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Fasbender: Collaborate and communicate

Editor's note: This story is part of a Q&A with Hastings mayoral candidates. Read about other candidates here

Mary Fasbender

  • Age: 59
  • Address: 521 W. 13th St.
  • Website: www.MaryFasbender.com
  • Facebook: facebook.com/maryhoffmannfasbenderformayor/
  • Education: Minnesota Beauty College
  • Family: Husband, Paul
  • Occupation: 34-year owner of MDK for Hair in Hastings
  • Civic involvement: Hastings Comprehensive Plan Committee, Hastings Public Safety Advisory Commission (six years), Hastings Charter Commission, Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce, Hastings Area Rotary Club, Downtown Hastings Business Association, original Hastings YMCA building campaign, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton fundraising committee, Hastings High School reunion committee, Mayo Clinic hospice pet therapy tean and local Meals on Wheels.

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What would be your top priorities as mayor?

As a longtime business owner in Hastings who has strong relationships with local businesses, I see areas that need attention. Some businesses have experienced roadblocks from City Hall as they attempt to open, expand and update their restaurants and shops. I will ensure our government will not only bolster its efforts to attract businesses, but also commit to retaining those who are already here.

In addition, the safety and security of our citizens is a huge responsibility, and it's critical that the Police Department and Fire Department are treated with respect and receive the resources and staffing necessary.

Lack of transportation is another large concern. This hampers our ability to attract new businesses and jobs to town. I will reach out to private companies willing to provide service to Hastings, and consider public-private partnerships.

Hastings can no longer sit and wait for a government solution to this issue.

What differentiates you from the other candidates in this primary election?

I believe my 34 years of real-world business experience in Hastings, creating numerous jobs in the local community, paying business taxes, and my personal financial investment in local commercial real estate (Central Commons building) are key differentiators.

In addition to my decades of successful private sector business experience, I have an extensive record of partnering with the public sector and getting things done. I have served on numerous city government commissions, been president of the Hastings Chamber of Commerce, president of the Hastings Rotary, and belonged to the Downtown Business Association, among other local civic organizations. I am also very proud of my 21 years of service as a co-chair of Gobble Gait, an annual event that has raised more than $1.2 million for Hastings Family Service.

As a city leader, what should the mayor's ongoing role be with the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Initiative?

Communities across the country, including Hastings, are dealing with issues related to diversity, inclusion and equity. The demographics of our country, our state, and our city, are changing, and I'm glad that members of the Hastings community are discussing various aspects of this issue. It has been an honor to participate in numerous events, conversations and forums that have been held in our city, and I understand that many residents hold a variety of opinions and favor different approaches.

If I am fortunate enough to be chosen as your nayor, I look forward to working with our school board, residents, agencies, businesses, and churches, among others, in order to keep an open dialogue and ensure everyone feels welcome in Hastings. The important thing is to keep talking with each other — even those we disagree with — and exchange ideas if we are to make progress.

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