It is less than a month to the general elections and Wayzata residents will choose two city council candidates of a total of four on the ticket. Current council members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash are seeking reelection while planning commissioners Cathy Iverson and Jeffrey Parkhill are looking to join the city council.
Wayzata.com asked each candidate to submit a statement to voters in 250 words or less.
Business Environment — The City must define a vision for a vibrant future that balances the needs of residents, businesses and visitors. As a destination city, we have devoted significant resources to attracting tourists. Let’s enjoy all the good work that our City has undertaken and take a breath to put a development plan in place. Now is the time to develop a 5-year plan to enhance the community for residents.
We must review and edit our building standards to save our small-town charm. This will require creative architecture and following existing height ordinances.
No property should be considered too important to be exempt from our vision of the city. Even major redevelopments must respect our height ordinances. Wayzata should not allow a massive urban building to dominate our downtown and loom over our lakefront.
Traffic – Safety — With growth have come traffic and safety concerns. Neighborhoods are dealing with increased traffic cut-through and speeding. Wayzata Blvd. has become dangerous for cars and pedestrians.
Density – We need to listen to citizens’ concerns about increased density. It is possible to protect our “small town charm” with reasonable lot sizes and tree canopies, while increasing density selectively and wisely.
Fiscal Responsibility — With the worlds uncertainties, the City must careful review ALL expenditures.
Boardwalk/Panoway–The City promised this project would be 100% funded with private dollars. No residents tax dollars. This does not need to be paid for and maintained by the residents of Wayzata.
I met my wife, Cindy, at Wayzata High School 30 years ago. We have two daughters, Sophie, and Abbey. I graduated from Wayzata High School and studied economics at St. Olaf College. I am a Vice President of Commercial Lending at Bridgewater Bank, where I build relationships and serve businesses, real estate investors and entrepreneurs.
I currently serve on the Wayzata City Council, Interfaith Outreach Finance Committee and am the Treasurer of the Lake Effect Conservancy Board. I previously served as Board Chair of the Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce.
Wayzata is a special place to call home. It has changed a lot since I first moved to the area 35 years ago. Despite the changes, it has maintained the small-town charm that makes it so great.
Maintaining this charm does not mean we should sit back, say “No” to everything and do nothing for the next few years for the sake of taking a breath.
I believe the council needs to be proactive in the management of change and growth in the City. I have had the honor and pleasure of serving you on the City Council for the past four years.
In my first term, I have focused on maintaining the financial strength of the City, keeping a balanced approach to development, enhancing our parks and public spaces, and supporting policies that help our businesses thrive. I look to continue fostering these priorities in my second term.
I appreciate your vote to make that happen.
I have 35 years of business and real estate experience. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago and was a practicing CPA. My sole focus as a councilman will be to help maintain Wayzata’s charm for my grandkids. I have traveled to other countries, been in lots of beautiful cities and have lived in four major metros in the U.S. Wayzata ranks extremely high on a national and international scale of places to live. Wayzata is home and a special place to protect from the outside pressures of change.
My greatest concern is that our downtown and lake front becomes a place where residents don’t go on the weekends. For years we have had a cottage near Lake Geneva, Wis. I stopped going “downtown” because it stopped appealing to me…as a local resident. Lake Geneva made the decision to cater to the tourists … not the residents.
We want to be welcoming. We want students to come and learn about the lake, small scale development and our businesses to flourish. We need to lease up our vacant space, improve connectivity between neighborhoods and execute our 2040 comprehensive plan. Which I helped create.
There are lots of market forces that want to sell Wayzata to the highest bidder. As a Council member, you residents will be my priority. My promise is that I will listen and make sure all of you still want to come “downtown”… EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS. Visit me at Jeffparkhill.com
Living in Wayzata was not happenstance. I consciously chose it as my home and it’s where I have lived for 26 years which is significant when you consider that I’ve lived in 12 different states (since college), been deployed overseas and visited 42 different countries. I know a great place when I see it.
My life is about service; not only as a councilman, but as a Volunteer Firefighter for the past 14 years. Taken together, it’s a very effective way of learning about the heart of a community. My service life began at the U. S. Naval Academy where I majored in Aerospace Engineering. I had the privilege of being nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship and ultimately received a Guggenheim Fellowship for graduate study at Princeton, Cal Tech and MIT. Although the service academies are counted among the very best colleges in the country, they are fundamentally about training leaders. Graduating near the top of my class, I chose to be commissioned in the Marine Corps and had the privilege of serving as a fighter pilot.
What I learned at the academy … practiced as a Marine … and honed in business was genuine leadership; not the kind that comes with titles and publicity, but the kind that is characterized by the term “Servant-Leader.” I have been told I have the ability to listen to a variety of viewpoints and assimilate disparate data from which to make reasoned and balanced decisions. That is what I bring to the City.