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Candidates prepare for upcoming local elections
Though summer may be on its way out, the upcoming election season is just beginning to heat up.
The Roseville Area Schools District 623 and the city of Falcon Heights will hold elections Nov. 5 for school board seats and city council seats, respectively.
Contact information for all candidates is available on the Ramsey County website at www.co.ramsey.mn.us/elections/index.htm.
Four candidates seek spots on school board
ISD 623 will need to fill three open seats on the school board this year.
Vying for the spots are Mike Boguszewski, Kitty Gogins, Mark Traynor and Frank Shaw.
Gogins is a consultant specializing in strategic and project leadership for businesses, non-profits and government entities. She has served on the school board for eight years and said during her time on the board she’s proud to have helped the district move to a data-based focus through development of a fact-based scorecard assessment on the district’s key strategies.
“It’s got us focused and aligned where we’re trying to go and measure progress and see where we need to focus our attention,” Gogins said, adding that she’s also proud to have helped foster equality for all students in the district.
Although Shaw does not currently serve on the board, he has in the past. He was a school board member from 2007 to 2010.
“I bring a lot of experience because of the time I spent on the board,” Shaw said. I’m a mathematician and participated in the debates on the math curriculum that occurred over the last decade.”
Traynor is a first-time candidate for school board. Traynor, who serves as chairman of the Roseville Area Schools Foundation, explained he has also garnered leadership experience from his positions on the Brimhall Elementary School PTA Executive Committee and on the Roseville Planning Commission.
Traynor said he sees this time of demographic changes in the district as holding opportunities, but also as an area that needs attention.
“It’s an exciting time for our schools and our community, and I hope I can help move us forward and have strong schools that serve all children well,’” Traynor said.
Boguszewski said he also believes changing demographics will need to continue to be addressed.
Boguszewski, who currently serves on the Roseville Planning Commission and Variance Board, explained that he served as a member of the Site Council for Harambee and Crosswinds schools, and was actively involved in the effort to make Harambee Elementary part of ISD 623. Boguszewski said if he is elected, his main priority will be to help “enable every child in the Roseville School District to meet their fullest potential,” and ensure that ISD 623 continues to be known as a top school district. He added that he would also encourage more interaction between parents in the district and the school board.
Three candidates hope for spots on city council
The city of Falcon Heights is holding an election for two city council seats, and three candidates are in the running.
Keith Gosline, Pam Harris and Michael Thomas are campaigning for the city council positions. Gosline and Harris currently serve on the council.
Gosline said he feels the council accomplished much during the last term, and noted he’s especially proud of the increased awareness and understanding of emergency preparedness and management.
If elected, Gosline said in his second term he hopes to raise awareness of community health and environmental issues.
“I believe that our community... we’re an educated city,” Gosline said. “We want to reduce our dependence on electricity and use our natural resources more - the wind, the sun.”
Falcon Heights was selected as a “step three” city in the Minnesota GreenCities program, a project that measures cities’ implementation of environmentally friendly practices.
Harris said she is also proud of the city’s dedication to decreasing its carbon footprint. She noted that Falcon Heights is an innovative city and said she would like to further explore green initiatives if elected again.
“We always have our eyes open for opportunities to innovate,” Harris said, adding that she credits the residents of Falcon Heights as instrumental in the city’s progress.
“When residents come and talk to us, we always learn something,” Harris said. “They’re so smart.”
Challenger Michael Thomas, who served on the city’s parks commission from 2006 to 2009, said he decided to run for city council this year because he wanted to get more involved in the city.
“I felt like I could make a change,” Thomas said, adding that he would like to explore possible opportunities to lower taxes and expand the parks system in the city.
“I have a degree in geography and urban studies, so I think I can contribute information that others may not be able to,” Thomas said.
Alex Holmquist contributed to this report.