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Mark Windschitl running for Mayor
Oct 30, 2009 | 1489 views | 22 22 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I've been hearing rumblings that Mark has set up an exploratory committee to see if running for Chaska Mayor would be a good thing. Has anyone else heard this? For what it's worth Mark would definately have my vote!
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November 24, 2009
"on-topic" is not Jay Rohe.
November 24, 2009
Hey folks, can we just stipulate a few things and move on?

1.) Both candidates love Chaska. If someone didn't truly care about the city, they wouldn't go to the hassle and aggravation of campaigning for the job. No one is getting rich of being mayor of Chaska, and they take on a lot of responsibility to be the face and voice of the city and they take a lot of heat from residents.

2.) Both candidates have relevant experience. They may come to having that experience in different ways, and different people can place different values on that experience when evaluating the candidates, but they are both qualified.

I could care less about all this personal back-and-forth. I want to know what the candidates want to do and how they propose to accomplish it.
November 24, 2009
on-topic, I'm extremely confused by your clear hatred for Mark. Do you care to elaborate at all on what he has ever done to you? From the very beginning of his potential run (and now official run) you have done nothing but bash him and put Jay Rohe on a throne. Why? Clearly there is a history and perhaps the residents of Chaska need to know what he has done to deserve such disregard from you.

Or maybe the rumor mill is correct in that you (on-topic) are really Jay Rohe and trying to put doubt in the resident's mind about Mark without having to sign your real name. That would make the most sense, though is that what we really want for the Mayor of Chaska? I for one do not want someone who could be that dishonest and sneaky.

In looking at what LovinChaska and Jill Dockter (Mark's daughter) wrote about Mark's leadership, his volunteer work and his love of Chaska there is NO comparison between Jay and Mark. Mark hands above has far more than Jay. The only things Jay has is that he served on the City Council -- a seat he ran for because he was upset by the (then) current 4th ward council member voting in favor of bringing Target to Chaska since it would be near his neighborhood. Did Jay run for the right reasons on that campaign? Does Jay frequent said establishment now despite his clear hatred for it back then? I believe that is what you would call hypocritical and is that a quality we want in our Mayor?

Additionally, where is it stipulated in the rules to file for Mayor that one needs to be on the City Council or Planning Commission before they can run for Mayor? I would love to know because clearly I missed seeing that as a key requirement whereas you apparently found it.

I don't know Mark personally. I don't know Jay personally. I will tell you this, how you (on-topic) are acting on these blogs definately makes me want to vote for Mark regardless of any experience he may not have (based on your opinion). You are clearly very close to Jay and if you are the type of person Jay associates himself with I do not want him as Mayor of our fine town.

Let's keep Chaska the best small town in Minnesota and help elect Mark Windschitl Mayor!
November 22, 2009
When will we hear from Mark?

We have heard from everyone around him but nothing from him.

We need to know what is his vision for Chaska?

How will he implement his plans for downtown?

How will he keep the City from raising our taxes again in a very soft economy?

Where would he have stood on the dividing of the high schools?

Why has he never served on a commission or ran for lesser office, paid his dues and now wants to be Mayor.

How will he lead a very inexperienced City Council when he has no experience himself.
November 21, 2009
Mark officially filed on Friday! Let the race begin!
Mollee Francisco
November 20, 2009
Several people have picked up packets regarding the special election for Mayor, but Rohe is still the only candidate that has officially filed. Filing closes next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. You can check for the latest candidate filings. Election coordinator Margo Steffel said she tries to put the candidates up right away.

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at
November 20, 2009
Has Mark Windschitl filed his paperwork yet?
November 18, 2009

Mollee Francisco
November 18, 2009
I like the magic wand analogy seano.

(Mollee Francisco is a staff writer for the Chaska Herald. She can be reached at
November 18, 2009
I think the notion of the Mayor of Chaska setting or defnining the vision are overblown. I think most people generally agree on what they want this city to be, and what they want this city to pursue -- a more vibrant downtown, take care of traffic issues, responsibly manage the development of the Bio-Science Zone and the Heights of Chaska, continue the strong Park & Rec system, etc..

I suspect that if you had given Gary Van Eyll and Jay Rohe each a magic wand back in 2008 that would allow them to make the city of Chaska look how they would want it to look in 20 years, the results wouldn't have been radically different. The difference between Van Eyll and Rohe was -- to me, anyway -- more about how to get there as opposed to what the destination was.

However, since we don't run government by magic wand, we need to move past defining the vision and see who the right person is to make sure that we achieve the vision.

Who's going to be the right candidate to guide the creation of the downtown master plan and then marshal the resources to execute it successfully?

Who's going to be the right candidate to have city government operate more transparently, with more accountability, and actually embrace and encourage citizen input?

Who's going to be the right candidate to make financial decisions with a long-term perspective?

Who's going to be the right candidate to advocate for Chaska on a regional and state level to make sure that projects critical to our community are addressed?

Those are the questions that need to be answered. It's more about action than vision in my mind.
November 18, 2009
Leadership and Experience are the two most important resume items I want to see in our next Mayor. Chaska is not a little sleepy river town any more and we need someone that can articulate the vision for the community and truly be that cheerleader to lead Chaska to be an even greater community then it is today.
November 18, 2009
There is a City Administrator, Finance Director, Superintendent of Public Works, Superintendent of Utilities, CCC Director, Police Chief, Fire Chief. Leadership isn't managing the departments, but questioning and supporting them, thinking outside the box,doing what is in the best interest of the entire city, etc. I see the Mayor as really a communicator, listener, thinker, supporter, leader, attending meeting upon meeting, leading meetings, promoting the city, questioning and supporting the budget, taxes, etc., etc.

Mark's daughter outlined Mark's experience which includes a lot of volunteering with no personal gain. What is the personal history of Jay - not just the past 4-6 years but going back 10 years? That is the foundation of who these individuals are, not just who they are when running for office.

Mayor of Chaska isn't about power, it is about serving and leading our community.

November 16, 2009
Reading through the responses makes me dizzy! For the citizens of Chaska I ask everyone to stop the personal attacks and look at the facts.

In recent history how many of Chaska's previous Mayors have not served on the Council or Planning Commission before becoming Mayor?

To my knowledge none.

When was the last time our economy was crumbling around us?

To my knowledge more than 20 years ago.

When was the last time you saw a multi-million dollar company promote and entry level employee to CEO?

This only happens in the movies.

Why should the citizens of Chaska consider Mark a capable candidate? Mark's resume is full and he has a lot of varied experiences. It lacks the most important experience of all and that's being a formal part of city government.

The city government is just like a company, you want to hire the most capable people for every position. Not who you like the best. Can the mail room clerk become the CEO? He sure can, that's the greatest part of living in America. There is a process for the mail room clerk to become CEO though, just like there is a process for a person to become Mayor. Mark should run for Council first.

We the people of Chaska need our elected officials to have the right experience.

Mr. Rohe's resume is equally as impressive, the difference is the 8 years of experience that he has with the city.

This is what Chaska needs now: We need a Mayor that has experience with how our city has operated over the past 4-6 years. When I refer to how the city operates, it means that this person has intimate knowledge of the council and the decisions that have been made.

We need a person with executive leadership to keep our city at the level we have become accustomed to. We have a great foundation here in Chaska, the services that the city offers are second to none. If we aren't careful many of these services could be cut or eliminated, and to make matters worse our taxes could go way up.

This entry is an endorsement of electing the right person for the job. If no one else elects to run for the Mayoral position besides Mark Windschitl and Jay Rohe then the person most qualified for the Mayors position is Jay Rohe.

Debbie Boe
November 15, 2009
Will Mark be filing?
November 15, 2009
Mark Windschitl for Mayor

Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss on-topic,

I am absolutely appalled at your behaviour on the Chaska Herald blog site. Mr. Windschitl's daughter replied to your specific questions and you did everything in your power to fill up the top comments with useless comments so her reply would no longer be on the front page. I find it hard to believe that it was a coincidence given prior to her post there were hardly any posts by anyone for multiple days and suddenly once her post hits you have multiple posts within an hour. And now that there are no additional posts today you're silent.

Please know that 2 can play this "game". Everytime you post over something regarding Mark Windschitl running for Mayor I will post 2 new items. You are clearly doing everything possible to make sure the voters of Chaska are NOT informed on all possible candidates. Shame on you! Let the readers of this blog make up their own mind rather than having someone else decide what they should and should not read.
November 14, 2009
Chaska Mayor questions addressed...

I am Mark Windschitl’s daughter and I would like to address some of the questions/concerns raised in this posting.

First, as “Lovin Chaska” said in their post, their information came from the George C. Klein nomination. As you know, the George C. Klein is based on “Service Above Self” / volunteer work in the community. Because of this, there would be very little information on Mark’s leadership activities. As “Lovin Chaska” stated, the list was not complete and I hope I can help fill in some of the gaps some feel are present.

1. “Did he ever live in Chanhassen for a period of time?”

Yes, my dad's family moved to Chanhassen in 1960 and he moved to Chaska in 1973. He attended K-12 in the District 112 school system, but was not born in Chanhassen as was previously stated. He was actually born in New Ulm, MN.

2. “Also I respect that he did this work in the cemetary but did he do it pro bono (free)? I know he owned a monument company at one time and would like to know was anyone billed for this work?”

For the City of Chaska cemetery, he was paid as part of a small business he co-owned. However, he gave the City of Chaska a drastically reduced rate for his services. Part of that was due to just starting the business up and he was uncertain of what to charge, and there were not any companies out there doing this kind of work. The amount he received was extremely minimal for the type of work he was doing.

For Guardian Angels cemetery, the caretaker is a volunteer position and he does not get paid. He also manages the plots and there is a very small fee that is received for bookkeeping and that is only paid once someone passes away.

3. “It looks like he has great volunteer experience but very little leadership roles which is what is needed in our next Mayor.”

As previously stated, the list that was given focused on volunteer work, not leadership. Below are some additional leadership roles Mark currently holds or has held:

•Worked for Chaska Public Works for 13 + years. Worked his way up to be second in charge behind the Foreman of the Street Department at Chaska Public Works

•Retired from Chaska Fire Department after 21 years and held the position of Ambulance Secretary

•Co-owner of a small business which included managing employees

•General Manager of Chaska Cubs for 10 years and served as a Director for a total of 18 years.

•For the past 23 years he has worked his way through the ranks of the St. Louis Park Fire Department as driver, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief and then become Assistant Chief of Operations

•Co-Chaired 2 State Amateur Baseball Tournament’s

-> He was the Chaska Chairperson and Site Director for 9 Minnesota Class A High School State Tournaments held at the Chaska Athletic Park.

->He also coordinated many of the Lion's All Star tournaments while on the Board of Directors for the best Seniors in the State of Minnesota which was host at Chaska's Athletic Park.

•One of two Chiefs sent to an area southwest of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The area covered was about 80 miles long and 40 miles of that was devastated. They provided fire services, handed out food and water and provided assistance to the only fire department that was able to function after the Hurricane.

•In charge of the Strike Team that was requested to assist with the forest fires in the Boundary Waters Canoes Area, known as Ham Lake

•Was the Logistics Chief during 35 W bridge collapse.

•Chairperson of Southwest Mutual Aid Association (SWMAA) Joint Operations which is a group of cities that work together regularly at incidents. This committee coordinates training, equipment purchases and ways in which their cities can work better together.

•Fire Chiefs Assistance Support Team (FAST). Responded to Hugo Minnesota after a tornado swept through their community. He was a member of a group that went to relieve the Hugo Fire Department that had been working for many days without a break.

•He was sent to Moorhead this past spring during the floods on two separate occasions, the second time he was specifically requested to return by the Moorhead Fire Chief. He was deployed as a FAST Team member and he worked along side of the Moorhead Operations Chief, whom ran most of the sandbagging operations, monitoring operations and worked with many of the residents.

•Chair of the Pan (pandemic) Flu response team for Hennepin County Fire Chiefs

•A member of the All Hazard Incident Management team (AHIMT) – the team would go in and assist the local authorities with response for long term events such as tornadoes, floods etc…

•He played an active role in the Republican National Convention response/preparation when it was held in Minnesota last year (previously noted in this blog)

•He is a board member for the Hennepin Country Chief's Association (previously noted in this blog)

•Member of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association (previously noted in this blog)

I will be the first to say that most of these are not government leadership experiences, however all of these show that people turn to him in times of turmoil. He is able to handle pressure with a calm demeanor and does not let obstacles stop him from the end goal. He has been involved in a wide range of leadership roles that have given him the skills to effectively lead any group of people. He is a leader.

4. “One last note I am suprised that in Mr. Windschitl's resume it lists the Republican party. As a democrat and someone that beleives firmly that the City positions should stay non-partisan this should raise an eyebrow for all of us as WE do not want to become like Chanhassen where the Republican ???Party hand picks their councilmembers, Mayors and other elected officials.”

Ironically, until this point was raised, I did not know what party my father belonged to (although I did have suspicions). Growing up when I would ask if he was a Republican or Democrat, I was often met with the response of “it doesn’t matter, the right person won”. Politics never played a part in our house. We were taught to look at all candidates, hear all sides of the story and then make up our own minds. Sometimes they would fall in line with the party we “declared” and other times they would not. We were taught to be open minded and not judge a book by its cover. Just because my father assisted at a RNC event does not mean he lives and breathes their agenda. What it means is he was dedicated to doing the best job possible regardless of who was asking for his help. This race should not be about who is Conservative or Liberal. It should be about who is the best man or woman for the job.

For what it’s worth, I consider myself a Conservative, however I do not vote party lines. I have voted many times for Independents and Democrats as I believed they could do a better job than the Republican on ticket. That is something I am proud about (much to my husband’s dismay:-)) and something my parents taught me. I am confident that should my father run, and in the event that he wins, he would listen to all citizens of Chaska regardless of race, gender, financial status, sexual preference etc… and do what is best for Chaska once he has all of the facts.

I welcome any additional questions or concerns regarding my father’s possible run for Mayor of Chaska – I think we all need to be asking questions of all candidates and get the information out so the people of Chaska can make an informed decision in January. I only ask that this does not turn into personal attacks on him or any Chaska Mayoral candidate. Let’s stick to the facts and may the best man or woman win this election.


Jill (Windschitl) Dockter

November 04, 2009
Mark Windschitl for Mayor.

For those interested there is a Facebook group set up to show support for Mark to run for Mayor. In 48 hours and no advertising it has over 110 members. Check it out and join if you would like to see Mark run for Mayor.

Group Name: Mark Windschitl for Mayor of Chaska, MN
October 31, 2009
in response to "on-topic" I do not know the answers to all of your questions. I do not think I put this together that quickly and as I mentioned I doubt it's complete. I had some of the information from his nomination for the George Klein award and that's where some was pulled from and some I knew from living in Chaska.

Mark has had a lot of leadership experience but again, as I stated, my list was not comprehensive. Perhaps someone who knows Mark better than I could chime in with more information.

He did own a monument business years ago and I'm sure some of his work was paid while some was pro-bono. I know him putting the flags on the fallen Chaska FD graves at Memorial Day was not paid. I do not beleive he gets paid to run the GA cemetary.

One point I wish to take up specifically is I did not list that Mark is a republican. I stated that he was asked to help prepare a disaster response should anything happen while the RNC was in town. Just because he helped create a disaster plan given his extensive work on other national disasters does not mean he is a Republican. Had it been the DNC I'm confident they would have asked him to partake in that too. Fact is it was the RNC that came here, not the DNC, and Mark had skills they needed.

Based on your theory that means that every single cop, firefighter, paramedic, security etc... was republican that worked at that event. Because there is no way someone can help out at that event if they were not a Republican, right? Your point is exactly what you are saying Mark is/did. It's partisan and it needs to stay out of this discussion.

I did not make this, nor intended for this to become Republican vs. Democrat. Matter of fact I have no idea which party Mark supports and I do not believe it matters. What matters is his ability to lead the City of Chaska and continue to make it the best small town in Minnesota.

October 31, 2009
You must know him very well to put this together so quickly and so complete.

It looks like he has great volunteer experience but very little leadership roles which is what is needed in our next Mayor.

Having Chaska in your blood is great but I can name 500 others that also feel the same way it's not a qualification to be Mayor.

Also I respect that he did this work in the cemetary but did he do it pro bono (free)? I know he owned a monument company at one time and would like to know was anyone billed for this work?

Did he ever live in Chanhassen for a period of time?

Mr. Windchitl, if interested should run for City Council next year and get some experience on the City Council. Pay your dues like all of our past Mayors. Mr. Roepke, Van Eyll and Schmidt all served as Councilmembers first. It gives you the necessary experience to be an effective Mayor that knows how the City and Councl work together.

One last note I am suprised that in Mr. Windschitl's resume it lists the Republican party. As a democrat and someone that beleives firmly that the City positions should stay non-partisan this should raise an eyEbrow for all of us as WE do not want to become like Chanhassen where the Republican Party hand picks their councilmembers, Mayors and other elected officials.

Debbie Boe
October 31, 2009
Thank you for your response. I enjoyed reading it.
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