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Our choice for 11th and 12th Ward City Council members

For 12th Ward: Andrew Johnson, first choice; Chris Lautenschlager, second choice; Dick Franson, third choice

(photo from the 12th Ward DFL endorsing convention: Andrew Johnson debating Sandy Colvin Roy) Twelfth Ward Candidate Forum at the Midtown Farmers' Market on Saturday, Oct.19, from 10 to 11 a.m. Audience members are invited to submit questions for the candidates during the forum. The event will be moderated by Rebekah Peterson, editor of My Broadsheet, and Judy Corrao, former 2nd Ward City Council member. In the event of inclement weather, the forum will move indoors to the nearby YWCA Midtown at 2121 E. Lake St.

Andrew Johnson challenged incumbent DFL City Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy for the DFL endorsement last spring and came within a few votes of beating her. The critical issue that was her undoing was her vote to support the city subsidy for the new Vikings stadium. The initial $150 million for construction mushrooms to almost a billion dollar subsidy when you calculate interest on the bonds, contractual obligations for maintenance and police overtime in regulating traffic over the 30-year life of the contract. Initially Sandy said she would not support the proposal unless the voters approved it in a referendum—according to the provisions of the City Charter. But then she reversed herself and supported the proposal without asking the voters’ consent. Earlier, longtime critics of Sandy, like Charley Underwood (who ran against her four years ago), strongly supported her re-election. But when she reversed herself, they became her bitter opponents.

As president of the Longfellow Community Council, Andrew led efforts to revitalize East Lake Street, he implemented a new website for the LCC that improved communication and transparency, and he improved the citizen participation component of the Minnehaha restoration project. He is endorsed by most DFL and labor organizations, and he pledges to “always put Ward 12 residents first.”

Chris Lautenschlager is the Green Party endorsed candidate. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Standish-Ericsson Neighbor-hood Association, and he served on the advisory committee that oversaw the design and construction of the Sandcastle concession stand at Lake Nokomis. He believes in raising the minimum wage, he would increase the number of police and fire personnel to levels those departments recommend, and he favors a policy of zero waste and opposes an increase in the burning of garbage at the downtown incinerator.

Dick Franson! What more can be said about Dick Franson? My mom and dad loved him when he was our 12th Ward alderman from 1963 to 1965, but when he went along with city planners to take all the houses along Hiawatha Avenue for a widening of the roadway that didn’t happen for 50 years, it took the first home my brother Pat ever had. He’s pro-life and served in the Seabees in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He’s a likable guy, but I wish he’d stop sending me faxes.

For 11th Ward: ABQ (Anybody But Quincy) Matt Steele, first choice; Bob Schlosser, second choice; blank, third choice

Last year in our March Nokomis edition, I asked: “Excuse me Council Member John Quincy, but what is it about ‘Referendum’ you don’t understand?

“It’s quite simple. The people of Minneapolis on two separate occasions, in 1973 and in 1997, passed amendments to the City Charter that required the City of Minneapolis to allow the voters of Minneapolis to determine whether they wanted to use city money to pay for a sports stadium. The Charter quite clearly says the voters must approve that kind of expenditure.

“But Council Member John Quincy is unconvinced. He thinks there might be some wiggle room. In an interview he said, ‘I don’t know if a referendum is actually necessary legally, because I think it’s the job of people who are elected to make those kinds of decisions.’

“That’s true Mr. Quincy, except when the people have explicitly demanded in their Charter the right to vote on such a question. And, Mr. Quincy, the moment you assumed office you took a solemn oath to defend that Charter.”

John Quincy abused his trust representing the people of the 11th Ward. It is a tragedy that the DFL in the 11th Ward did not rise up and throw the rascal out, like they did in the 12th, 10th and 3rd Wards. People of conscience and principle in the 11th Ward have little choice but to register their protest by voting against Mr. Quincy.

Matt Steele is endorsed by the Independence Party. Wikipedia: “The Independence Party of Minnesota tends to lean conservative with regards to taxation and other fiscal matters. For example, ‘personal responsibility’ is a core principle of the party as is a ‘Government that is fiscally responsible: equitable in its collection of taxes, careful in its spending, and honest in its financial reporting.’” We normally associate the party with Jesse Ventura. Matt Steele’s website says, “Matt Steele knows we love our city because of our neighborhoods, not stadiums,” which is a clever way of not really saying anything. Would he have supported the Vikings stadium vote? He doesn’t really say, and, like most politicians, he doesn’t get very specific or concrete about any other issue either.

Bob Schlosser is a perennial candidate who supports a new Vikings stadium but not necessarily the deal that the mayor and City Council signed off on. A deputy sheriff for 30 years and a 1964 Washburn graduate, Bob runs a bed and breakfast so he has sympathy with the hospitality industry.



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