Shoreview council candidates talk redevelopment, quality of life

Two Shoreview city council members are up for re-election this year. Seats held by Terry Quigley and Ben Withhart are set to expire at the end of the year. The incumbents are being challenged by hopefuls Douglas Blomberg, Michael Iwerks and Cory Springhorn.

Mayor Sandy Martin is running unopposed.

The Bulletin asked candidates about what skills and experience they would bring to elected office, what challenges they think their cities face in upcoming years and what issues or projects they would prioritize if elected.


Blomberg is a retiree who previously worked for 3M, Control Data, Cargill and in the insurance industry. He is an Alexander Ramsey High School graduate who has taken classes at both the University of Minnesota and North Dakota State University.

Blomberg previously ran for the Shoreview council in 2012. He is divorced and declined to give his age.

Citing his parents' cabin on Turtle Lake and his residency in the city since 1990, Blomberg says he knows Shoreview's history.

His most pressing concern is dropping water levels.

"The water table where Shoreview gets its water from is decreasing," Blomberg says in regards to the city's future challenges. "We need to find an alternate or backup plan to obtain water."

Blomberg says other challenges include public transportation, improving lake water quality, lowering taxes and keeping elderly people in their homes.

Blomberg adds that future projects must be "financially supported," and that he'd prioritize getting citizen input on the financing of those projects.


Michael Iwerks

Michael Iwerks

Iwerks, 47, is a project manager at Accurate Components + Fasteners and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from University of Northwestern - St. Paul. He is married to Melissa. Though Iwerks has not held public office before, he cites his experience as a past secretary for the Columbia Heights Athletic Boosters and as current president of the Mounds View Basketball Association.

"Through those associations I have been afforded the opportunity to be an active member of my community," Iwerks says, adding that he has learned how to listen and respond to youth issues and parental concerns in the city.

As a 19-year Shoreview resident, Iwerks says people tend to stay in the city through retirement and that he would promote affordable housing so people can live out their lives in the community.

Iwerks said he would prioritize promoting the city's young people and business, especially small business, and work to keep taxes manageable.


Terry Quigley

Terry Quigley

Quigley, 78, is a retired vice president at Deluxe Corporation, and earned a business degree from the University of Minnesota. He served in the U.S. Army and is married to Kay.

He was first appointed to the Shoreview council in 2001 to fill a vacant seat and has since won reelection three times.

Quigley says he brings 40 years of experience in local business to the city council, along with service on nonprofit boards, as a parent and volunteer for schools and church, and as member of other city committees and commissions.

"If reelected, I will continue to support prudent financial management, long range planning and effective resident response," Quigley says.

He says two major challenges for the city of Shoreview are "redevelopment and economic vitality."

"The Economic Development Authority was created to improve housing conditions and choices, attract, retain and expand businesses and improve existing commercial areas," Quigley says. "As a member of the EDA, I can support and contribute to those goals."


Cory Springhorn

Cory Springhorn

Springhorn, 42, is a human resources representative at Donatelle Medical in New Brighton and has a bachelor's degree in music from Central College and a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Minnesota.

He has been married to Cathy for 19 years. Springhorn ran for the Shoreview council in 2012 and unsuccessfully applied for a vacancy on the Mounds View Public Schools Board earlier this year.

A co-chair of Shoreview's Human Rights Commission and a member since 2010, Springhorn says he has the right demeanor for the city council, crediting his profession as well as experience coaching a youth FIRST Lego League team and leading his church's children's choir.

"[I have] a demonstrated ability to be respectful, reasonable and responsive in interactions with people of diverse viewpoints," he says.

Springhorn notes the city will be challenged in the coming years to maintain its identity as "an outstanding place to live," while taking on redevelopment, keeping taxes down, providing expected levels of services and welcoming a changing population.

"As a council member, I'll continue my commitment to ensuring that everyone in the city has a place at the proverbial table," Springhorn says of his priorities.


Ben Withhart

Ben Withhart

Withhart, 63, has lived in Shoreview for 30 years and is a retired CEO of Senior Community Services, where he worked for 40 years. He says he is "happily married to Laures Young" and earned a bachelor's degree in community education administration from the University of Minnesota and a mini-MBA from University of St. Thomas.

Having served on the council from 1989-1997, Withhart was appointed to a vacant council seat in 2007; he is seeking his fifth non-consecutive term.

Withhart has served on numerous city and philanthropic boards, including on the Shoreview Planning Commission and on the Board of Directors of Twin Cities United Way. He says he brings those experiences to serving on the council.

"The city of Shoreview is currently very well managed," Withhart says. "We enjoy a very good quality of life and want to see it protected."

Withhart says helping city homeowners keep their homes up to date is a priority, along with helping new development like Trader Joe's while making sure existing commercial space like the vacant Rainbow Foods are put to the best future use.

Withhart says he will prioritize maintaining the city's AAA bond rating and keeping city taxes low.


Election Day is Nov. 4. Most polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Find your polling place and sample ballot online at http://xnet.co.ramsey.mn.us/elections/precinct_finder or by phone at 651-266-2171.

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824. Follow him on Twitter @mmunzenrider.


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