Candidate’s View

as seen in The Duluth News Tribune

Duluth is THE best place to raise a family, live, work and play. I can think of no better place where my small-business CEO experience could be offered in service to my community. Duluth has the great outdoors, spectacular healthcare, a vibrant arts and culture scene and much more. Duluth also has challenges such as aging infrastructure, drug/opioid epidemic, and stagnant population growth. Are there risks we have been unwilling to take in the past that we need to take now? What difficult choice(s) might be needed in a situation?

Simply put, the status quo is not growing Duluth.  Leadership is an activity, not a position. Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere. Leadership starts with you and must engage others. Your purpose must be clear. Leadership is risky. A chance to focus on balancing the city’s budget while addressing our basic needs is in order.

With over 20 years of successful business experience, 7 as a CEO recognized nationally for growth, balanced budgets, and customer satisfaction, I am prepared to promote Duluth to ourselves, the region, the state, and the world. With a 5-year plan that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant and time-sensitive I will address:

STREETS – We now have a sales tax dedicated to residential street improvements. You can expect me to ensure that these funds will be utilized for the much-needed repairs.

JOBS – Well paying, living-wage jobs will be a product of a business-friendly administration that focuses on reducing or eliminating barriers and regulations that make investing in labor and workforce cost-prohibitive today.

HOUSING – By reducing barriers to housing development we will incentivize housing development for ALL portions of the housing market (affordable, mid-range, and higher-end). We must recognize that opportunity exists for in-fill, urban, and smaller-scale new-housing development.

PUBLIC-SAFETY –Our entire public safety team, including but not limited to law-enforcement need additional resources to address challenges related to the opioid and drug epidemic. Increasing the capacity for our public safety team to get resources is a basic responsibility of our city government – especially increasing mental health treatment referral options.

Since choosing Duluth as the place to raise my young family I have refined how I observe how things, and more importantly, how people are connected. Although I focus on the reality of the way things are, I prefer to imagine the possibility of the way things could be. When it comes time to making decisions, I value justice and fairness. I have been described as reasonable and level-headed, yet have no problem finding the flaws in an argument. For real change to happen, who must do the work? Who else?

Demonstrating sound leadership has been a life-long mission of mine. As mayor, you can expect non-partisan, practical, and ‘back-to-basics’ leadership that asks questions before offering answers or solutions. Does a collective purpose exist? How can we inspire? Who will perceive loss? How will we acknowledge that loss? If the answer to ‘Why are we doing this?’ is anything like ‘That’s the way we have always done it.’ Then you can expect another hard question. I expect to hear the same from you during the campaign and beyond.

We Duluthians, can intervene skillfully to address challenges that our city faces. We can explore new intervention approaches. By energizing others, we will build bridges between alternate viewpoints. We can unite around common purpose.