Q & A with Falcon Heights City Council candidates

Candidates will face off Nov. 5

Alex Holmquist
news editor

The city of Falcon Heights will hold an election for two open city council seats this November.

Incumbents Keith Gosline and Pam Harris are in the running, as is challenger Michael Thomas.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 5. Find your polling place at www.co.ramsey.mn.us/elections/ or contact Ramsey County Elections at 651-266-2171.


Michael William Thomas

Michael William Thomas

Challenger Michael William Thomas, 33, is single, and is an apprentice with the IBEW 292 union. He earned his bachelor’s degree in geography and urban studies from the University of Minnesota.

Q & A with Michael Thomas

Q: After speaking with community members on your campaign trail, what do you feel are the most important issues facing the city of Falcon Heights?

A: I think some important issues are to maintain a small community, which is Falcon Heights’ unique identity.

Q: What do you feel are the best ways to maintain valued city services while keeping a balanced budget?

A: Keep a good accountability on taxes and expenses. Another way to offer equal or greater city services while keeping a balanced budget is to upgrade city lights to LED. LED’s use much, much less energy and offer a comparable amount of light and last 10 to 15 years compared to HID 400-watt and last about a year. The savings are immense.  


Keith Gosline

Keith Gosline

Incumbent Keith Gosline, 44, is married to Pura Mendez and has a 5-year-old son, Micah, who attends Miniapple Montessori in Roseville. He has served on the Falcon Heights City Council for four years, and  is the owner of Personal Fitness Systems, Inc. in Roseville. He earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise, fitness and sports science from the University of Minnesota-Moorhead.

Q & A with Keith Gosline

Q: After speaking with community members on your campaign trail, what do you feel are the most important issues facing the city of Falcon Heights?

A: Keeping our debt and taxes low while maintaining an excellent police and fire service, parks, and infrastructure.

Q: What do you feel are the best ways to maintain valued city services while keeping a balanced budget?

A: Sharing city services with several cities keeps our costs low and quality of services high.


Pam Harris

Pam Harris

Incumbent Pam Harris, 65, is divorced and has a 30-year-old son, Stephen, who attended Roseville schools and now works as an architect in Connecticut. She has served on the Falcon Heights City Council for nearly eight years, and is an attorney at Martin & Squires, P.A. She completed her Juris Doctor at Hamline University School of Law and is currently working toward completion of her master’s degree in library and information science at St. Catherine University.

Q & A with Pam Harris

Q: After speaking with community members on your campaign trail, what do you feel are the most important issues facing the city of Falcon Heights?

A: Falcon Heights residents want us to continue our practice of small, efficient city government, while continuing to look for ways to share services and innovate. For example, while I have been on the council we have maintained property taxes in the bottom two of Ramsey County cities, promoted accessible government by providing broad online access to our documents and services, qualified Falcon Heights as a GreenStep city, won grants to reduce expenses, and shared 17 services with other cities and counties. We are able to do these things because our residents are smart, and they participate in city government.

Q: What do you feel are the best ways to maintain valued city services while keeping a balanced budget?

A: We use shared services in 17 categories, and grants to relieve our budget. Grants, for example, have covered bike and pedestrian pathways, fire equipment, recycling, Emerald Ash Borer tree work, and tennis courts. Also, maintaining excellent street condition has saved our residents money by allowing us to use state gasoline tax funds for repair of all streets, not just our “state aid” streets. We are one of very few (fewer than five) Minnesota cites that can do this. In addition, environmental initiatives will lead to cost savings, including solar panels on city hall and public LED retrofit lighting.

Alex Holmquist can be reached at aholmquist@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813.

 

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