PHOTO: John Sachen

Name: John M. Sachen

Age: 48

Residence: 5320 Mt. Carmel Road

Family: Jayne (wife), Mallory (daughter, 17) and Zach (son, 14)

Public involvement: Past Red Wing Youth Baseball Association board ember, Youth Athletics coach (boys and girls, various sports), church usher, hockey referee and neighborhood activist

Education: Red Wing High School graduate and two years of college

Work: Warehouse operations manager, Red Wing Shoe Co.

Do you have a "pet" issue or biggest concern that is driving you to run for City Council?

I am focused on fiscal responsibility. I believe we have been too slow to react to the economic downturn and we should have begun our belt-tightening efforts in a proactive way long ago.

It is time to make the tough decisions at City Hall. We need to emulate what responsible business people have been doing over the last four years just to stay in business. We need to plan for the future by living within our means and not keep relying on outside help. It's not coming.

Economic development has been a hot topic in Red Wing of late. Is there a specific idea or proposal you have that could better the city's economic development outlook?

The Blue Ribbon Panel did a great job of outlining a plan to get Red Wing back on track. The key takeaways, in my opinion, are: communicating with one voice", assuring effective leadership, and implementing a dynamic marketing/business plan.

All economic development agencies and groups need to articulate a common vision of why Red Wing is the best choice for new business and for keeping existing businesses here.

Red Wing is a beautiful city that has not done an adequate job of presenting our best advantages to the business community. This needs to be done professionally and quickly.

The city faces a budget crunch that is expected to continue for a number of years. Give us an overview of how you'd like to see Red Wing go forward given the city's purse is pinched.

It is not just the city of Red Wing that is facing a budget crunch. Many struggling communities today have remained vibrant and successful by facing their futures in very realistic and pragmatic ways.

We need to prioritize the needs that are most important to running our city and servicing our citizens while we limit and contain our overall costs. This not only includes payroll issues but operational and future expenditures as well.

I will work diligently with the city staff and community members to make these sound business decisions. Our future depends on it.

What are some personal qualities that make you an effective leader?

As a business person for over 20 years, I have observed that there has never been an effective long-term leader who is lacking in integrity and consistency. These traits are paramount for leadership, and are the cornerstone for my life as well.

By focusing on these attributes, qualities such as dedication, fairness, and openness with the ability to listen follow. I am assertive enough to stand up for what is right.

When I see a need, I will fill it. Thoughtful and forthright, you will get the truth from me.

What's a decision the council has made in past year that you disagree with? Why? What would you have done differently?

Let me say that it is easy to be critical of any decision after seeing the outcome, so I will not attempt to do that. I would rather take issue with the troubling trend that many citizens and I have recognized: that too many serious issues are being discussed and decided behind closed doors.

I realize there are times when certain issues need to be discussed in a closed forum. But it is important to realize that citizens have the need and the right to know why decisions are made and how their councilperson has represented them.

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