Time for a council that responds

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By Laura Skistad
Chanhassen Villager – Letter to the Editor
Time for a council that responds

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018


This next City Council election gives the people of Chanhassen the opportunity to change the trajectory of our city. There is a monopoly vote on the council that fails to consider the people of Chanhassen. We need a city council that will collaborate with the people of Chanhassen. We need new leadership for our city.

Under the current monopoly (Denny Laufenburger, Bethany Tjornhom, Jerry McDonald), Chanhassen residents have voiced the following concerns, insufficient parking for new building sites and businesses, traffic flow problems due to new buildings, increased taxes and fees, and excessive development of certain types of business.

Under the current monopoly, Chanhassen has become the city of fast-food chains, grocery stores and liquor stores often accompanied by poorly planned parking lots and too few parking spots. The city is losing the charm that first enticed us to move here 12 years ago.

Soon, Chanhassen will complete a six-story apartment building in the heart of downtown. The current monopoly’s vote envisions turning our downtown into a high-rise mecca with businesses below the apartments. This is the Met Council’s vision for every city in the seven-county metro.

I attended a city work session, on Oct. 23, 2017, where Laufenburger personally and warmly welcomed Jennifer Munt, District 3 Metropolitan Council member, who told us that Chanhassen has been more successful implementing the Met Council’s visions than the surrounding cities.

Laufenburger is on the Met Council Transportation Advisory Board. Consider these facts. This build was approved prior to receiving the $42,000 city plan that the council paid to have completed with only one parking spot allotted to each apartment. This build was subsidized using tax-incremental financing. This build was juxtaposed next to the SouthWest Transit garage. And the build was pushed through despite the over 800 signatures as well as the overflowing Council Chambers during the council meetings. Who is our council representing?

A leader has emerged on the council who has listened and advocated for the people of Chanhassen. This person is Elise Ryan.

Elise is interested in collaborating with citizens. As I have attended many City Council meetings, as well as, city work sessions, she has continually been the one that has asked tough questions. Elise Ryan has demonstrated her leadership skills continually throughout the community and also on this City Council. This is the reason that I support Elise Ryan for mayor.

Another voice of reason is Dan Campion. Dan also has supported getting input from the people. He is interested in helping to attract non-chain restaurants. He is interested in working with the developers and the people of Chanhassen to build a better Chanhassen that we can all enjoy.

Julia Coleman brings new perspective to the council. She is interested in ensuring that we are using our taxes wisely. She also has a passion to ensure our community prioritizes our emergency responders as we grow as a small city.

With these forward-thinking representatives for mayor and council members, Chanhassen has a bright future.

– Laura Skistad