Address: 1211 Hammond Ave.
Family: I am single, never married and have no children. I work with my brother Travus at our computer business on Tower Avenue, we're both co-owners. My sister Tiffany graduated from Superior Senior High School, then attended UMD, was an honor student, and currently in the Army National Guard. My parents Ted and Jackie of South Range are retired after working over forty years at the area's first Christian radio station, WWJC 850 AM, Duluth, which my grandfather helped establish in 1963.
Employment: As co-owner of discoverpc.NET Computer Solutions Center located in Superior, we have been serving the area since 2004. Over that time at discoverpc.NET,
I've learned what it takes to begin a business from nothing with my partners. There are many sacrifices and hard work to make a business into something great; customer service and quality are key. In an industry where people can be taken advantage of, we focus on helping our customers make the best possible decision with what they have. Today, we have a total of five technicians and are well respected in the community.
Education: I am a homeschooled high-school graduate. My education has always been hands-on, project and goal orientated to get things done. If I don't know how to do something, I get the answers, keeping the ball rolling to complete the task at hand. There's no project too big to tackle. If you don't take the initiative yourself, who will?
Government and civic experience and organizations: I've been heavily involved in the community the past few years. I've been a Rotarian since 2013 and last year was appointed as director of vocational services. This reaches out to our Superior High School students providing scholarships, community projects and summer leadership camp opportunities with RYLA. I'm also on the board of directors of the Development Association. This is a powerful organization where we are courting businesses, helping them move into our community. In 2014, I was afforded the opportunity to be a chaperone for high school students, including my sister Tiffany, to visit our sister city in Ami-Machi Japan, and have been actively involved with the Superior Sister City commission ever since. Additionally, I'm involved with Great Lakes Church as director of media. Being in business, I'm also a member of the Duluth and Superior Chamber of Commerce, Superior Young Professionals, Superior BID, and the Lake Superior Chapter BNI.
What assets do you have that will help you represent the people of your district?
District 6 is part of the downtown district. Being business oriented, I'm excited to see this area revitalized. We've seen new businesses pop-up since the Tower Avenue project, and I'm excited to see that continue on Belknap, once completed. We moved our business to Tower prior to the Tower Avenue construction projects due to our growing needs. I'd like to be there for those who are going through that same process on Belknap Street. I'm a landlord of my own duplex and I know housing can be questionable in the district. I'd like to improve the housing and communication between the landlords, the city, and most important, the tenants for their safety and comfort. I have an I.T. services background and believe in efficiency and optimization. I'd like to use my talent to bring a new and fresh perspective to serving our citizens with better communication and tech. My daily life is solving problems, and I'd like to bring that talent of mine from the I.T. world to the real world.
Why are you running for City Council and what do you hope to accomplish?
Being an area lifelong citizen I know how Superior has been compared to Duluth. I'd like to help change that. Superior needs to be unique and different. Superior needs its own theme and purpose. We need to complement each other when Duluthians come to visit us, just like we visit Duluth. Millennials search for experiences and I'd like to tap into that. With our natural resources, I think we have a lot of potentials to attract and keep citizens here. We need to improve and grow housing, retail and business. Drugs and addictions are rampant, it's destroying lives and families. Keeping citizens safe and controlling illicit drug use is a priority.
What do you believe the city's top three priorities should be, and what will you do to help the city achieve those goals?
Development & Growth
Visiting with the citizens: There is a great concern with the loss of Target and Kmart. One area we struggle with in Superior is gaining retailers due to the average income level. Having worked with the Development Association we're courting businesses showing how viable Superior really is:
-The lower sales tax.
-Professionals and workers who live in Duluth and work in Superior.
-To bring a more accurate figure that we're truly a twin ports community.
-I'd like to see unique businesses that are not located in Duluth; such as Ashley Furniture, ROSS, Cabela's, Tractor Supply Co., Trader-Joe's, healthy fast food options, a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Therefore everyone wins!
From an industry standpoint Superior is strong in this area, but I still believe we can use more. They bring good paying jobs to the area to support living wages. We need to take advantage of the natural resources we have. We live in a cooler climate and I would like to see development of data centers in the area. Servers generate a lot of heat and having naturally cool climate to keep these data centers running would be a shoe-in for the city.
I'm in support of housing like the Bluestone Lofts on Woodland, and ENDI on 21st Ave East in Duluth. Superior desperately needs market rate housing, we need to fill that gap that's currently missing in Superior. This will help retain the working professionals in Superior and increase the tax base. The result would be growing the city.
Public Safety, Drug and Addiction Problem
Drugs abuse is rampant in the twin ports. Because illegal drug sales have no borders, the city maintains an unusually large police force to keep our citizens safe. Drugs and addictions do ruin families. I'd like to attack the root of the drug problem. By making streets safer through better street lighting by using LED lights that provide brighter lights and energy savings. Drug dealers hate the light. Community policing will be important. Upgrading our 911 system connections to allow picture mail. More information during the incident of the crime is important to help any situation. The technology is there, we just need to utilize it with the proper upgrades.