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Business growth and long-term planning: Here's where Hastings mayoral candidates stand

Danna Elling-Schultz (left) and Mary Fasbender

Mary Fasbender

  • Age: 59
  • Address: 521 W. 13th St.
  • Website:
  • Facebook:
  • Education: Minnesota Beauty College
  • Family: Husband, Paul
  • Occupation: 34-year owner of MDK for Hair in Hastings
  • Civic involvement: Hastings Comprehensive Plan Committee, Hastings Public Safety Advisory Commission (six years), Hastings Charter Commission, Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce, Hastings Area Rotary Club, Downtown Hastings Business Association, original Hastings YMCA building campaign, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton fundraising committee, Hastings High School reunion committee, Mayo Clinic hospice pet therapy team and local Meals on Wheels.

How do you propose to encourage business growth within the community?

As mayor, my plan is to be hands-on in many areas, this being one of my priorities. I will approach businesses to come here.

I have owned my business for 35 years and know what it takes to connect with people and keep the momentum to run a business. I have compassion for the business world and understand what their needs and struggles are to run a business. We need to retain the businesses we have and bring new ones to town.

I will work closer with the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce and create more partnerships with businesses, the school district, and residents to start a movement on developing Hastings to grow in in all the areas of the city.

I will have town meetings for people to be the voice on their wants and needs. This is their community and I want them to be able to voice how they want to see growth in their community. We should be growing in commerce and residential for more sustainability. All in all we need to have more partnerships.

How do you plan on setting up the city for long-term growth?

We need to recruit and work with professional service firms, light manufacture and medical related services to sustain growth for our community, create jobs and have more opportunities. Our rural areas are a part of our community, we need to welcome them and work together to again create partnerships for growth.

Why do you want to run for public office?

I want to see Hastings develop into a community with vibrancy, transparency, momentum, pride, for all ages, so young families see Hastings as a place to raise their children.

When your children have grown and you are empty nesters, you find that there is enough for you to do, and seniors to feel like they can transition to facilities as needed.

To all that they feel safe and welcomed here. I want people to feel connected to their community, to be proud that they live here.

I want Hastings to be the best it can be.

I feel I am the best person that can do this for Hastings!

Danna Elling Schultz

  • Age: 60
  • Address: 1875 Highland Drive
  • Website:
  • Twitter: @dannaelling
  • Facebook:
  • Instagram: @Dannaelling
  • Education: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Bachelor of Arts in 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, Minnesota 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.

How do you propose to encourage business growth within the community?

First, I think we need incentives to bring more businesses to Hastings and to encourage existing businesses to renovate and expand their spaces. We should continue to discuss our WAC/SAC fees and use the new recommendations on SAC that will make determinations easier, faster and simpler.

I want to convene a task force that includes school district and county officials, citizens and businesses to promote the great opportunities we have to offer (we were recently named the No. 1 city in the metro for day trips!) Besides bringing in tourism dollars, promoting our city will also help bring in businesses, and also more families that will help the school district and create demand for the products and services businesses have to offer.

Finally, we need quality housing so young people, families and seniors can find what they need to live in our lovely community. That will help bring businesses here.

How do you plan on setting up the city for long-term growth?

We need to turn our eyes to the future and make our city a place where people want to come to live and raise families, entrepreneurs want to come to start businesses and established employers find qualified workers. If we continue to work to have a safe and inviting community with parks, trails/other recreational offerings, good schools and quality housing, then we can expand and grow our great city. Through economic development incentives and collaboration with our partners at the state and county level, we can help businesses find and attract the workers they need so they can continue to thrive or expand. But we need to provide quality housing, shopping, recreational, transportation and educational opportunities to keep those residents in town. It is the responsibility of all of us to make our city an even better place to be.

Why do you want to run for public office?

My family and I have been blessed with many opportunities in Hastings, so I want to give back to the community that has given us so much. Public service has always been important to me and I want to use my time and talents to make Hastings an even better place.

Serving in public office is a huge commitment. It takes time, compassion and hard work. But it is also rewarding to know that the work you do with your fellow elected officials, staff and residents is helping our community. And any public servant/elected official needs to realize from the start that the job is not about them but about serving others and being willing to listen and make reasonable decisions based on what's best for the community at large. As your mayor, I pledge to lead with these ideals and serve Hastings to the very best of my abilities.