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Foote added to St. Paul Park City Council

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The St. Paul Park City Council seat vacated in August will be filled by Tanya Foote.

Foote was selected by the city council Nov. 20 to fill the open seat vacated by Jennifer Cheesman. Cheesman gave up her seat when she moved to Cottage Grove. Foote will be sworn in at the Dec. 4 meeting.

Foote serves on the public safety commission, previously as the chair and currently as secretary. She will have to leave the commission to join the council.

Foote became involved in city service when she decided to join the commission after her husband Roger started on the public works commission.

When she was told about the council opening, she said she would have to think about it and learn more, but said that "the more I talked, the more interesting it sounded."

"We can go through life as a spectator or participant, and I like being a participant," Foote said.

She said there's no one issue she wants to concentrate on, but knows she'll be keeping an eye on the BNSF Railroad auto exchange lot, traffic and affordable housing, especially for seniors.

"We need more housing that's affordable and low income, for families (and) maybe more shelters," she said.

Above all, Foote said she's looking forward to getting to know more people in the community.

"A lot of time residents feel that even though they're represented by state senators and council members, they feel the residents don't get listened to," she said.

Foote, who previously worked for Regions Hospital and Presbyterian Homes, now works for Data Recognition Corp. in Woodbury.

She has also served on a community education advisory council and as a library volunteer.

She's lived in St. Paul Park for 21 years.

Mayor Sandi Dingle said Foote had the best interview of the candidates.

Dale Roth, who also ran for city council in the Nov. 7 election, and Denise Peterson also applied for the position.

The council held interviews Oct. 16.

"I really appreciate all three of the candidates for coming forward and throwing their hat in the ring," Dingle said.

Dingle said one reason they waited until now to choose the new council member was because of the election earlier this month.

"Dale Roth was also on the ballot to possibly be elected to the position, and in that venue we decided to put the appointment off just to know if he would still be in the running for that," Dingle said.

"I've known Tanya for a lot of years, and she has done a lot of really good work with the city," Dingle said.

The council voted 3-0, with council member Jeff Swenson absent, to approve the appointment.

Earlier this month, Dingle won an election to hold on to her seat, as did Swenson. Bruce Zenner won election for the other open council seat.