Name: Lisa Pritchard Bayley
Occupation: Attorney in private practice
Education: Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass., 1989; Georgetown University Law Center, 2000
Family: Husband Douglas Bayley; daughter Nora (age 13), son Nick (age 10)
Civic involvement: Red Wing City Council member, 2008-present; Advisory Board member of Minnesota Women Lawyers, 2009-present; Goodhue-Wabasha Sexual Assault Services board member; former prosecutor, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Adult Violent Crimes Division; and Wabasha County Attorney’s Office.
What is the biggest issue facing Red Wing right now?
Our biggest issue is addressing the reduction in revenue from the state and other sources. We’ve already cut spending over the last few years, but we need to find other ways to balance the budget without raising taxes. For example, I am in favor of closing the incinerator and working with private entities to process our waste. This will, eventually, lead to a reduction in the cost of waste processing. These types of decisions are not easy, but if we make them carefully we can continue to provide quality services without further burdening the taxpayer.
What would you bring to the City Council?
I bring experience, having worked hard these last four years to be involved in many aspects of city government. I also bring a strong work ethic and an interest in asking tough questions.
In my day job, I run a small business (a solo law practice), so I am very aware of the issues and obstacles facing new business owners in Red Wing. I am also the mother of two school-age children; I am involved in local sports and school communities and understand the interests and needs of those constituencies as well.
My outlook on the future of the city is positive — while we face many challenges, we are well situated to come out of the latest economic crises stronger than ever.
What would be your highest priority or priorities if elected?
I strongly believe that there is an important role for city government to play in providing essential services such as drinkable water, excellent police and fire protection, safe and durable roads, and accessible recreational facilities. My highest priority is continuing to fight for those services, but doing so in the most cost-effective, efficient manner. We must invest in our infrastructure, but in a way that is thoughtful and planned, with an emphasis on the highest priority needs.
What are your thoughts on revenue options such as the proposed local option sales tax?
I am tired of asking our local property owners to foot the bill for all of the infrastructure and services in the city, many of which are enjoyed by visitors and folks who work here but live elsewhere. A local option sales tax would spread out the burden of making some of the requested capital improvements that would have regional benefits.
It’s a good thing, though, that the sales tax is on the referendum in November; I like the idea of allowing the voters a direct say in the issue.
I am not in favor of other revenue options such as utility franchise fees, which get passed directly to the homeowners again.
What is an issue or concern you think needs more public discussion?
I would like to hear from more people about the future of the Mississippi National golf course. The current lease holder is proposing to walk away from the lease, potentially leaving the city with a 36-hole golf course with no equipment.
I hear regularly from two dedicated but small groups, those who support a city-run course and those who support selling it. I am not interested in a city-run course with city employees, but I am open to creative ideas.
The future of an asset of this size and value (both financially and culturally) needs to be carefully discussed. I support public debate about this issue before making any decisions.