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St. Paul Park mayor candidate Q&A: Cison has 'deep love' for city

Name: Andrew Joseph Cison

Age: 38

Address: 808 Portland Ave.

Occupation: Merchandising Execution Supervisor for the Home Depot

Education: High School

Family: Married 11 years to my wife Lynette. We have three children Joseph (11), Samantha (9), Joshua (7), and our Black Lab Fury (3)

Civic involvement: Chair of the St. Paul Park Parks and Recreation Commission and volunteer with a nonprofit the Tips Outdoors Foundation

Why are you qualified to serve on the city council? I have a deep love for the city of St. Paul Park. I have worked in retail most of my career and I have held many different levels of management. Through my career I have learned the value of active listening and working with others to reach a common goal. I will bring new ideas and passion to the office of Mayor.

What would your approach be to the proposed BNSF auto-exchange lot? I would like to work with the county and the city of Cottage Grove to see if there would be a way to add a road going east from the southeast lower corner of the property that BNSF owns. The property to the east is currently undeveloped. It only makes sense to move truck traffic towards Highway 61 the fastest way possible. Having trucks have drive through town on Third Street will put an undue burden on the road and public works for the upkeep of Third Street which would have to happen with the increase of traffic on the road. We also have to be concerned with the increase of truck hauling being that there is a school on Third Street and keeping the students safe is a big concern. The last thing anyone wants is there to be an incident with a student or bus from trucks hauling cars down Third street on there way to Highway 61.

What are your two biggest priorities as mayor? Priority 1: I'm planning to build strong relationships with the police and fire department and begin to tear down the walls and stigmas that people think of when they think of the police. All we see in the news is negative about police and never see the good things they do for their communities. We need to promote the good things they do for our community. I would like to work with both chiefs to find more ways for both departments to have an even more active role in giving back to the city. Priority 2: I would also like to continue the revitalization of our city through grant writing while helping keep levy increases to a minimum. We also need to look at our long-term plan and budget out over a few years for large items that the city will need. Protecting the tax payer's money is always my top priority.