Name: Dennis Egan
Occupation: Owner of Egan Public Affairs
Education: College of St. Thomas with a public relations degree
Civic involvement: Co-chair of Red Wing Blue Ribbon Panel on Economic Development, Steering committee Red Wing Strive program for k-12 redesign, executive committee for new Mississippi River Mayor’s Association, Past president and current board member of Minnesota Paint Horse Association, past chair of Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives, Blandin Community Leadership Program, Red Wing Elks.
What is the biggest issue facing Red Wing right now?
Economic prosperity for all is at the core of my running for mayor, and that depends upon economic diversity. Agriculture has been a mainstay since the beginning. Distinctive retail stores ensure Red Wing remains a regional retail center. Our manufacturing sector ranges from century-old processes at Red Wing Pottery to the latest in technology at the Xcel Energy Prairie Island nuclear plant.
Our new fiber telecommunications infrastructure will help ensure businesses have the tools to compete in the world marketplace. The upstart business person who needs a location to start the next “Apple” will soon find the resources here to do just that.
The Prairie Island Indian Community is an important part of our rich heritage. And its main business venture, Treasure Island Resort & Casino, is a centerpiece of the local tourism industry. Regardless of the season, tourism is a key economic sector we need to foster and nurture.
How do you view the mayor's role in city government?
As the city’s chief ambassador, it is paramount to promote economic vitality, ensure our seniors and youth continue to be a vital part of our community, have a world-class education for everyone and an expanded opportunity to protect our natural resources (Mississippi River/Bluffs…) are some of the issues that help shape my personal initiatives.
As mayor it is the privilege to engage the residents and my commitment will be to continue to hold community listening sessions in the community and not just at City Hall. Over the last 18 months I held six community sessions and heard from hundreds of residents as to what was important.
What are your qualifications for mayor and what would you bring to the position?
Red Wing truly represents the best of the past, present and future. Two years ago I said I believe there is not a single city in Minnesota that holds greater potential for success and a secure future than Red Wing. But we need to move forward together. This is a time of great challenge and opportunities. As Minnesota welcomes new leadership in the Legislature Red Wing will also make a meaningful decision: who will lead our city as mayor and help set the direction and vision for our future. Red Wing needs someone willing to bring new ideas to the table, someone who understands the wide range of issues facing our community. I believe I have the background and experience to help Red Wing move forward together.
What would be your top goal(s) if elected?
Our city cherishes its historic past as demonstrated by the preservation of numerous landmarks. We have benefited immensely from the vision of our city fathers who took steps to ensure Red Wing will remain vibrant for generations.
We have a few opportunities in the near future to position Red Wing for the future. We need to resolve the Mississippi National Golf Links ownership issue and define the city’s roles with regards to incineration of RDF and the $700,000 subsidy the residents of Red Wing make each year for the operation of these two enterprises. In addition, we need to stay focused on the nuclear storage issue.
As past leaders have done, we need to ensure city infrastructure is updated and replaced. We need to do this in a responsible manner and at the same time not add to the tax burden of the residents and businesses that call Red Wing home.