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St. Paul Park council candidate Q&A: Swenson concentrates on city finances

Name: Jeff Swenson

Age: 52

Address: 1125 Lincoln Ave.

Occupation: Director of Administrative and Financial Administration at Argosy University

Education: Augsburg College, Bachelors of Business Administration, Argosy University tracking for MBA Family: Wife Michelle; Daughters Marta and Jenna; Stepson Josh

Civic involvement: 12-year council member, EDA board member, PTA treasurer and president, Heritage Days board member, softball coach for Saint Paul Park Athletic Association, Treasurer for Park High Athletics booster clubs

Why are you qualified to serve on the city council? I've spent 12 years as a councilmember in Saint Paul Park. My career in executive management has prepared me and continues to train me for this role. My expertise in budgeting and financial management provides a unique perspective for the council along with my experience in employee relations and organizational management.

What would your approach be to the proposed BNSF auto-exchange lot? Understand the environment and constraints that face the city while working with a federally-regulated railroad. Work collaboratively with federal and state officials when appropriate to review any and all alternative scenarios. Manage those aspects that can be managed, mainly with regards to infrastructure. Truck routes should not be accepted through heavily populated residential areas nor funneled to already taxed intersections.

What are your two biggest priorities as a council member? Compared to newsworthy, hot button topics, everyday functions of a city government may seem mundane but it requires continuous strategic planning and oversight to assure that the services provided are efficient and effective. Citizens expect quality services for their tax dollars. I will also continue to work to assure that the city's portion of their citizen's real estate taxes remains affordable compared to like communities. I will also strive to continue to upgrade city streets and other infrastructure at a reasonable pace.

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