City council candidate, Ward 4: Trevor Lund
Name: Trevor Lund
Occupation: Product Marketing Manager at Andersen Windows (Renewal)
Education: Saint Olaf College — BA in Economics & Political Science; Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota — Master of Business Administration
Family: I’ve been married to my awesome wife Heidi (Youngren) Lund for eight years. We both grew up in and graduated from Hastings. We’re blessed to have our 3-year-old son, Bennett, as part of our family. Bennett is quite a character (if you’ve ever met him, I know that you agree) and he keeps our lives full and exciting. We also have two happy-go-lucky dogs, Scout (beagle) and Ole (golden retriever).
We enjoy spending time in and around town with friends and family, and we are always excited to meet new people, reconnect with classmates and be involved in community events.
Civic involvement: Throughout most of my life I have been fortunate to have been a leader and contributor in various groups, boards and committees serving the community, church and schools. Being elected will mark my first formal civic role; I will bring value and variety with a new perspective to the council.
My professional experiences in the private sector, working within budget, managing people and projects and being accountable for results is absolutely an asset. I do believe, and many have echoed the sentiment, that the city council needs a variety of backgrounds and experiences to best represent the people of Hastings.
Q: Why do you want to be on the city council? A: I appreciate the hard work and time that the current council has given to Hastings. However, we simply have not had many options in recent elections; competition and choice are good for the city, and I have stepped up to give voters an alternative.
Hastings needs new energy and ideas — I will bring these to the council. I’m running because this is my hometown, the place where I chose to raise my family, and the success of this community matters. I want to be elected because I have the skill set to be effective and the passion to be dedicated.
Q: What is the most important issue the council needs to address? How would you address it? A: If we want to continue to improve as a city, we need to strengthen our business environment. Stronger business can ease the tax burden on residents, create job opportunities and even attract/retain families, which builds on our long-term success and sustainability.
To address this, I will improve the communication with our current businesses, finding new ways to support their growth. I’d examine providing resources to the city to be proactive rather than reactive in attracting outside businesses to expand/relocate here. I will explore the opportunity for business and technology incubators to inspire and draw start-up companies to town.
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: The answer is situational; however, most everyone I’ve spoken with has had very positive feedback. Certainly, these partnerships are best if they do not supplant (or conflict with) a project already designated or one that should be done regardless. In the right instance, barring conflict of interest, partnering with organizations can be a great opportunity to bring value-add assets to the city while bringing funding from outside of the city budget.
It’s encouraging to see groups organize and raise money to help improve their community, and if we as a city see a benefit then I would support the practice.
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: We operate on a reasonable budget, but the key is to grow revenue while not increasing the actual tax rate. We can build on to the budget and do more with available funds if we had a larger tax base from which to draw. This all starts with becoming a business-friendly city.
I’d like to see more budget allocated toward economic development; the 2017 preliminary budget has operating expenses at only 1 percent for economic development. With value-add businesses comes employment, with employment comes residency, and with residency comes better support for our retailers; all of which grows the tax base.
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: Public safety is a top priority for any city, and drugs/youth crime are absolutely issues that demand attention. To gain various perspectives on this issue, I’ve reached out to people in town: law enforcement, educators, administrators, parents and students. While schools and families play a crucial role, opportunities for the city include ensuring proper law enforcement presence, education/resources and social/recreational opportunities for youth.
We’re also fortunate to have several community organizations that can help prevention and aid in correction; cooperating with such organizations can be also be an impactful way for the city to make a difference.