Mark Kociemba has always been interested in helping his community. He’s an Eagle Scout and is now scoutmaster of Troop 254. He teaches religion classes at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church. Now the three-year Hopkins resident wants to give back to his community in another way: He’s running for City Council.
“I’ve always had an interest in government and have always been civic minded,” Kociemba said. “I thought a fresh face and fresh voice in city government is a good thing.”
Kociemba works as a behavior support professional for Minneapolis Public Schools. He attended St. Cloud State for four years and graduated from St. Mary’s University in Winona with a degree in history and a minor in philosophy.
Kociemba’s main focus in his campaign is on ensuring the city has a balanced budget. He’s seen his taxes increase since he’s been here, and he wants to stop that growth.
But he says he wouldn’t concentrate on cutting services. Instead, he’d focus on holding departments to their budgets. If the Police Department requested a new squad car, for example, he’d ask whether it could wait another year.
“I don’t necessarily know that we need to cut,” he said. “The big issue is everybody needs to live within their budget.”
Kociemba would also like to see additional development. While the city has a substantial number of apartments, he wants to see more homes and condos that people can afford to purchase. He also wants more commercial development.
“I’m pro business,” he said. “I think if we have healthy businesses and a healthy economy within Hopkins, it helps everybody in Hopkins.”