SARTELL -- There are four people running for two open seats on the Sartell City Council.

Newcomers Jill Smith, Aaron Johnson, Alex Lewandowski and the incumbent Mike Chisum are on the ballot this year.


Aaron Johnson

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Johnson moved back to Sartell in 2015 after previously living in the community in the early 1990s. He says while this is his first time running for city government, he believes it's important to get involved in the community. He says would like to continue to make Sartell a welcoming community, especially for young families.

I want to make sure we are providing homes that are affordable for young families. There is nothing wrong with a beautiful $300,000-$400,000 home, but where are those homes that are more affordable for young families to start and raise their kids.

Johnson says he wants to be a voice to help promote Sartell. He says it takes a villiage to grow and build a thriving community and if elected he looks forward to providing a new prospective and insight on city related issues.

Jill Smith

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Smith is a 15 year resident of Sartell and small-business owner. She and her husband opened Sartell Pediatrics roughly 8-years ago and loves working in the same community she lives in. She says if elected she wants to be that connection for other small to medium-sized businesses to come to Sartell.

I think it's nice if you're talking to potential new businesses who are looking to establish here, to have that insight, experience and to be able to relate to some of the process they will be going through. We've been through that process.

Smith says in addition, she would like to revisit some city ordinances that present some restrictions for business who want to come to Sartell, in hopes to make those challenges easier.

Mike Chisum

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Chisum is the incumbent in this race and is seeking his second term on the city council. The 12 year resident says he's been pleased with the progress the community has made during his time on the council, but knows the work isn't finished. He says there are some tough decisions to be made down the road and feels experience will serve the city well.

One thing I have learned over the last four years is that things don't happen quickly. You can have an idea, but it's got to go through a lot of different steps before something can happen. I think it's helpful to have that experience that knows where that project has been and how its come to fruition.

He says with the city's updated zoning district, he wants to continue to hear and work with residents to develop a plan on what Sartell's growth should look like in the next 10-20 years on an economic, residential and community level.

Alex Lewandowski

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Lewandowski and his wife moved to Sartell in 2012 because they wanted their family to grow in a strong community. He graduated from St. Cloud State University, where he majored in Human Resources. Lewandowski currently serves on the Sartell Economic Development Commission and wanted to take that next step into city government. He says some of Sartell's key commercial land has gone undeveloped, especially along Pinecone Road, and it's time for change.

There is a lot of land there available on your main roads in the city that just sits empty. There's been broken relationships in the past with developers and I want to bring everyone together and start that new conversation and make something happen.

He says he also wants to drive growth within Sartell's medical corridor, and maintain the safety and sense of community residents have come to know.

All members of the City Council are elected to serve a four-year term. Election Day is November 3rd.

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