Candidate Viewpoint: Cottage Grove mayor candidate Chad RediskeI am running because I know that concerns have been disregarded. I am running because the residents of Cottage Grove are the priority. City Hall is supposed to be functional, not grandiose. The new City Hall building, while beautiful, is far beyond functional. That’s how your money was spent — a building highly considered to be the most ostentatious structure in the city.
By: Chad Rediske, South Washington County Bulletin
I am Chad Rediske, and I am seeking your vote for Cottage Grove mayor this Nov. 6. It is my intent to meet every citizen in Cottage Grove, hear and understand your concerns and address each concern with fairness and respect. I don’t deserve to be mayor because I want to be, but rather because I’ve earned it.
I am running because I know that concerns have been disregarded. I am running because the residents of Cottage Grove are the priority. City Hall is supposed to be functional, not grandiose. The new City Hall building, while beautiful, is far beyond functional. That’s how your money was spent — a building highly considered to be the most ostentatious structure in the city.
Americans are experiencing the largest economic downturn in generations. City government is limited in its ability to affect the gloomy national economy, but the options it did have for our community were lost once Myron Bailey chose to ignore other possibilities. One option: the city had saved some money for the new City Hall, wrote IOU’s to four other cash accounts held by the city to the tune of $9,900,000 (yes, almost $10 million).
If that money was available, the rightful place for it is back in your checkbook, especially during tough economic times. Could you use an extra $800 a year? That’s the difference. $800 a year in your pocket or a building that will not provide new jobs or income that benefit residents, one in which most residents will visit less than once per year. That’s money that could have paid for a night out with the family, maybe a few more Christmas presents or even the possibility of extending a family long enough to avoid foreclosure. More money spent within the city may have kept some of our empty buildings occupied. These are options I would have considered for you and your family. And even if I would have chosen to build a new City Hall, the building would have been functional, not grandiose; and I would have given the citizens their warranted referendum on the issue.
I am in favor of a city charter. While the details are being worked out on a possible charter for Cottage Grove, the charter offers protections not currently provided. A charter could be set up to enable referendums on spending decisions. A charter can exact more equal representation amongst the city. As far as I’m concerned, that’s plain common sense. A charter can protect citizens from excessive government.
So where do we go from here? While I am engaging with citizens throughout the city, I am hearing concerns. We want a variety in retail. We want a voice; we don’t want to be taken for granted.
Cottage Grove is a bedroom community, where the majority of residents leave the city during the day, and return at night. Their money goes with them during the day as well. The challenge we face is bringing more traffic to the city to sustain the retail environment that exists here. I will work with our governor and legislators and keep the pressure on them to reduce business taxes, a positive move for businesses to grow. We’ve got plenty of room to accept most businesses, and we have different options to incentivize business to plant their flag here. More employers = more traffic = responsible tax base diversification and more retail variety.
I will hold monthly town hall meetings. I will be at every carnival dunk tank. I will celebrate our students and teachers, parents and grandparents, our public safety workers and our dedicated city staff. I commit to you that I will serve with the same honor and dedication in which I served our country as a United States Marine. On Nov. 6, vote Rediske for Cottage Grove mayor.