News
Joe Balsanek

I have a vision for the future of Hastings, and I am basing that on all that I’ve done in my 12 years on the Hastings City Council. The following is a listing of the accomplishments in my life that I relied upon as I served you and our wonderful city. Below that is what I envision for our wonderful city.

I’m a veteran, serving 22 years as a member of the Air Force’s Minnesota Air National Guard.

I’ve been a 12 year member of the Dakota Communications 911 Center Board of Directors.

I served 10 years on the Public Works Committee of the City Council.

I’m currently a member of the Hastings Charter Commission.

At age 75 I was and would be the only senior citizen on the council.

I’m a retired educator, having taught at Inver Hills College, Hamline University, Ohio University and St. Paul Technical College.

I’m the owner of a small business, Designs Plus, for over 35 years.

I made sure, as a city council member, that all those voices of our veterans, senior citizens and business owners were heard and represented in all city council matters.

Right now those voices are not represented and I want to see that, once again, they are.

Here’s what I’ve done as a member of the Hastings City Council: lowered the city tax rate from 8% to 4% even during the Great Recession pushed for and finally saw to it that we hired an Economic Development Director made the Tilden Senior Center a reality with the combined work of the city and school district lobbied for the new and beautiful Hastings River Bridge voted for the Vermillion Street Corridor Study which MnDOT is now working with approved developing the Hudson factory into a regional conference center, apartments and hotel saw the addition to the YMCA become a reality helped put together the charter for THRIVE and participated in its inaugural meeting at HHS voted for and saw the Art Space affordable housing project built along the river saw the shovels turning and still turning to create a variety of 250 housing units that include senior, affordable and market rate residences These are all the projects I helped create in my 12 years as your city council member. Now I want to list what I envision as a returning city council member.

In my next years as a member of the city council I want to: continue to lower the city tax rate to provide fair and equitable taxes for businesses and Property owners develop Jaycee Park into a regional nature center and park preserve with the National Park Service and MnDNR build a motocross park for our youth finish the Confluence / Hudson project accelerate the city’s street improvement projects to bring our water, sewer and utilities up to date bring public transportation to connect Hastings to the entire metro area Make staff salaries more competitive Create a Fine Arts Commission continue to attract new varieties of housing and businesses support a business incubator development These are the lists of all I have accomplished and all want to do while a member of the Hastings City Council. We have done all this while keeping our property taxes in the middle of the metro area average. With my past experiences we can accomplish what I envision and still keep our taxes in the middle range of metro cities.

I would sincerely appreciate your vote on Tuesday, August 9th.

You put your trust in me for 12 years, and I’m asking you to trust me once more.

Joe Balsanek Candidate photos taken by Bruce Karnick at the Hastings Candidate Forum sponsored by the Hastings Progressives at Hastings City Hall July 26

August 3, 2022