Shoreview candidates talk low taxes and Community Center expansion

In Shoreview, the ballot this November will have five candidates running for two council seats while the incumbent mayor is effectively running unopposed.

Incumbent Mayor Sandy Martin won’t be the only choice on the ballot — Richard Mester’s name will appear because he filed to run for mayor — but he didn’t mount a campaign after learning Martin was running again. 

Incumbent city council members Terry Quigley and Cory Springhorn are seeking re-election against challengers Douglas Blomberg, Jesse Ray Ehrenreich and William Harris.  

The candidates answered questions via email including why they are running, what skills and experiences they will bring to office, what they believe to be the top challenges the city faces and what issues or projects they would prioritize if elected.

Harris did not submit a response to the questionnaire, nor did Mester.

 

Mayoral race

Martin, 75, has been mayor since 1996. Before becoming mayor, she joined the Planning Commission in 1975, and was appointed to fill a city council vacancy in 1989. 

Martin was born and raised in Shoreview, lives there now and she raised four children and has seven grandchildren. 

Martin said she seeks re-election to provide continued local leadership.

“Through long-range planning, our city has been able to provide outstanding services at one of the lowest tax rates in the metropolitan area,” she said.

Because the city is “almost fully developed,” Martin said redevelopment will be a “primary task” for the Shoreview council. She also noted her focus on the constant evaluation and upgrading of city infrastructure, preserving existing single-family housing and protecting property values. 

The issue Martin said she will prioritize is the ongoing $15.6 million expansion of the Shoreview Community Center, which she said will “provide great opportunities for Shoreview residents, especially young families.” 

Said Martin, “the new facilities will be programmed to serve senior citizens, young families and all residents,” adding citizen input is “invaluable and encouraged” as new programs roll out. 

 

Council race

Blomberg is a retiree who previously worked at 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.

He is divorced and declined to provide his age.

Citing his parents’ cabin on Turtle Lake in Shoreview and his residency in the city since 1990, Blomberg said he knows the community’s history well. He said his work experience, including his residence insurance producer licence, qualify him for the office.

Blomberg said one of Shoreview’s “biggest problems is tsarism” and “keeping citizens and visitors safe.” He said the most common complaint he hears about is that street lights are too expensive and inadequate. 

“All projects must be financially supported before implemented,” said Blomberg, adding he would evaluate what services are essential and that he would prioritize housing issues. 

“My goal is to lower taxes and to make Shoreview the most efficient city in the state,” said Blomberg. 

 

Ehrenreich, 25, lives in the city and does administrative and human relations work for Sylvia Ehrenreich CPA. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology from the University of Minnesota. 

Ehrenreich said his skills include knowing how taxes affect business and people from his family tax firm and small business experience. He said one of the most important things he brings to the office is his age and understanding of issues younger generations face. He added he can keep Shoreview competitive in the digital age.

“I want to be involved and make sure I can do everything within my ability to help my community and the people around me,” said Ehrenreich, adding he has always been interested in politics, but that its been “the political climate of the last few years” that ultimately pushed him into running.

Ehrenreich said the city needs to find a way to make it easier for people to own a home, that the price point is too high for the young, seniors and many in the working class. He also prioritizes maintaining infrastructure systems as the city’s populations grows, improved lighting in many neighborhoods, considering a city fiber network and jobs. 

 

Quigley, 82, was appointed to the council in 2001 and has won a seat in each election since. He is a retired vice president of the Deluxe Corporation and lives in the city with his wife Kay. 

Quigley pursued a business degree from the University of Minnesota but was drafted into military service and did not finish it.

He said he has skills in manufacturing management, human resources and meditation. 

Quigley said he is running again because the “present council’s long-range planning and goal-setting supported by excellent staff can sustain Shoreview’s high quality of life.” 

He said orderly redevelopment, prudent budget management and responsive government are the city’s biggest challenges in the future. 

Quigley named the “successful integration” of the remodeled Shoreview Community Center and Commons area as his top priority if re-elected.

 

Springhorn, 46, was elected to the city council in 2014. Before that, in 2010, Springhorn joined the Shoreview Human Rights Commission. 

He works as the human resources manager at Mental Health Resources, Inc., and lives in the city with his wife Cathy. Springhorn earned a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from Central College, and a bachelor’s in music education from the University of Minnesota. 

Springhorn said he is skilled in handling city matters. He said he is calm and critical from decades in human resources, and gained patience and perseverance from experience as an elementary/middle school-age coach and director of musical ensembles at his church. He said he has a “lifelong passion for engagement in public policy” and a demonstrated ability to be respectful and responsive in interactions with people of diverse viewpoints. 

“I have learned a lot from my fellow council members and the professional city staff, and I want to use what I have learned to continue to make this city an even better place to live and do business,” he said.

 

For more information about voting, go to www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting.

 

-Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815.

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