outstanding city staff in all departments and oustanding city council and commissions
Perhaps its greatest weakness is the lack of a true downtown area that probably should have included access to the Mississippi River. However, there are plans to create a more central downtown area/corridor.
I would like to see more businesses located in the Walmart/Sam’s – Hwy. 15 development.
9. Feel free to add any additional comment on any subject your choice.
I believe my strengths I bring to the council are: commitment; common sense; a practical approach to problems/issues/solutions; the ability to work with others; and the ability to make decisions.
My husband and I were named Citizens of the Year in 2001 for our involvement in the community. While this is an honor, it is reflective of widespread volunteerism and the good citizenry in Sartell. I feel individual citizens can make a difference in their community and I want to serve in that capacity on the Sartell City Council for the next four years.