Field of four for council includes two Zicks

The competition for two council seats in North St. Paul includes two incumbents, Terry Furlong and Candy Norgard-Petersen; one former council member who hopes to return, Dave Zick, and perennial candidate Bob Zick.

The Review asked the candidates for background information and their take on the challenges facing the city.

 

Terry Furlong

Terry Furlong

Terry Furlong, 52, is married to Sandra and has been on the North St. Paul City Council for six years. He is a co-owner of Furlong’s Liquor in Oakdale and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration-finance and an associate degree in environmental science, both from Bemidji State University.

Furlong has served as president and on the board of the Oakdale Business and Professional Association, as a trustee and member of the finance council at the Church of St. Peter, as a district chair with Friends of Scouting and on North St. Paul’s Parks and Recreation Commission as well as both Oakdale and North St. Paul economic development commissions.

Furlong says the city has posted a higher bond rating during his tenure and is on a sound financial footing to pursue a capital improvement program and replacing park structures.

However, he says, the age of city amenities in itself poses a challenge. “North St. Paul is an aging community (and) with that comes a lot of challenges with the infrastructure, downtown and being competitive with other cities. The city is now starting to show improvements with policys that have been in place since (my) being on the council.

“We still have a long way to go,” Furlong adds, “but I feel the city is going in the right direction.”

He says, “There are many decisions facing our community and I want to work with our neighbors and businesses to preserve and improve all that makes North St. Paul a great place to live and work.”

 

Candy Norgard-Petersen

Candy Norgard-Petersen

Candy Norgard-Petersen, 60, is married to Rick and has been a city council member for four years. She is a special education assistant at Tartan High School and has studied at the University of Minnesota.

Currently, Petersen is serving on the boards of the Ramsey League of Cities, Metro Cities, Minnesota Women in City Government and the Suburban Cable Commission, as well as volunteering with Silver Lake Splash, CERT training, as a Minnesota naturalist and being active in the North St. Paul Historical Society.

Through all those affiliations, Petersen says, “I have gained a valuable insight to bring to my Council position.”

Among challenges that will face the next city council, Petersen says “The pressing issues are redeveloping our vacant parcels of land to grow our tax base.” To help in that effort, she suggests offering incentives to developers to attract new investment in the city.

Further, she says, “Infrastructure is in rough shape but we do have a street improvement plan in place now! We have a great quaint main street but we need to improve 7th Ave and it’s sidewalks which costs money! We are always looking for grant money to ease our financial obligations.”

Overall, Petersen says, “The Council has been fiscally responsible! But more can be done!”

Petersen says she’s running on her record as an accessible, consensus-building leader. She’s eager to help usher in redevelopment “and help our city be a destination not a drive by city.”

 

Bob Zick

Bob Zick

Bob Zick did not volunteer his age, but according to past voter’s guide information he’s about 68 years old, is retired from being an electrician with the St. Paul Public Schools and has run for a variety of offices in the past 20 years, including the Maplewood and North St. Paul city councils, the District 622 school board and state representative posts.

He describes himself as a retired master electrician from the IBEW Local No. 110 and notes he has hosted a cable access program called “Inside Insight News Hour” for 20 years. “‘Inside Insight’ reports on what government is doing to us,” he adds.

Bob Zick says, “Under my leadership as president and community organizer of Citizens Concerned for Quality Education, we organized the successful effort that kept the new high school in North Saint Paul.”

He says he is a good listener, can discern the root cause of a problem, find a realistic solution, see the long-term impact of decisions and guard against unintended consequences. “I have always engaged people of all persuasions and encouraged them to express their opinions.”

His priorities: to hold the line on property-tax increases and fees on seniors and people on fixed incomes.

Further, he says, “North St. Paul is becoming a ‘drive-by city’ and is losing its heritage. It’s been divided in half by the Highway 36 freeway. ... We need to be a city that is business-friendly. We can’t let our economy go down the drain like it has in Saint Paul, where property taxes keep going through the roof.”

 

Dave Zick

Dave Zick

Dave Zick, 74, is married to Linda and graduated from North High School. He is retired from a long career with the North St. Paul Fire Department, during which he was a firefighter, EMT, captain, assistant chief and retired as chief in 2001. He served previously on the city council, from 2004-10 and was North St. Paul’s Emergency Management Coordinator from 2001 through January 2014.

Currently, Dave Zick is the board president for the North St. Paul Area Food Shelf. He also serves on the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Task Force and the Police Civil Service Commission.

He says that experience will help him if he rejoins the council, and says he’s spurred to run by concerns that “in the past 18 months trust between elected officials, administration and staff has eroded and morale has been down.” He cites the departure of “five police officers, three linemen and a code enforcement officer” as evidence of a trust gap.

One of the things Zick blames for the departures: “the uncertainty of what the elected officials are doing. The constant talk of consolidation, contracting services or elimination of services has caused this mistrust. I would work to ensure any talk of consolidation, contracting out of services and eliminating of services would be made public.”

He also indicates he thinks current council members are overstepping their bounds in North St. Paul’s council-manager city government. “I would also work to ensure that we maintain our present form of government: city council/manager and not direct council control.”

Holly Wenzel can be reached at review@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7817.

 


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