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Hove: Keep community prosperity on track

Dean Hove
Editor's note: This Q&A is part of a series highlighting Wards 1 and 2 candidates. Find the rest of the story here

Dean Hove

  • Age: 58
  • Address: 4149 Highway 61, Red Wing
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  • Education:  Red Wing Public Schools, high school degree, financial management training
  • Family: Married to Teresa for 37 years; three grown children, two grandchildren
  • Occupation: First Student
  • Civic involvement: Red Wing City Council, National Guard member for 10 years, American Legion

What compelled you to run for the Red Wing City Council?

I ran to represent my neighbors on our City Council with a vision for change and a mission to work with residents to improve their lives. My goal was to bring back citizen choice and self-determination by truly listening. The partnership we began in 2003 has produced amazing results. Together, we introduced a culture of cooperative, responsive government guided by principles of fairness, respect, and responsibility. We set Red Wing on a common-sense path of low taxes, wise spending, and strong public safety that sparked investment and became the foundation of today's prosperity.

Your constant contact has been the key to our success. In a new term, I will keep your taxes low, focus on a healthy future for our families — and I will keep on listening! The most rewarding part of public service is solving individual problems. You can fight City Hall, and win — just call me.

What local issues are you passionate about? Which issue would you address first if elected?

I am most concerned about keeping us on the track that created today's prosperity. Fifteen years of wise planning and careful spending has put more money in our residents' pockets. Homeowners were levied nearly $750,000 less in 2018 than the year before I took office. Red Wing now has the flexibility to withstand yearly income fluctuations like we will see in 2019 with minimal impact on taxpayers.

Prosperity was no accident. It took years of hard work and tough choices. I will pass on the lessons of the lean times and make sure we do not go backward to the days of yearly budget fear, uncertainty, doubt and higher taxes.

We are working to fill the need for more housing by partnering with a local builder. Construction will begin on 250 new homes soon. Next year, I plan to focus on more new housing and revitalizing Old West Main Street.

What have you done to prepare for being on City Council?

I have 16 years of experience working together with citizens to create an inclusive environment where everybody matters, and a transparent government that works for everyone. Our city is thriving because residents are willing to offer their ideas, experience, passion and commitment. I do my part by listening, voting your views, and getting things done. We envisioned a better city to raise a family, build a business and enjoy retirement, and then we worked together to make it happen. We cut taxes and enhanced public safety. We saved our historic buildings, preserved our natural resources and made our families more secure and prosperous. The city we will leave to the next generation is poised for a bright future with a solid infrastructure and financial stability — and not a penny of debt will be left to our children. I need your vote on Nov. 6 to continue our successful partnership.

What unique skills and perspectives do you bring to the council?

As a small-business owner, I learned the value of long-term financial planning to balance a large budget. The most needed skills I brought to our City Council were common sense, compassion and the willingness to see things through the eyes of the people affected by decisions.

For example, several years ago, the city adopted our current snow emergency procedure. The first heavy snow resulted in many tickets and an equal number of angry residents. It was clear that people were not adequately informed. The City Council took responsibility and waived the fee for every ticket. The decision reflected our city's fundamental values of fairness and respect for everyone. We then embarked on a plan to ensure residents understood the new guidelines, and that our goal was to make their lives easier and safer with a predictable, consistent procedure that would allow for more rapid, thorough snow removal.

How would you prioritize and scrutinize special projects and requests?

Since the Great Recession, we have prioritized based on which city expenditure serves the greatest good and truly fills a need. To earn my support, each choice must receive a "yes" answer to the question: will this make life better for Red Wing families? Such projects include our partnerships with local family foundations for the new Central Park Bandshell, the Memorial Park Restoration and the upgrade and expansion of our trail system. The city's willingness to restore and maintain our historic buildings (City Hall, Red Wing Library, Sheldon Theater) gave those families confidence that we would be good stewards of their generous gifts as well. Citizen input has made the choices clear.

Our improved water quality, the universal playground in Colvill Park, our new public safety building, the re-opened skating rink, the new splash pad at the athletic field and neighborhood park upgrades all happened because of citizen requests.

Jefferson school is empty and the professional/Mayo building will close by the end of the year. How will you include the community in deciding what goes into those buildings/spaces?

These buildings present an opportunity for citizens to partner with potential investors and act as architects to help redesign and build an even more livable city. I will hold neighborhood meetings to receive citizen input on what might be done with Jefferson School and the old hospital on West Fourth Street.

Bringing neighbors together has the added benefit of strengthening our community. The exchange of ideas in an informal setting builds relationships, resolves misunderstandings, sets aside misinformation and goes a long way toward building consensus. The best ideas come directly from residents.

There may be creative new uses for the land/buildings that fit the neighborhood. Both the school district, which owns Jefferson School, and Mayo, which owns the old hospital, will likely appreciate any guidance from the community. The city can help by providing an incentive in order to attract the kind of solution our residents want.