Senior Mayor: Mark Lacis

October 16—Name: Mark Lacis


Age: 43 years old

Family: (My wife is) Chris Lacis, (and my) twins (are) Dylan and Jackson Lacis.

How long have you lived in Superior? Eight years

Professional background: Lawyer

Political/community experience: Interim Mayor from 2018 to present; Member of the Senior Board of Directors from 2016 to present; and High Commissioner for Urbanism from 2014 to 2016.

Education: Graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 2005 and graduated from Rutgers College in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts.

The lawsuit over the planned $280 million Coal Creek Innovation Campus project has been in the news recently. What is your position on the project and what can the council do to maintain residents’ confidence for future development projects?

I voted no on the Life Sciences proposal because I did not believe it matched the vision for downtown Superior that was sold to this community years ago. Superior was promised a bustling, pedestrianized Main Street. A corporate campus at the entrance to downtown is uninviting and seems like a missed opportunity to do something special and big.

What attracts you to public service at Superior?

My wife and I feel blessed to be able to live and raise our boys in Superior. I strongly believe in public service, which is deeply rooted in my family. My grandfather was mayor of a small town in Estonia in the 1940s when the Soviets invaded the Baltic during World War II. He has been described as a stoic but kind leader who took decisive action and led many in his community to safety during the occupation. I hope to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps and become the next mayor of Superior. I hope to make grandfather proud and superior proud.

If elected mayor, what can the board do to support businesses in Superior who have suffered lost revenue due to the pandemic, the Marshall fire and the current economic downturn, in addition to the hardships to retain a workforce, loss of customers displaced by the fire, and cited a lack of affordable housing options to retain local employees?

Throughout the pandemic, we have supported Superior residents and businesses in several ways: by raising federal funds (American Rescue Plan Act) in direct grants to small businesses, by sending residents “superior money” , which could only be spent in our local businesses. , continuing to fund the Superior Chamber of Commerce, hiring an economic development manager, and providing incentives for new and existing businesses to enter into leases in Superior. We also passed an affordable housing ordinance that requires 15% of new housing projects to be permanently affordable. In the wake of the Marshall fire, we waived building permit fees for rebuilds, reduced use taxes, and allowed fire victims to build to 2018 building codes, making the more economical reconstruction for fire victims. We’ve also relaxed secondary suite restrictions and provided more flexibility for Original Town and Sagamore residents regarding building heights, setbacks and model requirements. All of these changes should make it easier and cheaper for residents to rebuild and recover from the fire. Going forward, we need to keep our property taxes low and ensure our sales tax rates remain competitive.

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