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Justin Olsen for Cottage Grove City Council

My name is Justin Olsen and I'm writing to ask for your vote in the 2019 Cottage Grove City Council election. You may recognize my name as I was honored to serve our community as a two-term City Council member between 2008 and 2016. Upon completion of my service, I stepped out of the public eye to care for my family and make a career change which required my full attention. As this has been successfully achieved, it would again be my privilege to dedicate my time, energy, knowledge, and "passion for service" to our great city!

I grew up in Cottage Grove, graduating from Park High School in 1988. My Dad was a Volunteer Firefighter for many years while my Mom was involved in Early Childhood Education. Their example about the importance of serving others led me to my role as a volunteer Public Safety, Health, and Welfare commissioner for four years before seeking election to the City Council. That experience taught me a lot about how our city operates, the annual budget process, and the critical importance of compromise. I'm also a past President of the Cottage Grove Strawberry Festival Committee, past Vice-President of the Cottage Grove Economic Development Authority, past Vice-President of one of our local Lions Clubs, and a longtime volunteer coach for CGAA youth sports.

During my time on the City Council, our team accomplished many positive things. We significantly improved our tax base by wisely preparing for growth during the recession, which led to multiple new businesses and expansions in our industrial park. Through our Economic Development efforts, we added new housing and commercial developments to make Cottage Grove more complete. We also built a new Public Safety facility and Central Fire Station to properly support our first responders and keep our community safe for the next 60 years.

For me, it's imperative to approach the role of council member employing the ideals of being a true "servant leader". I'm committed to a "community first" approach that works in unison with city staff, community leaders, elected officials, local non-profits, our Chamber of Commerce, city advisory commissions, and valued citizen volunteers to strengthen our city both economically and socially. You have my commitment to be both engaged and engaging by staying well informed about issues important to our residents, such as affordable housing and improved transit options, while working hard to support the continuing high levels of service and taxpayer value you deserve from your local government.

It has always been my goal to serve Cottage Grove residents fairly and honorably, to represent our city positively, to communicate my positions effectively, and to help enact policy initiatives that serve the greater good of our community. Those are my core values, instilled in me as I grew up in Cottage Grove, went to school here, and settled here with my family. I would love to continue that work if granted the opportunity. Thus, I'm asking for your trust and your vote on November 5th. Thank you!

This is a paid endorsement letter to the editor.