City council - Mark Vaughan
Q: Please provide us with some background information, including your education, job position, community service and any previous or current connection with government.
A: I have lived in the Hastings area for almost 40 years. My wife Beth and I are graduates from Hastings High School. I have been married for 19 years to Beth (Schnirring) Vaughan and have three daughters, Mary (14), and twins Martha (11) and Molly (11).
I have been involved in the Hastings civic community for 12 years as a volunteer on the Hastings Parks and Recreation Commission, Hasting Planning Commission and currently the Hastings Charter Commission. I was elected chair to all three commissions during my tenure.I have worked for the City of Eagan Parks and Recreation Department for over 19 years and currently hold the role of campus facilities manager. I am a graduate from Minnesota State College, Southeast Technical in Red Wing, in the Arena and Recreational Facility Management program.
Q: Why did you decide to run for this position?A: After recently completing my sixth year on the City of Hastings Planning commission, and discussing the commitment with my family, I announced my bid to be elected to Hastings City Council.I have a proven record of leading and working on solutions for the community. I have a passion for local government because I like to see results and show the community that they can make a difference by being involved. I will strive to make sure the tax payers and visitors are being heard. I want to be part of guiding Hastings as we continue to make Hastings a quality community.
Q: What are the major issues facing the City of Hastings? How should they be addressed? Is there an area (or areas) that needs special attention?A: Economic Development has been an area that needs vision. With the recent predicated decrease in school numbers, we need to work on solutions to create jobs that will provide opportunities for families to choose Hastings. I will make sure the businesses that choose to work with Hastings follow our goals and plans for the overall good of the community. We need to maintain what we have while we plan and implement for future growth. Quality is important to me and I believe a quality community will attract new business, residents and visitors.
Q: How should the city attract new businesses and/or industries, resulting in more jobs and increasing the tax base? How should we compete with other cities?A: First, we need to take a “snapshot” of what we have, what we do, what have we done and analyze what works well and what needs improvement. We have to submit a comprehensive plan every 10 years to the Met council, but we need to review other internal community plans often. An example of the this would be the Vermillion Street corridor plan.Next, we need to listen to current business owners and interview business owners in other communities to see what works best for them when choosing a city to start up their business. One example with my research is to break the city into “districts” and have a theme and focus to each area. We need to make sure we have a variety of stores for residents which will lead to businesses who compliment each other.We need to make sure our infrastructure is up to date and maintained. If we want to attract manufacturing jobs, we need to listen to owners as to what type of traffic this will create and make sure semi tractors will be able to navigate in and out of the facility.An area resident or visitor enters Hastings via Highways 316, 61, 55, and County Roads 42, 46/47. Dedicating dollars to promoting Hastings is important. Visual signature signage at all entry points would demonstrate city pride and promise to all who live and visit here. I would support being proactive in Hastings’ increasing its effort in promoting itself as a quality city worthy of living in and being viable to all that happens within the width and breadth of its city limits. By having easily accessible and attractive “Gateways” into our community, we can create a very welcoming feel. We are doing this now with the new bridge but we cannot forget about the other gateways in and out of Hastings.Lastly, we need to pick up the phone and let business know we are open for growth. We cannot sit back and wait for someone to contact us, we need to market Hastings to potential developers, brokers, entrepreneurs, and residents.Q: What makes Hastings a good city in which to live/work?A: “Hastings is home!” I have heard that statement from many people that have come back to Hastings to raise their families. We have a prime location by being close to the Twin Cities and have the uniqueness of being a “river town.” Hastings has some great history that makes us such an interesting place to live. We live in a safe community where our public safety officers and firefighters are actively involved in community outreach.
Q: Why should people vote for you?A: I have a proven record of dedication and results. I have a passion and energy to work for Hastings. I’m a great listener and am dedicated to make Hastings even better. I will research other cities, counties, businesses and operations and find a way to make ideas, concepts and practices fit into our community. I look forward to working with partners from the community’s youth groups, churches, non-profits, schools, businesses and most importantly our residents to make Hastings a city we can all be proud to call home.I currently work for a great city and have worked at other cities including Hastings. I have been involved with the Hastings city for the past 12 years in various commissions. I have three kids in the public schools and am involved in many community activities. I am listening to current and former residents about their visions, hopes and experiences with living in Hastings. Most importantly, I want my home town to be great for my family and future families.