St. Paul Park City Council candidate profile: Tim JonesFor St. Paul Park City Council member Tim Jones, much has changed since his first run for office eight years ago.
For St. Paul Park City Council member Tim Jones, much has changed since his first run for office eight years ago.
Then, a booming housing market had city leaders debating how to manage the growth that was sure to come to the small community. Now, Jones – who is seeking re-election to his third term on the council on Nov. 8 – and his fellow council members have a different set of problems on their hands. Namely, a continued decrease in state aid, plummeting property values and difficult cuts to a city budget of just a few million dollars.
Despite those difficulties, Jones is running uncontested for the second straight time. The only other city council candidate on the ballot is incumbent Jennifer Cheesman, who was appointed to the council in July.
Jones said he believes that’s because, while having to raise property taxes and slash from the city’s budget, the impact on residents has been limited.
“We’ve [been] able to maintain, at this time, the level of service we’ve always had while handling things as fiscally responsible as we can,” Jones said.
With more difficulties ahead in the foreseeable future, the city’s motto will have to continue to be “do more with less,” he said. But despite the tough times and hard choices, Jones said he still loves being a St. Paul Park City Council member and enjoys watching local government work.
“Council is a close number three,” he said. “Family, day job and council, in that order.”
Jones, a 44-year-old sales representative in the oil industry, ran for the first time eight years ago, unhappy with a number of development proposals being discussed by city officials and displeased with what he perceived as the then-council’s inaccessibility.
That council, he said, stands in contrast with the current makeup. “This current assembly, we just get along really well,” Jones said. “We all believe in protecting what we have and planning a good solid future for the city.”
Protecting the city’s current services should be the focus of the council for the immediate future, he said.
“We’re in a good position to be able to keep ourselves stable,” Jones said, citing the city’s fund reserves and healthy bond rating. “We’re just looking to hold it all together and see that it goes as well as it has.”