First, could you provide a bit of background information, i.e. your age, family, career and educational background, etc.?
I am 48 years old and have lived in Crookston my entire life. My wife Jamie is a 4th grade teacher at Highland School. We have 4 children in the Crookston School District from preschool to 8th grade. I attended the East Grand Forks AVTI for auto mechanics and am currently a Senior Building and Grounds employee for Facilities at UMC.
Please list, in order, what you see as Crookston’s three biggest assets, and explain your rationale.
1. Schools: We have a strong school system with active and engaged board members that strive to improve the facilities and methods of teaching to better the student experience. I am very excited about Superintendent Jeremy Olson and the direction and open approach he is taking. With UMC now offering 4 year degrees, we have everything larger schools have but with smaller class sizes in a safe, rural setting.
2. Recreation: Obviously, there is much to do naturally in Crookston with all of the bike paths, river and trails. I think our 22 parks and particularly the Highland Park Complex is a huge asset to Crookston as well as the multi-use ability of the CSC.
3. Crookston has a unique and historic downtown district with tons of potential for growth. I am excited about the DCDP and would like to see a collaboration with that group, the City and CHEDA to work on updating storefronts, singe and beautification efforts to make our downtown more appealing.
Now, on the flip side, please list, in order, what you see as Crookston’s three biggest challenges, or shortcomings.
1. Competition of employees from outside major employers such as DigiKey.
2. Close proximity of Grand Forks which makes it difficult for our retailers to survive.
3. Getting major groups to work together to bring events to town; City, CVB, Chamber and the Blue Line Club. Filling up the hotels year round should be our top priority as this filters down to the bars, restaurants, gas stations and retailers.
The word “dysfunctional” is being tossed around frequently this campaign season, as people describe the current makeup of the council and mayor and how they communicate and work together. To what level do you agree with that assessment, or disagree with it? Please explain.
Since the term dysfunctional lists as; not operating normally or properly, I would have to say that yes there is dysfunction. I reel that the council is not working together as a cohesive group. I feel that strong leadership is necessary for the Council to be able to voice their opinions, work together and disagree respectfully. I do feel that a code of conduct should be in place not only as a guiding document, bit also for new council members to know the expectations and limits of the position. Once that is in place, accountability for professional conduct, mutual respect, and civility must happen.
Could you list some favorite hobbies or other things you like to do in your spare time?
As you can guess, with 4 kids we do a lot of running to different sports and activities. When we are not attending wrestling, basketball, volleyball, baseball, t-ball or softball, we enjoy spending weekends at the lake as a family. I also like hunting, fishing and playing golf.
People like to toss the word “hero” around a lot, but could you list three people that you really admire, or look up to, and explain a little why you’ve picked these three?
1. My father Bob Kresl raised five kids on his own while running Roberts Restaurant here in town. He not only was and is a great businessperson, but he always made time to come to as many of our games and activities as he could.
2. Laurence Trudeau who while working for him taught me the craft and skill of carpentry. He took me under his wing and helped me with both work and life experience.
3. My neighbor and friend Mark Amiot, who we unfortunately lost this summer after an 11-year battle with cancer. Despite the pain and suffering he endured, he was one of the kindest and most generous people you could ever meet. I was constantly amazed at his positive attitude and willingness to help others and myself in the neighborhood until the day he died.