Two are vying to be Scandia's next mayor, incumbent Christine Maefsky and former mayor, Randall Simonson.

Four are vying for two council seats, none are incumbent candidates.

Scandia Mayor

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Christine Maefsky

Christine Maefsky

Christine Maefsky — incumbent

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background.

I have been Mayor of Scandia since January 2017.  Before that, I served 10 years on the Scandia Planning Commission with 6 years as its Chair.  My family has owned and operated Poplar Hill Dairy Goat Farm in Scandia since 1972, and  I am a retired educator.

Many residents complain about poor internet service here. As the current mayor, what are you doing to improve internet service in Scandia? 

Since its beginnings, I have supported the work of Scandia’s Internet Focus committee, including the survey they have conducted with the results presently being analyzed, and their cooperative efforts with the Washington County Economic Authority.    The committee will provide its report to Scandia’s Economic Development Authority and to the Council; will evaluate which solutions seems best to pursue and look at feasible ways to finance them.  As Mayor, I have made a formal request to the internet committee asking them to detail exactly what options for effective internet are presently available to Scandia residents and the plusses and minuses of each. Their response will be shared when it is available.

Aside from internet service, what are two important issues facing the City of Scandia and how are you working to address them? 

• Developing appropriate-scale economic vitality for Scandia : Small businesses that capitalize on Scandia’s heritage, natural environment and agricultural potential, for example farm to table restaurant, businesses that connect to our lakes and the river, home-based businesses that provide the community benefit of having residents in the city 24/7 (potential firefighters and volunteers).  At one time farmers were the home-based businesses of Scandia.  Now technological and cottage industries can fill that need. I also am supporting exploring Scandia’s tourism potential which can bring in the kinds of community scale businesses that are also appealing to local residents (outdoor recreational stores – cycling, fishing, water sports, gift shops). 

• Building community:  I would like to continue the initiatives begun during my first term as Mayor including Welcome to Scandia committee, Good Neighbor recognitions, Conversations with the Mayor and the Scandia Heritage Alliance. While the role of city government is to deliver services to its residents, I believe its role is also to establish and maintain a community where people feel connected to the place where they live and to each other. I will work to continue collaborating with our community groups and organizations – The Lions, Gammelgarden, Washington County Historical Society, Farmers Market, and Scandia’s social media sites.

Why are you interested in continued leadership in the community?

Scandia has been my home for 46 years; it is presently home for three of my children and my grandchildren.  I want to see Scandia, as it moves into the future, maintain the rural character that draws people to live here, and strengthen its sense of community and connectedness to make them want to stay here.  I have received a lot of citizen support for those ideas. Scandia citizens have expressed a renewed interest in civic involvement and have shown a great willingness to step forward.  With their support, I believe I can be an effective leader for Scandia.

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Randall Simonson

Randall Simonson

Randall Simonson

Randall Simonson did not respond to the Country Messenger’s attempts to reach him via email, social media or phone.

Simonson is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran who, since leaving the mayor’s office in January 2017, has stayed active in the community in helping to promote and construct the Scandia Veterans Memorial. Simonson was first elected as mayor in 2012 and served two terms.

Scandia City Council 

Jerry Cusick

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Jerry Cusick

Jerry Cusick

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background. 

My name is Jerry Cusick and I am running for a seat on the Scandia City Council. I’ve been a resident of Scandia for over 30 years, raised a family here and am now retired from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office where I served for 32 years. 

Many residents complain about poor internet service here. As a city official what would you do to improve internet service in Scandia? 

I am the recipient of very poor internet service and will work with the current council on improvement where possible.  I fully understand that our population density doesn’t justify the cost per household needed to receive the best service.  However, I question how one internet provider can do so much better than another. 

Aside from internet service, what are two important issues facing the City of Scandia and how would you work to address them? 

One area of concern is with Scandia’s 40 square miles, some people feel the need to impose unnecessary restrictions on historical and lawful activities our residents have always enjoyed. Problems that arise need to be addressed on an individual basis, and if council action is necessary we need be aware of how a council decision, resolution or ordinance will affect the rest of us. Maintaining our rural character and protecting natural resources are also issues but not necessarily problems.  These issues never go away and our current council has done a great job in addressing them.  Our natural resources are extremely special in that there are features here that don’t exist elsewhere within the metropolitan area. These features are a powerful reason why our residents live here. 

Why are you interested in serving on the city council?

After a 32 year career in public service, I am familiar with many tasks expected of an elected official. Budgeting, staffing, supervising/managing and working with other agencies were a large part of my duties and will aid me greatly as a council member.   If elected, I will look forward to participating in the decision making process that guides our city based on what the residents have desired in the shaping of the 2040 comp plan.

Dustin Hegland

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background. 

I’ve lived in Scandia for 10 years with my beautiful wife and 4 children. I work out of my house doing computer work. I have served on the Park and Rec Committee, Capital Improvement Committee and Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.

Many residents complain about poor internet service here. As a city official what would you do to improve internet service in Scandia? 

I would look to find grants that the city could use to help improve bad areas in our cities internet coverage. I would also look to the cellphone companies to find ways we can improve our cell coverage, so people who can’t get good internet coverage would have to option to use cell hotspots to use until the higher quality internet reaches them. I think this could be a temporary fix until the internet companies can expand their networks without having to raise taxes to pay for better internet for a few people.

Aside from internet service, what are two important issues facing the City of Scandia and how would you work to address them? 

1.  Taxes – I think every city is at a constant battle against wasteful spending. When serving on the city council there are people coming at you from all angles trying to get the city to spend more and more money. If I were elected to serve on the city council I would weigh every issue, first to determine if what is proposed makes sense, then to make sure there aren’t cheaper options and that the expense helps most Scandia residents and not just a small few.

2.  Development and Growth – The City needs growth in certain areas and needs to make sure we stimulate the right growth while still maintaining the rural feel we all love. The city can stimulate growth by keeping taxes low and getting rid of regulations that make it difficult to open or run a business. Business, agriculture, and development thrive when there is less regulation, not more.

Why are you interested in serving on the city council? 

I love living in Scandia and I want to do my part to keep Scandia such a great place for my kids to live. I will work to accomplish this by fighting to keep taxes low by being fiscally responsible. I also would like to see more done to improve and maintain our local parks. I think by Improving and maintain our parks it will help to keep our property values high and attract younger families to fill our schools and work our fire departments.

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Patti Ray

Patti Ray

Patti Ray

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background. 

I’ve had the pleasure of living on beautiful Bone Lake in Scandia for 36 years. I own a digital forensics company and have experience as a project manager, national sales manager, CFO and president. I serve on The Bone Lake Association as its past president and current board member. 

Many residents complain about poor internet service here. As a city official what would you do to improve internet service in Scandia? 

High-speed internet is a digital highway that brings jobs and education into a community. 

I’ve researched case studies on rural communities who successfully expanded their high-speed internet. One idea is the “dig once” initiative, where any time roadwork is done cable is laid simultaneously. Summer crews dig trenches for cable to connect homes close to existing cable. 

Unused analog TV channels called “white space” can deliver high speed internet. These low-frequency waves don’t need direct line-of-sight. Microsoft is heavily investing in this technology. 

MIT entrepreneurs invented SuperTowers tethered 800 feet off the ground, cost 70 percent less than traditional towers, and are less obtrusive. A SuperTower can handle many people engaged in high bandwidth activities like streaming movies. 

A well-researched plan with emerging technologies and creative solutions will cost effectively solve Scandia’s digital divide. I work in tech and know that I’m the right person to help solve this problem for Scandia. 

Aside from internet service, what are two important issues facing the City of Scandia? And how would you work to address them? 

As a lifelong entrepreneur, I want to make Scandia an exceptional place to start and grow small businesses. Scandia has many home based businesses that could be networked together and promoted for growth. I support programs providing mentorship from retired business owners, county guidance programs, and a community business support alliance. We all benefit when local businesses succeed. High-speed internet, reasonable rents, capital and financing availability, and improved roads will help attract new businesses. 

I’ll promote Scandia as a tourist destination, highlighting our city’s natural beauty. I’ll create a central website for promoting Internet-driven hospitality businesses like Airbnb, VRBO, fun activities, restaurants, attractions, and services accentuating the unique experience of staying and playing in Scandia. This will help us keep our rural character while attracting tourist dollars. 

We need more young families to keep our exceptional elementary school vibrant. Scandia has a five acre lot restriction which is too expensive for them. I support a few small cluster developments with reduced lot restrictions to help address this need. I’d work to figure out creative solutions to preserve our rural character while attracting young families. 

Why are you interested in serving on the city council? 

I want to serve on the Scandia City Council to solve the internet problem. I have the skills, the time, and the enthusiasm to help research and develop cost effective solutions and deliver them in a timely manner. 

I like contributing my time to make my community a better place for all. I spend countless hours planning and implementing community events that help bring neighbors together. I also value working on water quality issues with my neighbors on Bone Lake. I believe if you want a great community, it’s up to you to do the work to make it happen.

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Dan Squyres

Dan Squyres

Dan Squyres

Please share a little bit about yourself and your background. 

My wife and I moved to Scandia with our 3 children five years ago.  I have been on the Scandia Planning Commission for nearly five years; 2 year as Chair and one year as Vice Chair.  I work as a Sr. Deputy Assessor for Chisago County for my day job.

Many residents complain about poor internet service here. As a city official what would you do to improve internet service in Scandia? 

The current state of internet access in Scandia is limiting business activities and frustrating private users.There is currently a lot of work being done on this issue by the city council and the internet committee. As a council member I will support these efforts. I am open to exploring any option that provides legitimate solutions for the people of Scandia.

Aside from internet service, what are two important issues facing the City of Scandia? And how would you work to address them? 

Two issues that Scandia faces right now are land use and protecting water resources. Regarding land use, I want to work to make sure Scandia grows in a way that maintains the character that we all love.  We can do this by maintaining open space and focusing growth in the village center. As a city council we can protect our water resources with ordinances that minimize the impact of development on surface and subsurface water, requiring the use of best practices for activities that affect water quality.

People can find out more information about me and my stance on the issues at www.danforscandia.com.

Why are you interested in serving on the city council? 

I love living in Scandia and I cherish all the things that make Scandia great, from our quaint village center to our farms, open spaces, dark night skies, and the people who really make this a wonderful town.  I know that being on the City Council is hard work, and I think these things are worth working for: to preserve our town’s character, to encourage a happy and healthy community, to strengthen local businesses, and to protect natural resources.

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