Name: LaVergne S. Dickerson
Occupation: • Health and emergency preparedness instructor
• Office administration/reception
Education: Practical nursing at Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical in Red Wing; business and event management at Dakota County Technical College
Family: Divorced. Children Lauren, Tyler, Daniel, Leiah, Tierigny, Caitlyn and Alivia
Civic involvement: Red Wing Sister Cities, Goodhue County Sheriff's Citizen Academy, Red Wing Police Department Citizens Academy, cofounder of African-American Literacy Project, Red Wing Diversity Festival (former committee chair PR/Publicity), Red Wing School District Curriculum Advisory Committee, Hispanic Outreach (former board member), Red Wing Arts Association and Goodhue County Historical Society volunteer, Community Garden volunteer, Community Education instructor, local theater.
What is the biggest issue facing Red Wing right now?
As with many communities and most of society, budgeting and budget cuts are a major issue for our Red Wing community.
Through continuous assessments, evaluating urgency and considering everyday needs, our city faces great challenges fiscally.
The goal for our city budget should be to meet the needs of our community and that is what I am committed to seeing happen.
How do you view the mayor's role in city government?
Mayors are more than political leaders — they are community leaders as well. Even in a “weak” mayor governmental hierarchy, as ours is set up here in Red Wing, our mayor is still this community's leader. Effective leading is not a skill you are magically endowed with after being elected. Elected officials, mayors, council members, etc. should be committed to continuously working toward producing positive change and supporting growth of the community they are representing.
It is with this in mind that I believe our mayor's position isn't weak at all. It is clearly a position of strength and empowerment. Our mayor's voice is the voice that represents the people of this community. There are 16,000-plus residents in Red Wing — that makes for a very loud voice.
What are your qualifications for mayor and what would you bring to the position?
I have a unique combination of formally acquired skills, education and experience paired with a true desire to serve our community and serve it well.
My intellectual capacity and formal education compliment my multitasking abilities and natural congeniality. My public relations and phenomenal personal relationship-building skills are impeccable; they are a perfect fit for the mayor's position. I am interested in growing the engagement of the residents of Red Wing. I am also prepared to receive any and all mayoral readiness or skills training offered. This would complement the skills I already possess and assist me in performing this important job effectively.
What would be your top goal(s) if elected?
One of my initial goals as a new mayor would be to fully absorb any and all mayoral leadership training and development offered for this new position. This will provide me with training, guidance and skills specifically geared for the position of mayor. It will also cultivate the talents and offerings I already possess so that I am representing the city of Red Wing effectively and well.
I also have a goal of community building through engagement. Our community needs a mayor who is out and about listening to resident concerns and returning to those same residents with answers for those concerns. Every resident’s question or input is valuable.
I believe building a cohesive community is a good goal for Red Wing also. Establishing a cohesive community will strengthen the bonds between the residents and our local leaders. This would also support domestic tranquility for our great city.