Newport City Council candidates voter guide: Steven GallagherGallagher says his knowledge of development issues will help Newport grow its tax base
Lived in Newport: 3 years
Occupation: Executive Director of the Stevens Square Community Organization in Minneapolis
Civic experience: Planning Commission vice-chair
Why he’s running: “I am running because I would like to make a positive change within the great city of Newport. My experience gives me an edge to create an opportunity for both commercial and residential development, thus creating a greater tax base (and) keeping property taxes down while, in turn, enhancing the prosperity of Newport.”
Why are you the best choice for Newport City Council?
I have the experience and education to lead Newport into the future. As the Executive Director of Stevens Square – Loring Heights area of Minneapolis, and the Vice Chair of the Newport Planning Commission, I will bring a unique perspective to the City Council. I have the ability to work with people of varying ideas, priorities and perspectives.
Newport businesses have taken a hit in recent years. How should the city jump start business growth and expand its tax base?
Expanding the tax base within reasonable limits takes a council member with the knowledge of development financial tools. Tax increment financing, tax abatement, and general bonds are a set of complex areas in which I excel. Utilizing our zoning regulations, financial tools and marketing, the city of Newport will have the long-term tax base expansion and reduction of property tax increases which we desperately need.
I am the only candidate that has the expertise to expand the tax base through proper development while keeping our small town feel.
How do you see the planned park and ride and transit facility at the old Knox site shaping Newport’s future?
Transit-orientated planning and community-directed development is the next step for Newport as it is the evolution of proper city management. I worked with our Washington County commissioner to ensure Newport would benefit from the Red Rock transit plan. Creating a proper market/trade study analysis will generate development by showing developers the exciting, fiscally-beneficial environment of Newport.
As the vice-chair of the planning commission I was able to show the need for proper zoning and shared my vision of a multi-use area around the transit site. This includes retail improvements, expansion and development while adding various styles of housing that would properly fit within the area. This is extremely important as it will spur economic growth and economic stability for the City.
I work in these areas everyday; I understand the complex nature of proper development and transit districts, while ensuring community empowerment and government access to its residents.