“Hire character” is a motto used in business to describe the way to get the best workforce. We need to look at a candidate’s character every time we vote, because we are hiring that person to work for us.
In addition to ability and experience, White Bear Lake City Council Member Doug Biehn has an outstanding character. After the untimely death of their daughter Kathy at age 17, Doug and his wife, Mary Beth, turned tragedy into service by becoming foster parents to more than 20 infants and children. Many of their foster children were dealing with significant health issues. Some had a short life expectancy. Doug and Mary Beth devoted themselves to making every moment count for these children. Doug and Mary Beth eventually adopted their youngest child from the foster care system.
The manner in which Doug lives his life leaves no doubt that his decisions are based on what will create a safe and healthy community for the next generation. We are lucky to have the opportunity to vote to reelect Doug Biehn as our council member in Ward 2 of White Bear Lake.
Bob and Mary McIntosh
White Bear Lake
I don’t support the Rush Line
The Rush Line transit proposal is a federal government cash grab, and comes with all the strings attached that one should expect—including the destruction of our downtown community feel and increased spending waste. It will destroy the work completed down Highway 61, mandating an additional transit-only lane on both sides of the highway through White Bear Lake to the end of the route. Those same requirements will add almost 100 buses during the day from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., with no flexibility if the route and ridership of this bus line don’t pan out as predicted.
This funding also requires a 50% match by Ramsey County taxpayers. While the federal government provides almost $235 million, the county — all of us — will then be responsible for the other $235 million, plus ongoing expenses.
I support transit. I support a many-layered approach for getting to work, as well as around the city, including safe walking and biking paths and well-maintained roads and parking. Busing is another way to travel to St. Paul or Minneapolis, but for $475 million, the Rush Line won’t take people to the YMCA or the food shelf or Century College, and it won’t take people from their neighborhood to the grocery store. How about if Ramsey County simply spends the $225 million they will tax from us, and provide busing people will actually ride, going to places people want to go, without destroying the fabric of our city? Spending half the amount of money could give us a 100 times better system.
I’ve heard members of the White Bear Lake City Council say there is nothing to be done — but that’s simply untrue. There are two votes coming up in the next two months that, while not outright stopping this plan, could very well slow it down and cause smart people to take a second look. These are important votes, and I encourage everyone to contact their representative, especially those in Ward 2, because your elected representative publicly supports this boondoggle.
Also, please vote for me in November.
White Bear Lake
Candidate will lead on critical topics
This is a letter of support for Paul Donna, candidate for Mahtomedi ISD 832 School Board. I served with Paul on the Mahtomedi High School RBI (baseball booster) Club and most recently on the Mahtomedi Area Education Foundation, which he leads as president. I have volunteered in the four Mahtomedi public schools, which our three sons have attended, for 17 years.
Paul is a man of character who calmly listens and considers all perspectives, critically analyzes circumstances, respectfully offers recommendations, motivates others to act and decisively leads—with kindness.
As a professional tutor for 25 years supporting Mahtomedi and East Metro public and private schools, I have observed students reaching their academic potentials because of dedicated, exceptional teachers reinforced by key policy decisions and best practices. I have also noted students held back or limited by lowered expectations and practices.
School districts are simultaneously addressing the pandemic, racial inequity and social injustice: these issues demand and deserve our attention, but not at the expense of our children’s academic experience. These challenges require school boards to offer recommendations that both optimize overall academic performance and prepare students to be forces of good while facing societal issues.
To mitigate challenges for students unable to meet certain academic expectations, some practices or resources are often diminished. For example, reducing or not assigning homework, decreasing recognition of academic achievement or limiting resources specific to the individualized needs of unique learners become acceptable options. Multiple variables impact academic success, but in these examples the students targeted to benefit most are assisted minimally and the academic potentials of all others are limited.
I encourage constituents of ISD 832 to vote for Paul Donna, who will lead civil discussions on critical education topics and put forth districtwide recommendations including appropriate study expectations, augmented recognition for outstanding teaching and academic achievement, expanded access to supplemental learning resources and promotion of supportive conversations in every learning environment—to help all Mahtomedi students develop compassionate, critical thinking skills and reach their academic potentials.
North St. Paul
Candidate leads with integrity
Jessica Ellison is the candidate we need on our school board. Jessica leads with logic, heart, guts and integrity. She puts students first and cares about the whole child, in addition to academic success. Jessica engages with teachers and staff to get their firsthand knowledge, and actively seeks more information and clarification when tough decisions need to be made. Many have judged our current school board members based on the acute situation in the midst of a pandemic where there was no prior experience to rely on and no way to appease everyone; yet, Jessica has maintained her focus of putting students first, asking the hard questions and relying on experts to help with decision-making. In a time where our board members were (are) being slammed with threats and vulgar attacks, Jessica has persevered because of the passion and dedication she has to the students in our community. Jessica also has the background and experience with the rules and regulations of a school board, which is critical to the success of a board. Vote Jessica Ellison on Nov. 2!
Say no to status quo
White Bear Lake spends more money per student than Mahtomedi and a lot more money than St. Croix Prep, but White Bear Lake's third grade reading proficiency is quite a bit worse. White Bear Lake teachers are the eighth-highest paid in the state based on average salary, again higher than Mahtomedi and much higher than St. Croix Prep. It seems the folks in White Bear Lake have made the investment and should be getting better results for their tax money. Say “no” to the status quo of the current school board. Vote John Ficcadenti for school board on Nov. 2.
Source: MN Dept of Education: Consolidated Financial Report and Minnesota Report Card.
White Bear Lake
Protect history in our schools
As a professional historian who has taught history for over a decade, I am very concerned with the actions and agenda of an extremist group known as the Patriot Parents, who have disrupted several recent ISD 624 school board meetings. More concerning, the Patriot Parents (who have rebranded themselves White Bear Lake United) have put forward a number of school board candidates who are committed to promoting what they call “patriotic history” in our classes. Essentially, these candidates want to ban teaching or discussing any material critical of the United States.
This concept of “patriotic history” is not history at all; it is simply a code word for white-nationalist propaganda. Such an education would severely harm our students. By cherry-picking only the positive parts of our history, we would ignore the full reality of our past. History is complex, messy and, yes, sometimes unpleasant. However, you cannot expect students (or our society in general) to be able to understand and successfully engage with the complex and diverse world we live in without a solid grounding in honest history.
One refrain I consistently hear as a history teacher is “Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.” I ask any supporters of “patriotic history” this: How in the world are we supposed to learn from the mistakes of the past if we don’t admit making any? In essence, “patriotic history” strips any real educational value from studying the past and would leave our students woefully unprepared for the complexities of the workplace and our world in general. That is why I am supporting candidates such as Deb Beloyed, Jessica Ellison, Chris Streiff-Oji, and Kathleen Daniels. These candidates trust our teachers to present history in a truthful, meaningful and engaging manner. They also trust our students to tackle complex ideas and engage in challenging conversations.
Please join me in supporting the teaching of accurate, honest and complex history in our schools, and say no to the hyper-politicization of the Patriot Parents.
White Bear Lake
Ready to be mayor
My grandfather opened our families’ business in White Bear Lake 102 years ago. It has been handed down to my father, then to me, and now to my daughter. I was honored to serve as White Bear Lake’s mayor for 14 years. Both of these experiences have led me to pay a great deal of attention to this year’s race for mayor. Don Mullin is the candidate who is clearly ready to be our next mayor.
Don Mullin understands that White Bear Lake can only preserve its historic charm if it moves forward in a thoughtful manner. White Bear Lake has changed significantly over the more than a century that my family has called it home, but its small-town charm and culture has always remained strong. Don’s leadership will look to the future and keep our community vibrant.
As a school board member, Don also understands the complexity of local government budgets and finance. He has proven that he cares about our past, present and future.
I hope you will join me in voting for Don Mullin for mayor. He will lead in a way that will allow my grandson to be the fifth generation in our family business 20 to 30 years from now, which I am hoping he chooses to do.
White Bear Lake
Building for the future
Now that Don Mullin’s children are grown, he is ready to make the time to serve as mayor of White Bear Lake. We are lucky to have him as a candidate.
When Don Mullin and his wife, Kellie, chose White Bear Lake as the place to raise their young family, it was a benefit to both the Mullin family and the people of White Bear Lake. Don quickly became an active volunteer by coaching youth football, serving as an adult education enrichment instructor, and in numerous trade, education and community efforts. When the pandemic put families in crisis, Don stepped up to help put food on their tables as a volunteer with the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
As a second-generation worker in the construction trades, Don learned early on the importance of a strong work ethic. He knows how to work hard and build things. While many people like to tear things down, Don works to make things better. He does that both with buildings and with people. He has proven his ability to do so many times since we elected him to serve on the school board.
Don Mullin will be an excellent, hard-working, and effective White Bear Lake mayor.
White Bear Lake
Right the ship
The Mahtomedi school board and administration have lost their way. The policies that led to Mahtomedi’s rise as an academic powerhouse are being strategically dismantled by a current majority of our school board, captained by superintendent Barb Duffrin. Look no further than the Mahtomedi High School mission statement. Absent from it is any semblance of expectation for continued academic greatness. Mediocrity is not only acceptable now, it is embraced and has been redefined by the district leadership to be synonymous with success. Priorities have changed, and a first-rate education no longer even makes the list. Go read it. They have plotted their course, and it doesn’t include a return to the Mahtomedi schools you used to know.
Mahtomedi has attracted world-class teachers. But constrained by the administration’s changed policies and values, these teachers can no longer teach to their students’ true potential. Test scores are sinking along with the district’s once-upon-a-time No. 1 ranking.
The district is jettisoning families like mine who have been lifelong Zephyrs. Multiple-generation families are part of what makes Mahtomedi schools so unique. The number of longtime Mahtomedi families, including second- and third-generation children, who have left the district is staggering, and it is unlikely the next generation of these families will return to Mahtomedi. Change is needed, and it is needed now.
We need a new voice that understands how to restore the reputation that Mahtomedi schools at one time had earned. We need a person that can refocus the school board’s priorities and bring academic excellence back from the depths. Paul Donna is that person. He brings the experience, leadership and dedication to Mahtomedi schools that is necessary to right the ship. Paul Donna has my vote for the Mahtomedi School Board, and for the future of our schools and community. I hope you will give him yours.
Class of 1998
Vote for hardworking public servant
I am writing in support of Jessica Ellison for White Bear Lake School Board. I have known Ms. Ellison for over 10 years as a professional colleague at the Minnesota Historical Society. She is a talented and dedicated servant for public education, especially social studies. Her professional experience, her incredible work ethic and her passion for serving students and teachers are all assets that make her the right choice for White Bear students.
She has worked directly with teachers and students across the state as a teacher education specialist for MNHS and as president of the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies (MCSS). She has direct experience designing curriculum and teacher education programs to support teaching in the classroom. She works closely with teachers to ensure that the materials and experiences she develops are engaging, age/grade appropriate and accurate. This experience gives her a unique insight into the workings of schools and classrooms that helps her understand how school board decisions can directly impact learning.
Ms. Ellison is one of the hardest-working people I have ever worked with in my career. She takes on complex challenges at work, as president of MCSS and as a current school board member. When faced with a challenge, she puts in the time to understand the whole situation, bring in expertise by collaborating with others and develop a strategy for completing the task, and then works diligently to accomplish her job. These skills are critical for a school board faced with the challenge of resolving issues that have divided our community in this charged political environment.
Ultimately, Ms. Ellison believes in public education and its importance to helping students achieve their best possible futures, and that schools are a place for learning that welcomes and honors everyone for who they are. She understands the critical role White Bear Schools plays in creating a healthy and vibrant community that welcomes everyone. Her skills, passion, professional experience and ongoing service to White Bear Schools make her someone worthy of your vote. Vote for Jessica Ellison Nov. 2!
White Bear Lake
Candidate committed to White Bear Lake
Doug Biehn is my City Council member. Sometimes I agree with Doug and sometimes I disagree with him, but I know he always does his homework on issues and I admire and respect his deep commitment to the future of White Bear Lake.
Doug and his wife, Mary Beth, have made their home in Ward 2 for 31 years, where they raised their five children. You can imagine the time demands on a father of five. Doug has made time to be an active volunteer. Special Olympics of Minnesota, D.A.R.E., Batton’s Disease Walk/Run, instructor for the Ramsey County Citizen’s Emergency Response Team, are just a few examples of his volunteer community service.
Doug Biehn is exactly the type of kind, intelligent and caring neighbor we need on the White Bear Lake City Council. Doug has more than earned our vote for another term.
Richard and Thea Bradbury
White Bear Lake
Candidate has unique qualifications
As a second-generation Mahtomedi resident and graduate, I care deeply about the future of our schools and community — that’s why I’m supporting Paul Donna for Mahtomedi School Board.
Paul Donna’s volunteer contributions to the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation, the Mahtomedi Middle School Strategic Plan Committee and Mahtomedi baseball and lacrosse demonstrate his natural inclination for sharing his time and abilities with our community. We are incredibly fortunate to have so many wonderful volunteers empowering our students.
Paul’s personal contributions to the district are exemplary, but it is his unique professional qualifications that vastly exceed what we’ve come to expect from our public servants at any level. Paul’s career in public finance spans 32 years, and much of his career has been spent working closely with school districts to find solutions for their financial needs. As managing director with R.W. Baird, Paul is a leader and authority in public finance. Paul’s candidacy offers us a rare opportunity to elect someone who will be a tremendous asset for the district.
The Mahtomedi School Board’s stated purpose is the “care, management, and control” of our public schools, and their mission is “diligence, prudence, and dedication” to providing the finest public education. This managerial role is so important to the success of our district.
In the next few years, my children will begin their journeys through our schools — and just like my dad (class of ’76) and me (class of ’04), they will enter Wildwood Elementary and graduate from Mahtomedi High School. I and many others (I’m sure you’ve seen Paul’s signs everywhere) want to see Mahtomedi Schools be the finest public education in the state. With Paul’s leadership on the school board, Mahtomedi will get there. Please join me in voting for Paul Donna on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
More information requested
It is unfortunate that we know so little about the views of candidates running for public office. I have several questions for Paul Donna.
First, the CDC recommends that school children wear masks. With your position that this should be a parental choice, I would like to know why you would disregard that guidance. Would you extend that parental choice to currently required vaccines or other health and safety issues, such as weapons in schools?
Second, you earn your living selling financial advisory services to school districts. How will you avoid conflicts of interest with your past and current employers and other companies with close working relationships to your firm? When you attend state and national school board events on Mahtomedi's dime, how will you avoid using these events for Baird marketing purposes? I think that would be difficult to do.
Third, at the LWV forum, you imply that the district has lost focus and is teaching inappropriate subject matter. Can you be specific about this?
Finally, again at the LWV forum, you noted both the loss of families from the district and the fact that our buildings are over capacity. How do you reconcile those two statements? It would be great if the White Bear Press could report on your answers.
Candidate will fight for children
I am writing in support of Mahtomedi School Board candidate Paul Donna. As the vice president of the Mahtomedi Area Education Foundation (MAEF) I have had the pleasure of working alongside Paul as he leads MAEF, an organization that has provided $100,000 in student and school initiatives over the last 12 months.
Paul has served on the MAEF board for more than seven years. During that time, he has served a vital role on our finance committee, is an active participant and community liaison through our many fundraisers, and leads an executive board/trustee team as board president. In 2021, under his leadership, MAEF provided $37,000 in grants to teachers to make possible the pursuit of enrichment opportunities for instruction and the classroom, $54,500 in scholarships to Mahtomedi graduates to further their education, as well as $28,000 to support the basic needs of students, student enrichment and recognition of teachers and staff. Within that $28,000, MAEF supported our school community by assisting our weekend backpack program that provides weekend snacks for students in need and supplemented district funding to provide students with distance learning devices and internet accessibility.
Paul’s ongoing support of our schools doesn’t start or stop with MAEF. Paul has served 35 cumulative years as a parent volunteer in our elementary, middle and high school classrooms. In addition, Paul served on our Mahtomedi Middle School Strategic Plan Committee, is on the Board of Trustees for the Mahtomedi Baseball RBI Club and has been a coach and mentor for student athletes.
Paul continues to give his time and talent to benefit our students, teachers and classrooms. Paul believes schools are meant to be institutions of academic excellence and will not allow the Mahtomedi Public Schools to be anything but. In an election year where change is needed, Paul will not compromise for our children, Paul will fight for them.
Please join me in voting for Paul Donna on Nov. 2.
Vice President, Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation
Know what candidates stand for
Now, more than any other time in history, we have realized the importance of our vote. It is important to know your candidates and what they stand for, even in a local election like the one for Mahtomedi School Board. I was surprised to read that a local teacher’s organization recommended one candidate over another. Looking at their social media from the 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections, they have never voiced support for any political candidate, so why now? Their recommendation was posted prior to the one public forum offered in our community, so I reached out to Paul Donna to see what information the locally formed Mahtomedi Education Association (MEA) asked for when they contacted him as they were making their determination for which candidate to support. Paul Donna was never contacted by the MEA to learn more about his views or ideas pertaining to the Mahtomedi School District.
Our school board candidates have made themselves available to the public so that the parents of students and community members of the Mahtomedi School District can make an informed choice on who will represent them on the Mahtomedi School Board. An informed choice would be one that has taken the time to understand the experience, knowledge, values and ideas of all candidates. Teachers have a large, powerful network — the NEA — to support the values, views and interests of educators at a national, state and local level, while parents and community members have only the local school board.
If you’d like to learn more about Paul Donna and his ideas for representing the Mahtomedi community, district parents and the many needs of students attending school in Mahtomedi, visit. An important note is that the MEA does not speak on behalf of all teachers in the district. This uninformed recommendation was made by just the executive board of the organization. We can all be thankful to have educators who are engaged in our schools and community, as this is part of what has made Mahtomedi a desirable area to raise a family. Make an informed vote Nov. 2!
Council member endorsement
Projects like the Rush Line bus threaten to ruin the one thing White Bear Lake has that most other suburbs don’t: a beautiful downtown. If you share that view, please send reinforcements to the City Council by voting for Dan Louismet for mayor and Heidi Hughes for Ward 2 City Council. Dan and Heidi are the only candidates on the ballot this November who are strongly against the Rush Line. They will protect what makes our city unique and not sit back and let Ramsey County or the Met Council determine our destiny. They are both parents raising young families in White Bear, and will serve with integrity. I wholeheartedly endorse Dan Louismet and Heidi Hughes for mayor and council.
White Bear Lake City Council
Candidate will preserve unique community
Like me, my kids have been lucky enough to grow up in White Bear Lake, specifically Ward 2. Living in this neighborhood means we can walk or bike to many of the hallmark offerings of White Bear Lake: taking pictures at the gazebo, jumping into the lake from the Seventh Street Dock, sledding down the hill at Matoksa Park, gawking at trees along Lake Avenue, playing tennis at the Ninth Street tennis courts and, of course, standing in line at Cup and Cone. While surrounding communities look to create a downtown area, White Bear Lake has a real, authentic one, and though it's different than it was when I was a kid, White Bear Lake has maintained its character as it has grown and changed.
My neighbor in Ward 2 is Heidi Hughes, and she is running for City Council because she has also chosen to raise her kids here. Heidi appreciates the uniqueness of what we have, and she is dedicated to preserving the small-town soul of White Bear Lake while allowing it to continue to evolve. To my neighbors in Ward 2, please vote for Heidi Hughes for City Council on Nov. 2.
White Bear Lake
Fighting City Hall —
thwarted but not done
The No Rush Line Coalition has been working hard to get the message out to all White Bear Lake area citizens that we are not against public transit; we just want transit that will actually help people, like picking them up at their homes.
But on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at a public meeting at White Bear Lake City Hall, we lost big-time at the hands of White Bear Lake City Council members’ 3-2 vote in favor of MnDOT’s efforts to “improve” the intersection of Whitaker/Highway 61 by sealing it off and setting the stage for construction of a Rush Line bus station. Private property by Alleycats will be taken.
However, we can still fight back.
On Tuesday, Nov. 2, there is a White Bear Lake election for White Bear Lake City Council. One of the council members, Douglas Biehn (Ward 2) voted in favor of the Whitaker/Highway 61 intersection fix and Rush Line.
I urge you to not vote for him, but to vote for Heidi Hughes instead. She opposes the Rush Line, as it will not take people to the grocery store or the food shelf or Century College. We need door-to-door service.
So put Nov. 2 on your calendar. You can vote on or before Nov. 2. To locate your polling place, contact mnvotes.org.
White Bear Township
Council members support Rush Line
More than 70 concerned citizens waved their No-Rush-Line stickers at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 12. This did not stop Doug Biehn (Ward 2), Dan Jones (Ward 3) and Kevin Edberg (Ward 4) from approving the resolution of municipal consent for changes to Whitaker Street. These changes are required for construction of a bus station for the Rush Line project.
Here are a few details on the Rush Line project:
· The cost to build is $475 million.
· 89 articulated buses will come into White Bear Lake every weekday from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.
· Most of the route will rebuild Vento Trail as a dedicated bus guideway that only buses can use and will remove the trees along the route.
Doug Biehn recently stated “about 20% of his constituents oppose the Rush Line project, 20% support it and 60% are noncommittal.” The 60% who are noncommittal do not know what the project involves. Doug Biehn should have done a better job of informing them.
The Rush Line Project had one open house at White Bear City Hall, which was attended by only 120 people on Jan. 10, 2019. The City Council has not made an effort to inform residents about the project. This will be the largest project of the century for White Bear Lake, and most residents know nothing about it!
Heidi Hughes, candidate for Ward 2 and Dan Louismet, candidate for mayor, both oppose the Rush Line and promise to ensure that residents’ voices are heard by their local government.
The No-Rush-Line Coalition is not against mass transit. They want the Metropolitan Council to substantiate their outdated, pre-COVID ridership data. There are better options for providing transportation to seniors, the handicapped and others needing point-to-point transportation.
Even if you do not ride a bus, the BRT will affect you when on Highway 61 or on the Vento Trail. Do you like diesel fumes from 89 buses, 60 feet long and nearly empty, driving by every 10-15 minutes?
The Rush Line (Purple Line) BRT project must be re-evaluated, as it is not needed and it does not fit in White Bear Lake.
White Bear Lake
Candidate puts students first
Although the last 18 months have been extremely challenging for all educators and families alike, it is vital to note that in a 2021 Community Survey, 93% of community members rated the quality of Mahtomedi schools Excellent or Good, and 92% said they are proud of our schools and would recommend them. This speaks highly of the district, the current Mahtomedi School Board, and Tony Vosooney, who currently serves as Treasurer.
Tony Vosooney is the best candidate for a full term on the Mahtomedi School Board because he puts students first. He is fully committed to maintaining exceptional student achievement, and to a unified school community that creates opportunities for all to excel and develop to their individual potential. As a community resident and past member of the Mahtomedi School Board, I support Tony’s strong commitment to our district’s mission; a “…unified community of courageous hearts and curious minds dedicated to inspiring personal excellence, is to ensure that each student is a bold agent of learning who successfully pursues their passions while advancing the greater good…”
Tony is personable and a community leader, who includes all stakeholders. He has proven to make good decisions for the benefit of all students. He has already demonstrated his acuity in leading student achievement, in finance and funding that is strictly designated by state and federal laws, and completed several levels of training in specific board responsibilities such as tech levies, bonds, employment, board and staff development, community engagement, policy, and strategic planning. He has a clear vision for the future.
In spite of our many views, Mahtomedi has always come together to protect student achievement and our district’s culture of respect, opportunity and inclusion. Tony’s leadership has been a crucial component of this excellence and unity. Vote for Tony Vosooney.
(For more information on Tony Vosooney’s experience and ideas, visit vosooneyfor832.wixsite.com/website)
Mary Jo Deters
Former Mahtomedi School Board Member
Vote Yes Mahtomedi
Our school district needs your support. There is a technology levy that has been in place for nearly 20 year, and its renewal will be on the ballot in this election. The district’s existing technology levy has funded improvements in how technology supports classroom learning for students. It has also given the district the ability to provide our students with up-to-date technology in a world that is increasingly “technological.”
Voting YES will not increase your taxes. Voting YES will allow our schools to ensure that students and staff have the resources they need for critical technology infrastructure, essential training and support, innovative teaching and learning tools in addition to student devices.
Just like so many families we know, our family moved to Mahtomedi for the public schools. We would like to see our kids’ experiences, as well as those of their peers, be paralleled with those who went before them. In order for the district to have sustainable access to technology that supports students and staff, we will be voting YES to the capital projects levy for technology.
Find out more at www.mahtomedi.k12.mn.us/techlevy
Candidate represents next generation of female leaders
I am writing to voice my strong support for Lilly Melander for Mahtomedi City Council. As the youngest woman ever elected to the Minnesota State Senate, I have seen firsthand the immense need for bright, strong, female leaders to step up to the plate and run for elected office, especially in local government. Too often are decisions being made without representation for those who will have to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Too seldom are the voices of those working hard to build their lives and budgets included in the conversations that will impact their futures.
I first met Lilly Melander as a colleague when I worked at the Medical Alley Association, a trade association representing Minnesota’s largest industry of health innovation and care. Lilly’s strong work ethic and political savviness led to her quickly rising within the association’s ranks as she gained critical knowledge about how to strengthen and support Minnesota’s largest industry.
Lilly quickly moved from colleague to friend, as I learned that we shared the same values and immense love for this country.
I learned Lilly is the type of person who will always go above and beyond the call of duty. She will bring her strong moral compass, work ethic and much-needed perspective to City Hall and will thoughtfully and critically consider each issue that comes before her.
As a lifelong resident who is also walking in the shoes of those trying to put down their own roots within the community, Lilly represents the past, present and future of Mahtomedi. She will offer a vital perspective that will serve Mahtomedi for generations to come.
I urge a vote for Lilly Melander, and throw my full support behind her.
Senator Julia Coleman
It’s not too late
Contrary to your statement at the Oct. 12 council meeting, it’s not too late, Council Member Jones, to do something about the Rush Line BRT. Being you are on the prevailing side, voting “yes” to the municipal consent needed for the Rush Line BRT station at Whitaker, you can make a motion to reconsider at the next council meeting. Why reconsider? To put conditions on your vote. Conditions like updated BRT ridership numbers from Ramsey County to justify the BRT; guaranteed comparable replacement of the Lakeside Shops pylon; preservation of business parking. Conditions help you get something more from the Rush Line BRT project. Isn’t getting something out of the project for White Bear Lake what you said you wanted when justifying your “yes” vote? You only accepted what the project offered, you didn’t ask for more. Council Member Jones, it’s not too late to step up to the plate and do more for White Bear Lake residents and business.
Peggy J. Van Sickle
White Bear Lake
City Council leadership?
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, I observed the White Bear Lake City Council demonstrate weak leadership. MnDOT requested a permit to acquire right of way from a private business owner, change Hwy 61 capacity and alter access to allow a bus station for the Rush Line BRT to be built by Ramsey County (aka Metropolitan Council) at Whitaker Street and Hwy 61 in front of Alleycat’s. Council Member Dan Jones stated there is nothing we can do — we can’t stop Ramsey County. That is weak leadership.
The City of White Bear Lake could have said no, or they could have said yes and demanded conditions that need to be met. Did Dan Jones just give up the autonomy of the City of White Bear Lake to Ramsey County? The residents live in this great community called White Bear Lake, they do not live in the City of Ramsey County. In an attempt to cover weakness, as is often done, Dan then bullied and berated the audience, scolding them on why they didn’t stop Ramsey County. That’s the point, Dan, that you and some other leaders in White Bear government don’t get. In case you and a few other local leaders aren’t listening, residents and businesses have been raising their voices to Ramsey County for three years, and it doesn’t seem to matter.
The residents of White Bear Lake then turn to their most local elected officials for help, and what they got from Council Member Jones is “…there is nothing we can do.” You could have stopped the county and the Met Council; you could have asked them to reassess the outdated pre-COVID ridership numbers and submit a new project design. The residents and businesses of this community need local leadership to stand up to Ramsey County and the Met Council. Otherwise, Dan Jones is the first resident in his community called the City of Ramsey County.
White Bear Township
Water meter nightmare
I’d like to thank all who worked on my water meter replacement, especially Dave from White Bear Plumbing and Wade from White Bear’s water department, who went above and beyond my expectations to rectify a very messy and challenging water meter replacement. Also, Mike from the water department and Kody from Ferguson, for your concerns getting this done.
Thank you, thank you!
White Bear Lake