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Frequently Asked Questions

Relevant Experience.

30 years in the private sector
10 years as a Fortune 100 Presidential Fast Tracker/Troubleshooter/Internal Consultant
10 years as a Turnaround Specialist for small to mid-sized businesses
Experienced in identifying problems, designing solutions, arriving at consensus, implementing plans, documenting systems, and training successors.
Contract negotiation and vendor selection skills
Financial experience in debt restructuring, asset reallocation, cashflow analysis, performance projections, return on investment analysis
Human resource management experience in testing for aptitude and suitability, writing job descriptions and work procedures, performance evaluations, disciplinary action

Education.

B.S. Chemical Engineering – 1st generation of female engineers from Texas A&M University
United Way Community Leadership Training
Project Blue Print
Junior Achievement
Negotiation Skills
Professional Selling Skills
Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People
Total Quality Management
Environmental, Health and Safety Training
Environmental Auditing
Project Management
Inaugural Saint Paul Civilian Fire Academy 2009

How do you see the role of mayor?
The most important role of the mayor is to represent and TO SERVE the citizens of Saint Paul across all parties, all races, all income levels, and all walks of life.

Crucial skill sets for the successful mayor begins with the ability to install sound organization systems into City Hall, one department at a time to cultivate accountability.
The mayor must serve as a good steward of the people’s money by exercising focus and discipline. The budgeting process begins with allocating resources we actually have to the core essential services first, like Fire, Police, Emergency Medical Services, thoroughfares, utilities, and snow removal. After the City’s needs are met, then prioritize the City’s wants and “nice to have” projects. At this time of economic uncertainty, the mayor must look for opportunities to lighten the government burden on its citizenry. Hand in hand with spending the people’s money wisely is the work of encouraging commerce to build a healthy economy.

Another monumental role of the mayor, which has been seldom tried, is to serve as the convener of the City’s benevolent resources, such as charitable foundations, faith based organizations, private sector philanthropy, and community volunteerism. The mayor must corral these assets and provide direction to elevate and actualize the human potential of Saint Paul’s citizenry. For instance, train teachers in new educational methods to excite children to learn, teach English to new Americans who need to adapt and make a living, address the needs of kids who are not ready to learn, provide hands-on vocational training and marketable skills to adults displaced from jobs. The mayor who is successful in this role will foster a work force so awesome that businesses will beat a path to Saint Paul to employ our people. We would have created a community of people helping people.

What issues do you think the city will be facing in the next 4 years?

Declining property values in 2009 will likely precipitate a revenue deficit at the City level. It is imperative to bring in new businesses to create new jobs, fill the estimated 30% office space vacancies downtown, create demand for housing to absorb the more than 2000 foreclosed or abandoned homes, and excite the investment climate. I have a plan to showcase and market the City of Saint Paul to target businesses from coast to coast.

The mayor has to freeze or decrease tax rates to keep households and businesses from being taxed out of their homes and establishments. Underperforming assets in the City must be returned to tax rolls to offset decreases in revenues, such as Local Government Aid and lower property taxes due to lower property values.

Crime has a tendency to increase during recessions. The mayor must marshal the City’s philanthropic resources (private, faith based, and otherwise) to keep children and young adults out of destructive activities and direct them into constructive environments, without dipping into the taxpayer’s pocket.

The Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) has to be refocused toward essential equipment and commerce potential for Saint Paul, instead of “feel good” projects.

What are your ideas to increase city revenues and decrease city expenses?

First, Saint Paul must support and nurture its existing businesses by creating a business friendly environment. Next, Saint Paul needs to leverage its natural beauty and geographic attributes by creating memorable destinations and boosting tourism to increase revenues. Saint Paul possesses much intellectual capital which is capable of consulting the local businesses at very reasonable costs. An astute mayor would know how to leverage these valuable resources. The most difficult task, however, is to bring new businesses to Saint Paul to diversify the economy and create new jobs. No matter how difficult, this is something I intend to do to pull Saint Paul out of its downward spiral.

To decrease expenses and to increase revenues, Saint Paul must return government maintained projects back to tax rolls. If necessary, Saint Paul can divest nonperforming assets. Additionally, Saint Paul must invite cash flow positive projects.

The mayor must represent & SERVE the people of St. Paul across all parties, races, income levels, & all walks of life. Installing sound organization systems into City Hall to cultivate accountability is a crucial skill set. The mayor must be a good steward of the people’s money, exercising focus & discipline. Budgeting begins with allocating resources we actually have to the core services first, like Fire, Police, EMS, & roads. After the needs are met, prioritize the City’s wants. Economic uncertainty behooves us to lighten government burden on the people & encourage commerce. Another monumental role, seldom tried, is to be the convener of the City’s benevolent resources (charitable foundations, faith based organizations, private philanthropy, & community volunteerism), partnering up to remove barriers to success & elevate/actualize human potential by training teachers in new methods to excite children to learn, teach English to new Americans needing to adapt & make a living, provide hands-on vocational training & marketable skills to adults displaced from jobs.

Declining property values in 2009 will precipitate a revenue deficit in 2010. It is imperative to bring in new businesses, create jobs, fill the estimated 30% office space vacancies downtown, create demand for housing to absorb the 2000+ foreclosed. abandoned homes, & excite the investment climate. I will showcase & market St. Paul to target businesses. I plan to freeze or decrease tax rates to keep households & businesses from being taxed out of homes & establishments. Under performing assets must be returned to tax rolls to offset decreases in revenues, like LGA & lower property taxes. Crime has a tendency to escalate during recessions. The mayor must marshal the City’s philanthropic resources to keep children & young adults out of destructive activities & directed into constructive environments, without dipping into the taxpayer’s pocket. The Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) has to be refocused toward essential equipment & commerce potential, not “feel good” projects. The City needs a full-time mayor, not one who is running for governor on the people’s dime.

What prompted you to run for Mayor?

Friends, business associates, and neighbors who knew me as well as my background as a troubleshooter, turn-around specialist, and CEO asked me to step up and run. The decision to run for the Office of Mayor of Saint Paul was one I made after much consideration, knowing that it meant setting aside my career and sacrificing family time as well as personal privacy. However, my vision for Saint Paul compels me to run. I envision a city teaming with a variety of exciting, leading edge businesses, a city where choice jobs are plentiful, a city with sparkling streets, beautiful store fronts, and quaint establishments. I envision a city that is a great place to work and play, a safe community to live and raise children, an economically viable city where fees and taxes are fair and reasonable. Based on the skill sets I have developed in the private sector for the past 30 years and my understanding of the history of our city, I believe that I can bring this vision to life.

What in your background do you believe best qualifies you for the job?

From my upbringing as a child of orphaned parents who escaped Communist China and immigrated to the United States when I was 10 years old, to being part of the first generation of female engineers graduating from Texas A&M, and ultimately leading Blanda, Inc. as it’s CEO, I believe my background and 30 years of cumulative experience uniquely qualify me to serve as the next Mayor of Saint Paul. I have the skills required to lead in these difficult times. I have a proven record of turning around troubled businesses. I am a team builder and work effectively with management, as well as union and non-union labor. I know how to finance projects, restructure debt, and manage cash flow. I will work to reshape the City’s budget and balance the City’s revenue streams, while ensuring that we are able to attract new businesses, grow jobs, and keep our neighborhoods safe. I am quite good at leveraging technology and will bring a sensible level of automation to City government functions without breaking the bank. I am a good communicator and work hard to listen, find common ground, and arrive at remedies that are deserving of everyone’s buy-in. I have never aspired to run for political office, nor, if elected, am I interested in being a career politician. What I am interested in is ensuring that our city survives and thrives and becomes a great place to grow businesses and raise children.

What specific policies of Mayor Coleman’s do you disagree with and how would you handle them differently?

The residents of Saint Paul deserve better than the 9 percent, 15.1 percent, and 8 percent property tax increases they have received during Mayor Chris Coleman’s first three years of his four year term. I disagree that a 6 percent property tax increase along with a 6.8 percent increase in water and sewer fees for 2010 is the best we can do. I would freeze property taxes at the current level and look to prioritize city services with police, fire, roads, water, sewer, and emergency services getting top priority.

I am very disappointed to hear, in a recent radio interview, that Mayor Chris Coleman doesn’t even know how much the City spends on toilet paper. He then proceeds to buy an accounting software package which costs the City $14 million. I have worked for Fortune 100 companies grossing more than $50 billion in annual revenues. Yet, I have never heard of any accounting software package costing more than $5 million. Somebody has not been negotiating well on behalf of the people.

The Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) has been grossly mismanaged. Mayor Chris Coleman wanted to spend $32 million to construct an ice-skating rink across the street from the Xcel Center, which contains an ice-skating rink. Then he wanted to spend $8 million on an Olympic size pool complete with lazy river and fabulous fountain when Saint Paul’s firefighters are hobbling along with 20 and 25 year old fire engines which need replacing. Examples like these are too numerous to mention.

And the whining about the cut in Local Government Aid (LGA). During the current administration, the State typically distributes $55 million to $58 million of LGA to Saint Paul annually. Gov. Pawlenty’s proposed to cut LGA by $5 million in 2009, which is less than 1% of Saint Paul’s Operating Budget. The Proposed LGA cut for 2010 is estimated at $11.6 million, which is about 2% of Saint Paul’s Operating Budget. Gov. Pawlenty even asked Chris Coleman to do his homework, and tell the State exactly how much LGA decrease Saint Paul can handle. One would think a 1% decrease is fairly easy to deal with, but Mayor Chris Coleman has been so successful at whining and demonizing Gov. Pawlenty that more than half the people in Saint Paul think our $44.5 million budget short fall was caused by Pawlenty. NOT. My advice to Chis Coleman, look in the mirror.

On July 21, 2009, I officially filed for mayoral candidacy. On that same day, I challenged Chris Coleman, via Certified Mail, to sign a “Pledge to Keep Faith” with the citizens of Saint Paul promising he would serve the full 4-year term if re-elected. Coleman’s response was that there’s no secret he has gubernatorial ambitions, and that the Pledge is a “gimmick”. The fact is Coleman intends to vacate the Mayor’s seat in 2010 to raise funds and run for governor, leaving the people of Saint Paul high and dry without the mayor they re-elected. At that point, the City Council gets to elect the next mayor, NOT THE PEOPLE of Saint Paul (reference Saint Paul City Charter). I, on the other hand, did not hesitate to sign the Pledge as nothing pleases me more than to SERVE the people of Saint Paul. I have no other political ambition.

I am particularly disheartened by the Incumbent’s abuse of the hospitality industry in Saint Paul. License fees have been raised nonstop in the past few years. Another high double digit increase is slated for Fall 2009. The small businesses along University Avenue have been hurt drastically by the current administration as well. The new mayor has to champion measures to lighten the burden on these stressed businesses.

Since the law requires the city budget to be balanced, which city services would you cut or taxes or fees would you raise to do it?

The people and businesses of Saint Paul are financially strained at this time. I will freeze or decrease taxes and fees as feasible to spark the economy.

I will start with the Mayor’s office. Currently, 1/3 of the staff of about 30 is deputies of an existing position plus a special assistant. I believe quite a bit of savings can be achieved by eliminating the deputy positions alone. The 2009 adopted budget shows $4,147,251 in spending for the Mayor’s office. Just as I suspected, a lot of fat was available for cutting from the Mayor’s Office, as Mayor Coleman reduced its 2010 Proposed Operating Budget to $1,891,644, a 54.4% reduction due to public pressures from my campaign.

Then, I will eliminate non-essential positions such as one currently being advertised, the bicycle coordinator who will be paid $65,336/year plus benefits to determine where to put bicycle racks in downtown Saint Paul.

I will behave like an adult and exercise focus and discipline in fiscal responsibility. I will separate needs from wants. Setting up the budget, I will properly fund Saint Paul’s core essential services first, like Fire, Police, Emergency Medical Services, Roads, and Utilities. These are the services the people of Saint Paul paid for and deserve to receive in a quality manner. Then, I will prioritize the wants of the citizens, funding them in order of importance. When resources run low, the lowest priority “wants” may have to be deferred until funds are available.

Having been an experienced turnaround specialist, I would be remiss if I didn’t take time to bring strong, sound organizational systems to Saint Paul’s City Hall. I believe the citizens of Saint Paul have been crying out for accountability for quite some time. What a terrific opportunity to streamline operations and optimize return on investment for Saint Paul.


What specific new policies that are not now in place would you propose?

The most important policy I can initiate, and lobby the state to do so as well, is to make Saint Paul and Minnesota more business friendly.

The most important role of the mayor is to represent and TO SERVE the citizens of Saint Paul across all parties, all races, all income levels, and all walks of life. Crucial skill sets for the successful mayor begins with the ability to install sound organization systems into City Hall, one department at a time to cultivate accountability. The mayor must serve as a good steward of the people’s money by exercising focus and discipline. The budgeting process begins with allocating resources that we actually have to the core essential services first, like Fire, Police, Emergency Medical Services, thoroughfares, utilities, and snow removal. After the City’s needs are met, then prioritize the City’s wants and “nice to have” projects. At this time of economic uncertainty, the mayor must look for opportunities to lighten the government burden on its citizenry. Hand in hand with spending the people’s money wisely is the work of growing commerce to build a healthy economy.

Another monumental role of the mayor, which has been seldom tried, is to serve as the convener of the City’s benevolent resources, such as charitable foundations, faith based organizations, private sector philanthropy, and community volunteerism. The mayor must corral these assets and provide direction to elevate and actualize the human potential of Saint Paul’s citizenry. For instance, train teachers in new educational methods to excite children to learn, teach English to new Americans who need to adapt and make a living, address the needs of kids who are not ready to learn, provide hands-on vocational training and marketable skills to adults displaced from jobs. The mayor who is successful in this role will foster a work force so awesome that businesses will beat a path to Saint Paul to employ our people. We would have created a community of people helping people.

Eva Ng is St. Paul Proud

September

23

Eva's Pledge to St. Paul

Paid for by Eva For Mayor