Mendota Heights Mayor-Elect Plans Push for Rental Licensing, Commercial Maintenance Ordinance
Sandra Krebsbach plans to pursue new policies grounded in her planning commission experience.
Mendota Heights City Council member Sandra Krebsbach defeated challenger Jill Smith for the position of Mendota Heights mayor in November. Sitting mayor, John Huber, announced last year that he would not run again.
Krebsbach has been on the council for 18 years, and was appointed to the planning commision in 1986. She works in adult education at Mary Mother of the Church in Burnsville, and has held past positions as dean of St. Paul College and director at the University of Minnesota-Rochester.
Krebsbach and her husband, Norbert "Nob" Krebsbach have two adult daughters that attended schools in District 197 as well as Convent of the Visitation School. Krebsbach received her bachelor's degree at Creighton University and holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. She will be sworn in during a ceremony in January. Krebsbach spoke with Mendota Heights Patch about her upcoming term.
Mendota Heights Patch: How are you preparing for your upcoming term as mayor?
Sandra Krebsbach: I started preparing a year ago when John (Huber) said he wasn't going to run. As councilperson, I wanted to make sure I had no assumptions about anything because I've been serving 18 years. I met with the fire chief; I met with all of the city staff, and this summer I met with the police chief for several hours, really on two different late afternoons… because one of the key questions I got from residents when I was running for mayor was "are we as safe as we think we are?" And so I met with the chief, and we are as safe as we always have been, since 1992 when I got on the council—there's just different issues.
Mendota Heights Patch: What will be the main difference between your leadership style and that of Mayor John Huber?
Krebsbach: John was very much a facilitator mayor, he's an excellent mayor in terms of guiding the discussion on the council. I hope to do that as well. But there are some things that I think need to be implemented in the city and one is rental housing permitting and the other is property maintenance—all four sides—of our commercial and industrial. We do not have those ordinances in place.
Mendota Heights Patch: What is the No. 1 issue you plan to tackle during your term?
Krebsbach: The plus side of it is the city is in such good shape financially. We are able to cover our costs through our property taxes, so I don't see things becoming an issue. I like to really anticipate and plan, and so I think we'll just carry forward with the city we have and enjoy it, and keep it the way it is, and in keeping it the way it is, those two pieces (rental licensing and commercial property maintenance ordinances) are important so we don't have anything deteriorate. I don't see that it would, but those two things need to be in place so that we can assure the quality of both residential and some of the older commercial and industrial.
Mendota Heights Patch: What opportunities do you see for future cost savings or additional revenue in Mendota Heights?
Krebsbach: Cost savings—We are very responsible in terms of matching what we get in our property taxes with what our services are. I've already said when we approved the last budget that I did want to see us start to reduce the amount of increase that we provide for health insurance benefits. … What I did is I recommended this time we only do a nine percent increase. It was not approved by the council, but … it's at least signaling that the employees not count on that ten percent increase each year. I would rather that we have a stable work force. They've gotten a raise every year. This year they get a little bit smaller of a raise. But the only place I could see some opportunity would be in that.
Mendota Heights Patch: What is your favorite spot in Mendota Heights?
Krebsbach: That's a tough one because I love the city. Having walked the city in this last campaign, there are so many vistas, there are so many natural places in every neighborhood. I love to go to the Village and the Plaza. … The schools. I enjoy it all.