New mayors begin terms

Robbinsdale and Crystal residents elected Regan Murphy and Jim Adams, respectively, to serve as mayors of their cities. Sun Post asked them several questions regarding how they view their next four years in office.

Jim Adams, Crystal
• Have your views on issues changed from when you were running to now?

While I was running for mayor, my goal was to keep the election focused on issues, not on personalities. I am proud of my campaign and on how I ran on my education, experience and what I have to offer the citizens of Crystal.

I was able to maintain a clean and factual campaign. I kept my message on my qualifications and some basic financial metrics. Now that I am the mayor and have an opportunity to speak with Crystal staff members I find that my perception of the financial health of Crystal is fairly accurate. Crystal is fairly healthy and is now in a position where hard choices will need to be made.

• What do you hope to accomplish as mayor?

One of my plans is to hold the line on taxes for the city portion of the tax levy. I am not willing to simply transfer funds from an account and apply it to the tax levy and claim, for political expediency, that we cut the tax levy.

Next year, Crystal does not expect to have surplus revenues, which means the council has a choice to increase taxes or decrease expenditures just to keep up with any programmed increases in spending. My read from the citizens of Crystal is that they have had their fill of tax increases at all levels of government.

This leads to the discussion of Local Government Aid (LGA) from the state. Crystal relies heavily on LGA. We currently have no idea what changes are coming. In recent years, when LGA has changed, it has been reduced, which meant Crystal made up for the loss by increased taxes and some minor cuts in spending.

If LGA is cut again, I believe the citizens are interested in this council making the choice of reducing expenditures. Our council will be making extremely tough decisions in the next few years, because the easy and minor cuts have already been made.

As Mayor I am working to create a respectful city council that will work together to guide the City of Crystal, for the citizens of Crystal for the people.

• What will your relationship be with the council members? How about with community members?

I am excited to work with the new Crystal Council. We have a diverse representation of ideology within this group, which I believe represents the citizens of Crystal.

The feedback I have received from council members has been positive with excitement from both new and existing councilmembers.

Our differences will not divide us as a council or a city; it will strengthen us by allowing us more complete discussions. Our differences will promote fuller discussions where issues will be looked at from more perspectives. My goal is to create a council with a strong team concept based on respect for each other and the citizens of Crystal.

Regan Murphy, Robbinsdale
• Have your views on issues changed from when you were running to now?
My views have not dramatically changed. Now that the election has passed, I’m very excited to move forward and start working on the initiatives and ideas that I had focused on in my campaign.

During this first month, I have realized there is an important need to prioritize and gather broad support to make any new effort a community effort.

• What do you hope to accomplish as mayor?
While campaigning, I committed myself to working with the council and the residents on three important issues. First, we all want to make Robbinsdale safer. I  am very interested in developing a neighborhood program in Robbinsdale. We can make our neighborhoods stronger and safer by getting more residents involved.

Second, we will improve and expand our downtown business district and promote Robbinsdale. We have a very unique and desirable destination. We need to take advantage of this and continue to bring in businesses that are good for our residents and visitors.

Third, we need to build a vision and concrete plan for what  we want Robbinsdale to look like in the future.

• What will your relationship be with the other council members? How about with community members?

I have strong relationships with the council members and our city manager.  We all have different perspectives and experiences, which is one of our strengths.  We may not agree on every issue, but we share a common goal to work hard to keep Robbinsdale great and to serve our residents.

I look forward to working with the council members and all the city staff  to maintain city services and help make Robbinsdale an even better place to live.

Contact Anna Woodwick at anna.woodwick@ecm-inc.com

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