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ROCHESTER WARD 2 CANDIDATE PROFILE - Reynolds says city should spend wisely

John Reynolds

Age: 45

Address: 3524 Sixth Place N.W.

Contact information: Home phone, 252-0036; e-mail, reynolds4rochester@juno.com.

Family: Married, one son.

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Work history: Employed by Weis Management since 1997; previously self-employed.

Education history: Graduate, John Marshall High School; computer programming degree from Minnesota School of Business.

Community activities: Several times a delegate for the Republican Party, past involvement in the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, American Red Cross and Softball for Soldiers.

Government history: Board member, Olmsted County Human Rights Commission.

Top three issues: Promote greater fiscal responsibility in the city organization; do a better job planning for city growth; revitalize existing neighborhoods

Candidate's statement: "The rules have changed. The state has a new formula for calculating Local Government Aid. We cannot continue to work under the old rules. We need to find new solutions and new opportunities to deal with these changes."

By Jeffrey Pieters

jpieters@postbulletin.com

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John Reynolds is the name. Fiscal conservatism is his game.

He is disappointed with Rochester's leadership, he said, because it fails his test of fiscal accountability: "To make sure we're running as lean as we can without cutting services. I don't believe that there isn't a couple of percentage points in all city departments that you can find that isn't waste, or redundancy, or somehow couldn't be saved."

His outlook, he said, is formed by this philosophy: "I don't believe the city has any money. It's yours and my money."

Reynolds said past city leaders failed to adequately plan for the public costs associated with growth run amok, and are trying to compensate now with a host of new and increased fees.

"For years there were no fees," he said. Now, "there's going to be nothing resembling affordable housing in this community if we keep this up."

With public dollars being funneled into growth-related projects, public maintenance in core neighborhoods suffered, Reynolds said. Improving neighborhoods is important, he said, especially if downtown is to be revitalized.

"I don't believe any eight-block area in the city can survive if it's surrounded by crumbling neighborhoods," he said.

Reynolds said he would look favorably on a proposal to increase fire department staffing or the number of fire stations. He says police officers have told him that department is adequately staffed.

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"In my book, these are the top things a city should do -- basic infrastructure, police, fire," he said. The Park and Recreation Department's growing reliance on fee revenue is "appropriate," Reynolds said.

He agrees with those who assert the city should be more flexible in accepting different kinds of parkland in developing areas. Parks can be lands other than those suitable for athletic fields, he said.

"Under those (existing) definitions, Quarry Hill is not a park," he said. "We have many soccer fields. I'm not sure that every neighborhood needs one."

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