Candidate Viewpoint: Cottage Grove City Council member Justin OlsenAfter much consideration and discussion with those I care about and respect the most, I’ve decided to ask for your trust, and your vote, once again.
By: Justin Olsen, South Washington County Bulletin
Politics has its origin in ancient Greece, modeled after Aristotle’s “Affairs of the City.” The word comes from the Greek “Politikos”, which means “of, for, or relating to citizens.” The purpose of the politician is to manage the affairs of the city or state reasonably, practically, nobly, and morally within the law with the best interests — or “greater good” — of the citizenry in mind at all times. In our city, this task falls to our city council, elected at large by all citizens in Cottage Grove. The intent of this approach is that each council member applies the best of their knowledge, experience, values and abilities to manage public policy, working together as a body, for the greatest benefit of the entire city. For me, it is critically important to approach that task with the attitude of a true servant leader who puts community first, above personal interests.
I’ve done my utmost to be that kind of public servant as a Cottage Grove City Council member, just as I’ve done in my service as a former Public Safety commissioner, former president of the Cottage Grove Strawberry Festival, current Lions Club member and Cottage Grove Athletic Association volunteer coach. It has always been my goal to serve the residents of this community fairly and honorably, to represent our city positively, to communicate my positions effectively and to help enact policy initiatives that serve the greater good of Cottage Grove, today and into the future. Those are my core values, instilled in me as I grew up in Cottage Grove, went to school here and settled here with my family.
As homeowners and taxpayers working to raise a family on a tight budget, my wife and I recognize how lucky we are to live in a community with terrific public amenities, fair taxes and high-quality public services. We also feel extremely blessed to have great neighbors and a close-knit network of friends who help us raise our children while instilling the character unique to Cottage Grove that we both value and love. I suspect many of you feel the same. Thank you for your part in making that possible.
The mayor and a majority of the council have worked extremely hard to plan, communicate and execute a very positive vision for our city over the last four years. We’ve worked in unison with city staff, various community leaders, local non-profits, city advisory commissioners and a host of citizen volunteers toward building our city up — laying the critical ground work necessary for making it ever stronger economically and socially. It’s rewarding to see that work now bearing fruit in a variety of ways across the city, and showing clear promise for an even brighter future.
Many of you have asked me recently if I plan to run for re-election to the Cottage Grove City Council this year. That’s a question I have thought hard about, because the job can be very demanding and time consuming. But after much consideration and discussion with those I care about and respect the most, I’ve decided to ask for your trust, and your vote, once again.
I love this city. I love serving her residents with all of my talents and ability. It has truly been my pleasure to do so over the last four years. Should you allow me the opportunity again at the ballot box in November, I will continue to give my time, energy, knowledge and heart toward the goals of pride and prosperity for all who live, work and play in this great city. You can also count on my ongoing commitment to be both engaged and engaging in my efforts to stay well informed about the issues important to you. That’s a commitment I’m willing to make because I learned long ago, as a young man growing up right here in my lasting home of Cottage Grove, that most of all —community matters.
Olsen is seeking a second term on the Cottage Grove City Council.