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Four people to seek St. Paul Park council seat

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government Cottage Grove, 55016
SWC Bulletin
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Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Four people applied for an open St. Paul Park City Council seat.

Council members will select a candidate at a June 20 meeting to fill the seat vacated by former council member Steve Hunstad, who stepped down last month. Hunstad's replacement will serve until Dec. 31.

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Here is a brief description of the applicants:

-- Jennifer Cheesman. A four-year resident of St. Paul Park, Cheesman has served on the Parks and Recreation Commission and was named volunteer of the year. "I love the idea of learning more about the community by way of its local government," she said in her application, adding that she has a passion for being involved. Cheesman works for Target Corp.

-- Phillip French. A 67-year St. Paul Park resident, French said he wants to participate and "to help maintain the current level of good local government. French served for three years on the St. Paul Park Public Safety Commission. French is a retired airline mechanic and rental property landlord.

-- James Huffman. A lifelong resident of 56 years, Huffman is a former St. Paul Park City Council member and a retired local paramedic and Newport police officer. "I ... have the experience and integrity," he wrote in his application. Huffman said St. Paul Park is small, but faces modern issues and problems. "The city needs to maintain a balance of what it is and what it wants to be in the future, a vision," he wrote. "The city needs to uphold its standards in dedicated people, broad resources and consistency."

-- Richard Irvine. A 21-year resident, Irvine said serving on the council would be a way for him to give back to the community. "I believe we have a civic duty to be involved in our communities," he wrote. Irvine has represented St. Paul Park on the South Washington County Telecommunications Commission for many years.

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Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
(651) 459-7600
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