Five candidates file for two Golden Valley City Council seats

Summer is winding down and campaign season is here.
Golden Valley City Council has two council seats open this Election Day, Nov. 7.
The two seats are currently occupied by Larry Fonnest, who has filed for re-election and Andy Snope, who will not seek re-election.
In addition to Fonnest, other candidates are John Giese, Gillian Rosenquist, Jim Ryan and Andy Schuler.
Fonnest is a 21-year Golden Valley resident.
He is a retired small business owner and has worked in private, public and nonprofit industries including health care, higher education and state government.
“Golden Valley is a great place to call home,” Fonnest said. “I have had the privilege of serving on the Golden Valley City Council for the past four years. I have matured into the position, here’s a lot to know and understand, and in the process have accomplished many positive results for the city, its neighborhoods and residents. There remains much to be accomplished in moving Golden Valley forward and I believe I have the vision and drive to get it done.”
Giese is a 24-year Golden Valley resident originally from Chicago.
He is the former owner of Augie’s Drain Cleaning and has aspirations to start a new company to help individuals with chores around their house. He is also a first sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard.
According to Giese, he is familiar with the city’s issues and projects, making him a great candidate for the council.
“We’re not using our resources wisely,” Giese said in regard to the council discussing immigration policy, a policy enforced by the federal government, according to the city’s attorney. “I think we need to stay in our lane and focus on things we can do more on the local level.”
Giese stated that he also sees discontent on the council.
“I’m a good middle person,” he said. “I’m a good collaborator, someone who can take two sides and bring them together. I want to bring that to the council and try to bring some civility back.
Rosenquist is a 15-year Golden Valley resident.
She recently resigned from an administrative role for LegalCORPS, which finds low income inventors free sources of legal advice, including help with patent applications and other intellectual properties, to help them turn inventions into patented and potentially marketable devises.
“I’m running because I’m very passionate about Golden Valley,” she said. “I love it. I’m deeply committed to making Golden Valley the best it can be.”
Rosenquist, who ran for city council four years ago, serves as vice chair on the Open Space and Recreation Commission and previously served on the Bottineau Station Area Planning Committee and Citizens Advisory Committee.
“I’ve been deeply involved for the planning of Golden Valley’s future,” she said.
Ryan is a 30-year Golden Valley resident.
He is retired from a 40-year career with the federal Social Security Administration and sits on the board of directors for Centro Guadalupano, a nonprofit that provides services to Hispanic and other immigrant populations in Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood.
He was trained academically for public policy and project management in public administration, and his degree is in political science and history.
During his career with the federal government, Ryan found solutions to problems. In later years, he became a chief steward for local offices throughout the state where he did a lot of negotiating and thinking outside the box for solutions.
“I ended up working on issues for workers and their families,” he said “I’m seeing kind of parallels. I’m seeing my community comprised of workers and families. I’d like to put my skills to help sustain and improve the community.”
Schuler is a 16-year Golden Valley resident who draws illustrations for comic books.
“In 2013, when these two seats were last available, there was a 62 percent of electorate lost,” he said. “I’m focusing on some electoral reforms I’d like to see re-enacted. I think it would solve a lot of the problems.”
Residents can expect to see candidates going door-to-door, speaking at a candidate forum and featured in future editions of the Sun Post throughout the campaign season.