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St. Paul Park mayor candidate Q&A: Dingle wants to continue planning for city's future

Name: Sandi Dingle

Age: 54

Address: 905 Portland Ave.

Occupation: Program Technical Specialist at the Metropolitan Council

Education: AA Degree from Inver Hills

Family: Husband Dan; three adult children: Nick, 32, Shannon, 31 (husband Brett, son Carter, 7), Evelyn, 24

Civic involvement: City Council 11 years, Mayor one year. Red Rock Corridor Commission, Minnesota High Speed Rail Commission. Past — Rivers Edge Citizen's Advisory Committee

Why are you qualified to serve on the city council? I have worked for the Metropolitan Council for 17 years in Regional Planning/Community Development and have served the City for nearly 12 years on the Council — this past year as Mayor. Throughout my tenure with the City, I have formed relationships and heard the concerns of our residents. My work with the City began years before I was elected as I sat on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the River's Edge Development. My relationships reach far beyond that of city staff and include our legislators, elected officials of counties and adjacent communities, our Sector Representative with the Metropolitan Council as well Metro Transit looking at Bus Rapid Transit through St. Paul Park. Also, being on the Red Rock Corridor Commission and the High-Speed Rail Commission has me planning for future rail service through this area. I am currently working on my second centennial Comprehensive Plan Update for St. Paul Park. I have a passion for parks and open space as well as the Mississippi River Critical Corridor. Both amenities that we enjoy here. My day job lends very well to the work we do here at the City. I work closely with Local Planning Assistance, Regional Policy and Research, Livable Communities, and Parks and Natural Resource at the Met Council.

What would your approach be to the proposed BNSF auto-exchange lot? BNSF owns the land and they are federally protected to use it. The best approach I feel is one of collaboration that will end with the best outcomes for all parties involved. In my work with them thus far, they seem to genuinely want to be a good neighbor working with the city and its residents.

What are your two biggest priorities as mayor? My first priority is keeping taxes as low as possible while still offering great services to our residents. I have had a lot of success in doing this over the past 12 years and would like to continue. Second priority is maintaining our small town feel and that means keeping our city safe and a great place to live, work and raise a family. This has been a long-standing priority for our residents that I share completely.