Candidates filing for St. Paul Park council seats
Three have announced their candidacy for St. Paul Park City Council since the candidate filing period opened Aug. 1.
Andrew Cison and Patrick Downs will be vying for mayor, while Dale Roth is the only yet to file for seats held by Gregory Jahner and Jeff Swenson.
Jahner, who was appointed to council in March after Sandi Dingle's seat was opened following her mayoral appointment, said he will not run for re-election to his seat.
"In terms of juggling work and other projects I have going on, and kids and everything, I want to make sure my priorities are where they need to be," he said. "(But) I still want to be engaged in the community."
Dingle and Swenson have not yet announced whether they will run.
Downs, 48, said he's finally decided to run for mayor after thinking about it for the last few years.
The South St. Paul native has lived in St. Paul Park for the last 11 years, and worked from his office in Woodbury as an attorney for the last 20 years.
A father of three, Downs has been involved in leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America for the last five years, and wants to shift that energy into city government now that his sons are reaching the final Eagle Scout rank.
"The idea of being involved and being of service, it's really something I've learned to enjoy," he said. "And I think I've become pretty good at it ... I see this as an opportunity to do something new, something fun, something different."
Downs said he will concentrate on keeping a stable budget, but would also be ready to be there to help problem-solve bigger issues such as the carnival backing out of Heritage Days.
"When things are going great (people are involved) ... but when things don't go well, it's even more important to be involved," he said. "As a lawyer, I've kind of trained my brain, it's kind of a problem solving machine. I'm always trying to fix problems."
Cison, 37, and his family have also lived in St. Paul Park for about 10 years.
He works as a merchandise execution supervisor at the Apple Valley Home Depot, and stays busy running his three kids aged 11, 9 and 7 years old to soccer and other activities.
"I feel I have a lot to offer city of St. Paul Park and would like to lead the city," he said. "I'd like to build on what others before me have done."
Currently the chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Cison said he would like to see the city invest in parks and other city infrastructure.
"This city is a really nice city and we have a lot to offer, I'd just like to see us put a little into the parts that have fallen by the wayside the last years," he said.
"I would like to make (the city) a little, shining, diamond in the rough of the metro area," he added. "We're trying to make it a place people want to come to."
Roth, 55, ran for council in 2015 and is hoping this time around he'll get his chance to serve on the council.
Roth served around the world in the Marine Corps for 20 years before moving to St. Paul Park with his wife 15 years ago, and having their two daughters here.
"I've lived in different countries, different states," he said. "I saw a lot of different ways communities tackle diversity and face challenges."
He works as a property loss consultant for a firm in Roseville. He's volunteered coaching local soccer teams, and previously served on the parks and recreation commission. "In one way or another," he said, he's always found a way to be involved in his community.
If elected, Roth said he wants to concentrate on financial stability and increasing parks and rec programs.
"I just like living in St. Paul Park, I of course observe a lot of things and talk to neighbors a lot," Roth said. "I'll just go in and observe, listen, review everything that's happening and present my ideas on those various observations."
Council members Tim Jones and Jennifer Cheesman's terms do not expire until 2020.
The filing period closes Aug. 15.