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City council candidate, Ward 1: Bryan Alpaugh

Name: Bryan Alpaugh

Age: 58

Occupation: Information Technology Manager at the State of Minnesota

Education: Control Data Institute / University of Minnesota

Family: Married with three children, four step children and four grandchildren

Civic involvement: Hastings Planning Commission, 12 year Hastings Snowmobile Club Board Member, Certified Snowmobile Safety Instructor

Q: Why do you want to be on the city council? A: I moved to Hastings over 12 years ago and I really enjoy the historic, small town feel it provides as well as the picturesque beauty of the Mississippi river. A couple of the reasons I’ve made Hastings my home. My goal in becoming a member of the Hastings Planning Commission is to help ensure the characteristics and foundation of this city remain. I have now chosen to run for a council seat to expand that role and to work with the citizens to listen and help ensure that the services that the city provides are helping those intended.

Q: What is the most important issue the council needs to address? How would you address it? A: What’s important is to continue the path of improving this great river city and to make it more desirable for businesses to start, expand or relocate here. Once you expand the revenue stream, you can reduce the tax burden for citizens and businesses alike. With the growth of business, you also provide new jobs and economic growth. We’ve had a great start with the Riverfront Renaissance, but we can continue this revitalization along the Vermillion corridor to again make it desirable for potential businesses. We need to strengthen our economy, provide better quality of life and build on local assets.

Q: The city has been a partner for a few major development projects recently. Is this a practice the city should continue? Why or why not? A: I believe it is something that should be continued. These partnerships have allowed the city to expand its cultural presence by helping to provide more opportunities for the arts and to preserve some of the city’s heritage while providing more housing and services for citizens. Both of these examples are great wins for the city as well as the citizens who may choose to live, work or visit these locations.

Q: What is your opinion on the city’s current fiscal status? What aspects of the city budget, if any, would you like to change? A: I believe that the city’s current fiscal status within the city is strong, and I commend the current council for doing a great job. But I also believe that there is always an opportunity to improve on the financial status by reevaluating where and how the budget dollars are going today as well as looking longer term when the tax base may not be as good as it is today.

Q: In 2014, a city-funded community survey identified drugs and youth crime as two of the most pressing public safety issues here. How can the city effectively address these concerns? A: Education is certainly key! I believe that the city can help address these issues early by working with the schools to help provide age appropriate education that enables students to explore their attitudes and values and help develop their personal and social skills to solve problems and communicate effectively.