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Schultz: Address issues, listen to options

Editor's note: This story is part of a Q&A with Hastings mayoral candidates. Read about other candidates here

Danna Elling Schultz

  • Age: 60
  • Address: 1875 Highland Drive
  • Website: dannaformayor2018.org
  • Twitter: @dannaelling
  • Facebook: /dannaformayor
  • Instagram: @Dannaelling
  • Education: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, B.A., journalism and mass communication; Central High School Norwood-Young America, Minn.
  • Family: Husband of 33 years, Doug Schultz; daughters Libby, 27. and Abby 23. Both HHS graduates
  • Occupation: E-12 and higher education legislative researcher, MN Senate
  • Civic involvement: Ward 4 council member 2000-2016; acting mayor; Economic Development, Planning Commission and Parks Board member. While on the council, was chair of the Finance, Public Safety, Utilities, Operations and Administrative committee; St. Philip’s Lutheran church member and co-chair of Capital Campaign; secretary, women’s Tennis League; member YMCA and Black Dirt Theater boards; member AAUW.

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What would be your top priorities as mayor?

My top priorities are:

Fill the empty Target space and actively seek out businesses to come to Hastings

Encourage more businesses to come to Hastings and promote workforce development

Create quality housing opportunities

Work with local officials and organizations to help people get to and from work and around our city without needing a vehicle.

Make investments in local parks/recreation and city street upgrades

Promote tourism initiatives with businesses, school district and residents

Forge partnerships with local school district to promote quality schools and city/district initiatives

Continue the Vermillion Street corridor commission project and work with businesses and residents to make this a thoroughfare that encourages travelers to stop, shop and play in our city.

Have a mayor's office open-door policy to hear from residents

Have a common-sense, transparent and productive approach to getting things done.

What differentiates you from the other candidates in this primary election?

I am the only candidate in this race with the experience for the job. Serving 16 years on the City Council, I have extensive background in understanding how the city works to provide the services our residents use every day.

I also have experience working with people of many different viewpoints and backgrounds and forging compromises to get things done. I worked with federal, state and local leaders to secure funding for the new Hastings bridge.

The mayor also needs to talk to and work with others outside the city limits. I have experience working with business leaders, legislators and elected local officials and staff from across Minnesota. This is a large part of the mayor's job.

The next Hastings mayor will need to work with the city council, city staff and residents. I have the knowledge and skills to do that, and am prepared to lead on Day 1.

As a city leader, what should the mayor's ongoing role be with the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Initiative?

The mayor and City Council should continue to work with the schools, businesses, YMCA and residents to ensure that we create a welcoming culture in our town. This issue is not just about race, but also about socioeconomic status, quality of life and education. As mayor, I would work to bring together groups to build consensus to make our community a welcoming place for all.

At a time when people are divided by politics, income and education levels, we need to provide a decent quality of life for everyone here. Our seniors and our young people need housing they can afford. United Way provides weekend food packages to school children so they aren't hungry. Hastings Family Service and food shelves are seeing more need.

It is the job of the mayor and other leader to address these issues and provide options. We will face our challenges with a strong response.