"If given the honor of serving on the Apple Valley City Council I promise to always put the people of this great community first, to remain committed to being more accessible and transparent than members of the past, and to always keep an eye on what comes next for our city by supporting innovation and inclusion. This is a great city, and an amazing community, but a fresh perspective and a new approach at City Hall can go a long way. I would be honored to earn your support, and your vote, in this election."
Land Use & Development
Our community's population is growing, and in order for this to continue we need to make sure that we are continuing to invest in new housing. At the same time, we as a community also value being connected to the natural world around us with green spaces, some of the best public parks in the state, and recreational hiking or running trail-ways throughout the city. If elected, Ben would always prioritize more active community engagement around any proposed development projects that would dramatically impact the neighborhoods in our community. Local government needs to be transparent and more accessible when making major land use decisions, while residents of the community deserve to know what existing data tells us about previous land use decisions.
Our city's population continues to grow, and with that our community's housing needs continue to grow and change over time as well. Our community should be one that first-time home buyers can actually consider - whether they be folks who grew up here and want to stay or those who are just drawn to our community and want to live here. Unfortunately, housing markets here in Apple Valley make that difficult and many individuals may be deterred to purchase a home in our city based on the scarcity of neighborhoods not bound to enormous homeowners association (HOA) fees that sometimes get as high as almost $400/month. We need a better plan to make it easier for young residents to purchase a home and stay here in the city they love while also making our community a more feasible option for Minnesotans that might otherwise consider purchasing a home in Apple Valley.
Internet & Cable: Protect Consumers
Whether used for online learning by students or other learners, by folks looking for a job, by businesses that need it to effectively operate, or even just for leisure or entertainment at home, internet access is a utility in the 21st century. The importance of this utility has only been heightened by COVID-19 as many have begun working or learning from home more regularly. Like other utilities, families and businesses deserve to get what they pay for, to understand what they are paying for, and to have other options and know what those options are should existing services not meet their needs. Unfortunately, anyone that’s ever dealt with a cable or internet company knows that this often isn’t the reality. We need a voice at City Hall that that is looking out for consumers, and Ben will be just that.
It makes no sense why in the year 2020, if someone is in need of emergency assistance and dials 9-1-1, dispatchers tend to be limited to just three options: send an ambulance, send firefighters, or send in armed officers. We need City Council to be working hand-in-hand with Dakota County to come up with some better options and to start thinking about what public safety should look like in the 21st century - not just adding more training or expectations to those serving as EMTs, firefighters, or police officers.