Dave Giles, District 5 Dakota County commissioner candidate questionnaire
Candidate: Dave Giles
Address: 2110 Alcana Lane, Burnsville
Occupation: Dakota County highway maintenance
Family: Married, four children
Qualifications: I have been employed with two cities and Dakota County for a combined 30 years as a public servant. I have worked in several departments such as highways, parks and public works and the fire department for the city of Burnsville as a firefighter paramedic for nearly 20 years. I have volunteered for the Fire Muster, chaired fundraisers for my church and the 911 New York fire and police departments. I have worked firsthand from the ground level, and know what its takes to serve the folks of our district.
1) Why are you running for office and why should people vote for you?
I am running for office to carry out the wishes of taxpayers and represent their voices and concerns. I want to make a difference in our communities. I want this to be the safest and best county to live, work and play in! I would appreciate if people would vote for me because I will be their voice and I will listen to their concerns and help them with their needs. I have the qualifications and experience from the ground up. I grew up here and still live here. My grandparents and parents grew up here on the farm.
2) Dakota County is undergoing a population transformation. By 2030, 130,000 people will be over age 60, triple the number of people in that age group 2005. Considering there will likely be greater needs and fewer resources, what are ways you would propose to address the needs of an aging population?
I believe we have to always have to try to plan for the future. I think there is a shortage of senior housing, and we can start working on planning for new senior high-rises that are independent, assisted and additional care units. The need is here right now, and we can get started now. I think along with the housing is a need for low cost transportation to help out the seniors.
3) In your opinion, what are the top four core responsibilities of government at the county level? Please rank the responsibilities in order of importance and include your reasons for the ranking.
Police: I think public safety is always our number one priority. We want people and their families that live here to feel safe and secure. Fire and EMS: along with public safety, fire protection and health of our taxpayers is of utmost importance. Transportation: we want our highways and road structures to be safe to drive on, including our bridges and winter travel. Parks and recreation: I want people to have a great experience and be proud of our parks and recreational facilities. I want them to feel welcomed to bring their families and enjoy our system.
4) Dakota County implemented a transit tax and spent millions to implement bus rapid transit for Cedar Avenue, and will continue to subsidize its maintenance and operations in the future. The county also plans a transit corridor on Robert Trail. Please explain your opinion of bus rapid transit, light rail and other transit.
I think we always need to help our flow of traffic for our citizens. I think all areas of transit are very important. Busing has its place, but at times is hindered by traffic and road conditions. I think we need to look to the future to see if light rail is affordable long-term to cross the river. We need to make every effort to make transit easier on our customers, so they will travel more with the system and take the pressure off our highways.