Letters to the Editor

Brad Aho Displays Sound Judgement

Published in the Eden Prairie News November 1, 2018

The mayoral race in Eden Prairie is between two people who have served the city for many years. We know them both and respect their commitment to our community, but we have to choose between them for our next mayor. Who has the vision, experience and ability to unite us and get things done? Brad understands that the mayor must focus on the core services the city provides and also work on regional issues like transportation and environment. We all have seen the contributions he has made to transportation with the improvements to major interchanges and adding additional lanes on I-494. These benefit all city residents and the entire metro area. He also serves as chair of SouthWest Transit, which shows his commitment to quality transit for our residents.

Brad has been active in many organizations that we believe in and am a member of like Rotary. He understands that we need to give back and support issues locally and globally. We have discussed many local issues with him over the years and respect his intellect and judgment on how to bring people together to solve them. We need a leader like Brad that will do more than just talk about issues, we need someone who has the skills to analyze complex issues and find cost-effective solutions and implement them.

We ask you to join us in voting for Brad Aho as mayor, to use his vision to guide our city to a vibrant and successful future.

Martha Capps and Dick Ward – Eden Prairie Residents

City benefits from Aho’s fiscal sense

Published in the Eden Prairie News November 1, 2018

It is important to know and trust who is leading our city, as they are responsible for providing the services we need and expect. We have known Brad and his wife, Bev, for many years and have seen the positive impact he has had on Eden Prairie. Before his election in 2004, our taxes were going up on average over 7 percent per year. He led the charge to evaluate the budget and championed the formation of a citizen-led budget advisory commission. That resulted in smart changes in the budget and service delivery methods that kept the service levels high while reducing spending. As a result, it was great to have three years of zero percent tax increases.

Brad has also been a strong advocate of making the right investments in our city like the Community Center remodeling, Aquatic Center addition, additional ice rink, baseball, soccer, pickleball and other fields, parks and trails. As a result, our parks are high quality and the best in the region. He understands that it is important to keep investing in our amenities and infrastructure, like roads and trails to keep Eden Prairie a No. 1 city.

Please join us in voting for Brad Aho for mayor of Eden Prairie.

Gene and Bev Storms – Eden Prairie Residents

Aho will keep EP on the right path

Published in the Eden Prairie News November 1, 2018

Eden Prairie is consistently ranked among the best cities in the nation to live, work and retire, due in great part to the leadership of Brad Aho. Since Brad was elected to the City Council in 2004, I have witnessed firsthand the critical, innovative improvements he has made to our local government. Improvements that benefit residents and local businesses alike. To stay on top, we need to elect Brad Aho as our new mayor.

Brad Aho drove critical changes to our budget process. Prior to Brad’s first election in 2004, our taxes had increased an average of over 7 percent per year for the preceding two years.

He ran on the “Rule of 7” — that if you increase anything 7 percent a year, it will double in only 10 years. EP’s population growth was slowing and Brad knew those increases were not sustainable. At a time when the economy was booming, he led the charge to do more without increasing taxes, when no one else thought it was possible or even necessary. He championed right-sizing city staff and utilizing technology to decrease costs and improve services. When the recession of 2008 brought devastation to some cities, Eden Prairie was financially sound. Brad was also the only council member to never accept “meeting pay,” which he saw as a conflict-of-interest, an unnecessary expense and a burden for city staff to manage; he led the effort to abolish it. Today, our budget increases modestly with inflation.

Brad Aho champions improvements in transportation, working with neighboring cities, county and state officials. He chairs the 494 Corridor Commission, the SouthWest Transit Board and our Airport Zoning Board, which proves his inclusive leadership style brings people together to find pragmatic solutions. Brad regularly testifies before our Legislature to obtain necessary state funding. Under his leadership, additional lanes are being added to I-494, interchanges were improved and Highway 212 was completed. Brad led the change of the original and awful plan that had Southwest Light Rail Transit going through Bearpath. If SWLRT is eventually funded, it will service our business community without destroying neighborhoods.

Brad Aho leads important efforts to improve our parks, trails and amenities. When he was first elected, Round Lake was contaminated. He knew young families would benefit from a beautiful, free area to swim, and he worked with staff, the watershed district and surrounding neighbors to correct it. This year, EP was ranked the No. 2 Best Lake Beach City in the nation. He has also improved our community center and sports facilities, including new pickleball courts, and keeps our parks and green spaces pristine.

It is no surprise that Brad was voted the “Best of the Best” City Council Member in the entire southwest metro area. His focus is keeping the core functions of local government running smoothly for all residents (think police/fire, snowplowing). He’s not interested in going off on tangents that divide us (think global warming). To keep Eden Prairie safe and secure and financially sound, I hope you join me in voting Brad Aho for mayor!

Laura Hemler – Eden Prairie Resident

Here is why Brad Aho should be mayor

Published in the Eden Prairie News November 1, 2018

We have appreciated both Brad Aho and Ron Case for their longstanding dedication and service to our city. Gratitude is what comes to mind as we think about how these two gentlemen and their families have personally invested their time and talents for the betterment of those who live, work, shop and play in Eden Prairie. After this election, both will still be on the City Council, and one will be our next mayor.

With that in mind, we hope you join us and vote Brad Aho as mayor, and here is why.

Having known Brad long before his 14 years of service to our community as a council member, it has been our experience and we have been impressed by his goodwill, positive approach, inclusive way, fair-mindedness and common sense. We know he has spent decades building relationships within Eden Prairie and also with neighboring cities, county, state and federal officials and agencies on behalf of EP. He chairs numerous commissions and boards, and testifies the most before the Minnesota Legislature on our behalf. Those relationships are vital to being an effective mayor. Because of and drawing upon these strengths, Brad has made important, impactful improvements to our services, taxes, transportation, parks and environment, that many thought not possible.

Brad was the driving force that stopped expansive city spending when he was first elected in 2004. Brad critically analyzed our budget and implemented the Citizen’s Budget Advisory to find lower-cost solutions. As a result, today, Eden Prairie is among the lowest taxed cities in the metro area. We have confidence that as mayor, Brad will ensure our core services remain the best, while continuing to find cost-effective ways to keep our property taxes low.

Early in his tenure as council member, Round Lake was contaminated and closed. Brad knew young families needed a free park where kids could swim. He worked with watersheds, neighbors, experts and staff to find a cost-effective solution. This year, EP was ranked the No. 2 Lake Beach Town in the nation, due in large part to Brad’s leadership.

Brad was recently voted the “Best of the Best” City Council Member in the entire southwest metro area, because so many know how engaging and hard-working Brad is. Whether Republican, Democrat or independent, Brad has the ability to bring people together to work on common goals.

We appreciate and believe Brad will continue his exceptional leadership to improve transportation, ease congestion and add capacity. He advocates fast, clean, affordable public transit, using state-of-the-art technologies.

Recognizing safety and security are paramount, we trust Brad will work hard in collaboration with local police, sheriff, federal agencies and schools to keep our homes, schools and community safe.

We also give Brad our endorsement because he champions using clean, affordable energy and making Eden Prairie more energy efficient.

We fully support Brad for Mayor; he is running for the right reasons and with the right focus — to serve us all and ensure our future is its best.

Bill and Bonny Swaim – Eden Prairie Residents

Brad Aho has mayoral qualities

Published in the Eden Prairie News November 1, 2018

Local government is important, as it provides services that have a direct impact on our lives, like safety and security, parks and recreation, water and sewer, streets and maintenance. These services need to be high quality, and we expect them delivered in a proficient cost-effective manner by a caring customer-oriented staff.

This does not just happen automatically; it takes strong inspired leadership to analyze the issues, find innovative ways to reduce costs and improve quality and most importantly work collaboratively to deliver them.

That is why I have supported Brad Aho for many years throughout his four terms on the City Council, and why I support him for mayor. We want a leader with the vision to keep Eden Prairie a strong and vibrant community that will continue to work on the important details of running the city and not get distracted on issues that are out of the city’s control and jurisdiction.

We all want a city that leads the state and nation on important matters and Eden Prairie is that example. It wins many awards for safety, fiscal management, use of technology and environmental stewardship. Brad will continue to champion these important programs and initiatives in a way that saves taxpayer money while setting an excellent example for our residents, businesses and other cities.

Brad Aho knows how to provide the necessary services while still getting a grip on ever increasing taxes.

And, beyond all those important things, he is also a really nice guy!

Gary Johnson – Eden Prairie Resident

Brad Aho gets results for Eden Prairie

Published in the Eden Prairie News November 1, 2018

A longtime resident of Eden Prairie, I am aware of the important role our mayor plays in the city’s vision. That is why I will be voting for Brad Aho for mayor of Eden Prairie.

Brad is trusted, competent and inclusive. He has championed significant changes during his 14-year tenure on the City Council that have made Eden Prairie award-winning. He was the driving force to evaluate the city’s spending and to stop escalating budgets to keep Eden Prairie taxes low and our property values high. Brad advocates smart investments in our amenities, streets, parks and trails to keep property values high. He led the effort to use technology to improve services and decrease costs. Brad has been instrumental in improving transportation throughout our city for over 20 years while working with neighboring cities, county, state and federal agencies for real results!

Brad knows and loves Eden Prairie and has the experience, temperament and skills to be our next great mayor. Please join me in casting your vote for Brad Aho!

Karen Kirchoff – Eden Prairie Resident

Brad Aho would make a wonderful mayor

Published in the Eden Prairie News October 25, 2018

When you have faced death with cancer as Brad Aho has, it changes your life and gives you a perspective that no one else can possibly have in serving others. You have better discernment, wisdom, collaboration and can sort through what is really important. You focus on listening and collaboration because the skill helped keep you alive during cancer treatments. Tough times allow you to be truly there for other people in way that is profoundly special. He has done this in business and personally.

Brad is the only candidate who can truly serve Eden Prairie’s residents including Republicans, Democrats and independents because he respects all viewpoints, listens, empathizes like no one else and loves Eden Prairie.

On the local level, Brad knows that we need our city to be safe, our quality of services to be exceptional and our city’s spending to be fiscally responsible. As mayor, Brad will focus on Eden Prairie and not on federal or international issues over which we have no authority or control. Unlike his opponent, Brad will never use the office of mayor to grandstand or for political purposes that divide us.

We need our mayor to be solely focused on leading Eden Prairie into a bright, vibrant future and not using our city as a platform for other personal political ambitions.

Brad Aho is the best candidate for mayor. Brad is made for this job and lives each day like he is in your corner.

Robb and Pam Hiller- Eden Prairie Residents

Brad Aho stands up for the people

Published in the Eden Prairie News October 18, 2018

I would like to share my experience that illuminates the differences between Brad Aho and Ron Case who are running for Eden Prairie mayor. In 2014 the Riley, Purgatory, Bluff Creek Watershed District (watershed) issued its initial set of shoreline management rules that infuriated Eden Prairie shoreline owners. One hundred fifty Eden Prairie residents squeezed into the City Council Chambers during public comments as complaining loudly. Nothing fazed the watershed managers. Watershed managers are appointed by Hennepin County commissioners, not elected, as compared to the elected City Council.

Eden Prairie already had shoreline management ordinances uniform throughout Eden Prairie. There are three watershed districts in Eden Prairie, each with their own set of shoreline management rules. By state statute, if a Minnesota city has its own shoreline ordinances, they supersede any watershed rules. The Minnesota Supreme Court issued an opinion supporting the cities in this situation. Watershed rules only apply if a city does not have their own ordinances.

Representatives from Mitchell Lake Association, Lake Riley Improvement Association and Friends of Red Rock Lake met individually with the Eden Prairie City Council and mayor and made formal presentations urging them to stand up to the watershed and defend their own ordinances. Surely, we thought, the City Council, an elected body, would take action.

Only mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens and Councilman Brad Aho were supportive and concerned. Ron Case, Sherry Butcher Wickstrom and Kathy Nelson were not. When pressed as to why, Councilman Case said while he was sympathetic to our cause, he did not want to appear “not Green enough” in his political ideology. So political ideology trumped doing Case’s elected responsibility as a city councilman.

Brad Aho believed the opposite — that responsibility to Eden Prairie came first, but he was outvoted on the council. As a result, the watershed has almost 100 permits from shoreline owners attempting to buy, sell or make changes to their properties and comply with the watershed-imposed rules. The Eden Prairie City Council has little or no say — by their its decision.

If you want a mayor that places political ideology first and the city of Eden Prairie second, by all means vote for Ron Case for mayor. But if you want a mayor most concerned with Eden Prairie and its own residents and the rule of law, then please vote for Brad Aho for mayor.

John Tyler- Eden Prairie Resident

Vote for Brad Aho for mayor of Eden Prairie

Published in the Eden Prairie News October 18, 2018

I confidently recommend Brad Aho for the position of Eden Prairie mayor. Brad has acquired a great deal of experience dealing with local, county and state legislation while serving as an Eden Prairie City Council member since 2004. Brad has also held a chair position on the Interstate 494 Corridor Commission, a chair position on the Flying Cloud Airport Joint Airport Zoning Board and Vice Chair of the SouthWest Transit Bus Service. In addition to his experience politically, he is also involved in the Eden Prairie AM Rotary, Eden Prairie Lions and the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce.

Brad was awarded as Best of the Best Council Member for the southwest metro area.

Brad brings excellent credentials to the position of mayor. He has an electrical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and is the chief information officer for Erickson Technologies Inc. As a small business owner, Brad knows how to be fiscally responsible and goal orientated. These attributes would serve him well as mayor.

I have known Brad for the past 16 years and know him to be an excellent member of the Eden Prairie community. In Brad’s words: “I am passionate about Eden Prairie.” He would be honored to serve the citizens of Eden Prairie as their mayor.

I strongly support Brad Aho for Eden Prairie mayor.

Brad Ervin- Eden Prairie Resident and Business Owner

I’ve known Brad Aho for many years and have served with Brad in the Eden Prairie Rotary Club and other community volunteer organizations and in that time Brad’s proven to be an effective leader — caring community-builder and principled council member. I am writing in support of electing Brad Aho for Eden Prairie’s next mayor and ask you to please join me in voting for Brad for mayor. Brad has a positive attitude, is hard-working, honest and has an open-door policy for listening to residents issues and solving problems with the fiscal responsibility of a business owner and taxpayer.

Brad Aho has track record of service

Published in the Eden Prairie News October 18, 2018

Being a Business founder and owner, Brad understands what it takes to manage budgets while staying focused on service to his clients (EP residents). He sees the big picture, as well as how individuals may be affected by his decisions and is a caring and concerned citizen and parent who is constantly looking out for the best interests of all Eden Prairie residents and not just the special interests of a few.

With his engineering background, Brad brings a perspective that is unique, and he understands the complexities that are presented, is educated to look for more than one way to solve a problem and has a logical, positive approach to building our community. He is team builder and an active listener, who solicits input, buy-in and consensus in representing Eden Prairie’s diverse population.

Another attribute I admire of Brad’s is his family and his commitment to his wife, Bev, of 30 years, and their three children, all being raised in EP for last 20 years. They are remarkable adults giving back to the community in the areas they live and work in finance, medicine and community service!

As a council member Brad has given his support to the transportation issues facing our community by being a member of the I-494 Corridor Commission instrumental in working to expand 494 and worked to fix the I-494/Highway 169 interchange, and is a member of the Southwest Metro Transit Policy Advisory Committee, which is planning the light rail route through EP.

He also opened the budget process to the residents by advocating the Budget Advisory Commission, which uses resident to assist in reviewing city budgets and capital spending, analyzing the budget to keep the city efficient and effective and has been a strong proponent of parks and trails — which my wife and I use frequently — and worked to see Round Lake cleaned up and re-opened to the public for recreational use. Brad knows how to utilize our scarce resources and finances effectively for the benefit of all Eden Prairie citizens and tax payers.

Please join me in voting for Brad Aho and re-electing him to the Eden Prairie City Council!

Greg Albrecht- Eden Prairie Resident and Business Owner

Brad Aho is right for mayor

Published in the Eden Prairie News October 18, 2018

Brad Aho is the best choice for Eden Prairie mayor. Brad’s respectful, thoughtful, collaborative leadership style is inclusive and effective. He brings people together to find pragmatic, cost-effective solutions that has made Eden Prairie among the best cities in the nation to live. I have known Brad and his beautiful family for years, and he is exactly who we need as mayor. Brad is smart, hard-working and effective, and constantly works to improve our city.

Importantly, Brad understands that Eden Prairie’s residents include Republicans, Democrats and independents, and he respects all viewpoints. On the local level, Brad also knows that we all agree that we need our city to be safe, our quality of services to be exceptional, and our city’s spending to be fiscally responsible. As mayor, Brad will focus on Eden Prairie and not on federal or international issues over which we have no authority or control. Unlike his opponent, Brad will never use the office of mayor to grand-stand or for political purposes that divide us. Instead, Brad is the only candidate whose sole focus and purpose is on Eden Prairie’s residents and businesses, and who brings us together.

We need our mayor to be solely focused on leading Eden Prairie into a bright, vibrant future, and not using our city as a platform for other personal political ambitions. Brad Aho is the best candidate for mayor, and we hope you join us in electing him!

Steve Smith- Eden Prairie Resident