Name: Rick Schultz
Family: Married (Tammy), three children (Angela, 30; Jessica, 28; Briana, 26),
Two grandchildren (Ryland, 7 years; Hayden, 8 months)
Employment: Information Technology professional, working for Landis Gyr, a subsidiary of Toshiba Corp.
Office Sought: Mayor
1. Please share your background and previous political experience?
St. Joseph Mayor, 2010 – present
APO Executive Committee – vice chair, 2011-present
St. Joseph Planning Commission, 2008, 2010-present
St Joseph City Council, 2007-2008
Executive Board, St. Joseph Lions, 2010-2011
Former president, St. Cloud Area Youth Basketball Association
Former director, Central Minnesota Basketball Club
MSHSL basketball official
2. What is the city’s biggest issue?
There are several issues that face the city.
• Continued financial stability: balance with and among property tax rates, new streams of revenue, LGA, Property tax, debt and more.
• Infrastructure: older, in-need-of-repair infrastructure [Park Terrace, water tower, sewer main replacement and more] and the call for new infrastructure, for both business and planned annexation.
• Trust: continue to hone and nurture a better, more open, free-flowing exchange between residents, business and government.
• New projects: park improvements, sidewalks/trail connections, community garden, community center.
3. How do you propose to address this issue?
The city council and I will continue to scrutinize the budget. There is no magic formula or silver bullet when it comes to city finances.
1. Pay the bills
2. Continue to make improvements to older infrastructure.
3. Plan and allocate funds for future needs.
4. Continue to share resources between local municipalities
5. Lobby state legislators for funding
6. Enter the Minnesota state bonding sweepstakes
One of our goals this year is to do some infrastructure/maintenance catch up, which has been postponed for a couple of years. We will address how to move forward with those projects that make sense and can be done within the boundaries of our current financial outlook.
The city’s new Website, which should launch sometime in September, should be more free flowing, with better notification, reporting and search capabilities. It has been in the works for about four to six months and will be much more user friendly than our current site.
I will continue to host town hall/meet-greet sessions, along with sharing information on my Facebook page and other forms of media.
4. With plans to build a new government center, what would you like to see incorporated into the building?This community center is designed to be a public building, connected to our government center, where members of the community may gather for social activities, special events, classes, public information or other purposes. My goal would be that it becomes a pseudo centerpiece for downtown activity, bringing more energy and activity to that space.
It has been suggested and I would agree that this center would be a good site to incorporate St. Joseph’s heritage, local artists and other regional pieces of significance.
As the design phases get more firm, I would expect public hearings and feedback to the actual make-up of the building. These sessions (by facilities committee) will aid in the overall look, feel and use of the building.
5. What suggestions do you have to improve the city’s downtown landscape and economic development appeal?
It is a constant, evergreen initiative that will always be evolving. Recent, new additions to the business district have brought a new vitality to the space, while the cornerstones of the district continue to do well.
One objective for the community center is it will make a positive impact on the downtown landscape, by allowing for and creating a place for events, which would attract residents and visitors.
I’m a believer in establishing a peoplecentric, walk-scape, destination environment for all to come and enjoy the downtown area, as well as do business.
The EDA and other stakeholders, have been tasked with developing a plan that incorporates several aspects of downtown spaces, including open/green space, pavilion-type setting and parking. This concept may include redevelopment of existing properties in such a way as to create a nice flow between and among businesses within the downtown district.
The city council has approved a new trail that extends from the Wobegon Trail to downtown. This new trail extension is expected to aid in bringing people downtown.
We (council) met with Xcel Energy to discuss and develop options to move power lines off Minnesota Street. We will expend some budget dollars to go through a design process that will aid the council in determining next steps and total costs.
There is an issue with the existing downtown landscape the city has to deal with. The roots from the trees that line the south side of Minnesota Street are causing the paving stones and eventually the concrete sidewalk to move/heave. Our public works director is developing an incremental plan that will address this. We intend to spread the word when all possible alternatives have been reviewed and a best solution has been chosen.