In 2012, Minnesotans will go to the polls to elect a new President, Vice President, Senator, Member of Congress and new state Senators and Representatives. All Scandia residents vote at the Community Center Hall, 14727 209th St. N. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.
Scandia will also choose a Mayor and two City Council members. The Mayor serves a two-year term, and the Council members will serve four-year terms, all commencing on January 7, 2013 (the first Monday of the new year.) Candidates for city offices are— Mayor: Randall F. Simonson Council member: Robert Pilz, Bob Hegland, Dan Lee, Connie Amos, Chris Ness and Dustin Hegland
Registering to Vote— If you were previously registered to vote in Scandia, and have voted at least once during the last four years, you are already registered. If you moved since you voted last, even if it is just to a new address within the city, you must update your registration. For the November 6 General Election, voter pre-registration closes at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16. After that date, you may register at the polls on Election Day or at the same time you cast an absentee ballot. When you register to vote on Election Day, please be prepared to show proof of residency.
Absentee Ballots are Available Now— You may vote by absentee ballot if you are unable to vote in person on Election Day because you are: away from home; ill or disabled; an Election Judge serving in another precinct; or, unable to go to the polling place due to a religious holiday or belief. Absentee ballots are no longer available at the city office.
In person absentee voting: For most Scandia residents, the most convenient location to cast an absentee vote in person may be at the Washington County Headwaters Service Center, Forest Lake (19955 Forest Road North.) You may also apply and vote at the Property Records and Taxpayer Services Department at the Government Center in Stillwater, or at the other County service centers in Woodbury or Cottage Grove. Vote during regular business hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Saturday before the election.
Absentee voting by mail: Apply early so you can mail back or deliver your absentee ballot before Election Day. Your absentee ballot must reach your precinct by 8 p.m. on Election Day. You may call, write, or fax to request an application. You can return your application by fax, but not your ballot.
For more election information including links to downloadable registration and absentee ballot application forms, please see the city website at www.ci.scandia.mn.us and click on “Election Information” on the home page.
Meet Kristina Handt, City Administrator
Kristina Handt joined the staff on September 17, 2012 as the second-ever Scandia City Administrator, succeeding Anne Hurlburt who retired October 2.
Handt most recently served for four years as the Village Administrator of Luck, Wisconsin. Her previous experience includes working as a Legislative Assistant in the Minnesota State Senate and a District Assistant/ Field Representative for a US Congressman. She did an administrative internship with the City of Minnetrista, Minnesota. Handt received her BS degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and holds a Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
“Scandia’s desire to retain its rural feel while being located so close to urban areas offers the best of both worlds,” Handt said. “What people often times like most about living in a rural residential community is the feeling that everyone knows you by name. When folks come into the city office, they are not just a number, but are greeted warmly and interest is shown in the individual.”
The City Administrator is responsible for managing all of Scandia’s local government operations and activities; ensuring adopted ordinances, resolutions and policies are implemented and consistently applied; and maintaining official records and supervising all staff.
Originally from Elk River, MN, Handt, 32, recently moved to Forest Lake, MN. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cheering on the Vikings, and spending time with her nieces.
Scandia’s new Maintenance Superintendent, Tim Kieffer, started his duties on May 14. He has already dug in to his responsibilities, including overseeing the seal-coating and patching and the Melanie Lane improvements, among many other projects this past summer.
Kieffer brings 14 years of municipal public works experience to the City of Scandia. He most recently worked for the City of Hugo, and previously the City of White Bear Lake. He is a graduate of White Bear Lake Area High School, attended the University of Minnesota, Morris and received a Public Works Certificate from North Hennepin Community College.
The Maintenance Superintendent, a new position for Scandia, provides oversight and work direction for maintenance personnel and contractors to ensure that all city infrastructure (including roads, street lights, drainage systems, sewer and water) and facilities (including parks and public buildings) are operated and maintained in good condition. He will be charged with drafting and recommending policies and will participate in long-range planning for his areas of responsibility. He will recommend and administer the budget for the Public Works Department, and recommend equipment and vehicle purchases.
Kieffer, 35, grew up in White Bear lives in Hugo with his girlfriend, Rebecca. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, golf, softball and hockey.
In September, the City Council took the first steps toward adopting the budget and tax levy for 2013. The Council set the maximum, "not to exceed" tax levy at $2,175,171, a 5.84% increase from 2012. The final budget and levy will be set in December.
In November, each property owner will receive a “Truth in Taxation” notice with their estimated 2013 property tax bill. Scandia will hold a public meeting on its 2013 budget and tax levy on Tuesday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center. The budget and tax levy will be finalized after the adoption hearing scheduled for Tuesday, December 18, 2013.
Driveway Permits Help Protect Roads
There are many residents with new driveways this summer. Unfortunately, many did not apply for driveway permits. Some might ask the question, “why do I need a driveway permit?” The cost for a driveway permit is only $25.00, but the savings to the city can be in the thousands. Applying for a permit ensures that the work within the right-of-way is done correctly. Improperly installed culverts can lead to catastrophic results. The wrong material, size, slope or landscape around the ends of a culvert may cause water to collect in ditches. Over time, the ditch will fill up with sediment and cause standing water. Then, the water will seep into the sub-base of the road, causing road failure. Recently, the city replaced three such improperly installed culverts. It not only ruined the road, but cost the city a lot of time and money. Another concern is driveways that protrude into the road or change the slope at the edge of the road. They trap water and eventually produce a pothole, or worse. Have Questions or need more Information? Contact Maintenance Superintendent Tim Kieffer. Driveway permits are available at the City office.
Short Takes- Snow is Coming and Dala Horse Returns
Snow is Coming… is Your Mailbox Ready? Before you know it, the snow will be flying. Now is a good time to look at your mailbox and landscape within the right-of-way. If your mailbox is in need of repair, consider replacing the post with a swing-arm style support. Detailed specifications are available on the city website. Guidelines for proper mailbox installation are also available from the postal service, at https://www.usps.com/manage/know-mailbox-guidelines.htm. The city is not responsible for snow-plowing damage to mailboxes that are not installed properly. Also take a look at landscaping along the road. After several snow falls, obstacles get buried. Make sure no obstructions are in the right-of-way that might be hit by the plows pushing back wing rows. Your cooperation is very much appreciated, and will make plowing the roads easier and safer.
Dala Horse Returns— one year after vandals hit, it was restored by resident Dan Lee, assisted by Dan Skupien and Craig Anderson. Dozens of pieces were re-assembled, filled with concrete and reinforcing rods, sandblasted and repainted in a color and pattern similar to the 2011 design by artist Sandy Swenson. It was set in concrete with the assistance of the city’s Public Works Department and surroufnded by new landscaping.