Town Meetings in Town Square: St. Paul Candidate Debates, Part 3 - Council Wards 3 and 6

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St. Paul city council debates, live from Town Square, sponsored by St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. Ward 3 candidates: Katherine Ackland and John Groo Ward 6 candidates: Incumbent Chris Nakosha and challenger Tom Hilber Panelists for debate are Luci Fenner, owner of "First Daisy" and "Accent Minnesota"; Al Classman, certified public accountant with the firm Boyum and Barenscheer; and Jon Grunseth, vice president for public affairs at Economics Laboratory. Wy Spano, of Wyman Spano Public Affairs, moderates.

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(00:00:02) Welcome to town meetings in Town Square sponsored by the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. My name is Larry Cole and I have been serving as the town meetings in Town Square steering committee chairman. Today is the third in a series aimed at increasing the community's awareness of the issues in the st. Paul local government elections, which will be held on Tuesday November 8th. Today. We are featuring the city council races in Wards 3 and 6. And now I'd like to introduce today's moderator why spinal who is president of why Spano public affairs? Thank you, Larry and welcome everybody to this last of the council debates tomorrow Town meetings in Town Square will begin talking to school board candidates and finally on Monday to the mayoral candidates as those of you present here can see we have two groups of people a raid in front of you one is a group of panelists and the other group of candidates the panelists represent the Chamber of Commerce and they will be asking questions while they're doing that. We would like people in the audience if they have questions to write them down and someone will be coming among you to pick them up this person right here. Our panelists today reading from right to left as I look at them Lucy Fenner who is the owner of first Daisy and accent Minnesota and chairman of the membership and special events Committees of the Small Business Council of the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce in the middle is Al classmen a certified public accountant with the firm of boehm and Barren sure here in st. Paul. And on the far side is John run Seth vice president for public affairs with economics laboratory one of st. Paul's major employers. our candidates today represent Ward's three and six in the city of st. Paul. Ward 3 has the distinction of being the only ward in the city, which is guaranteed to have a new alderman. Since in the primary the current Alderman did not survive. The two candidates in the Third Ward are Catherine Acklin who has a small business owner former director of the criminal justice planning Council for the for Ramsey County and city of st. Paul and his endorsed by the dfl and a number of Labor organizations. Her opponent is John grew currently with MSI Insurance a former state representative in the area. He is endorsed by the independent Republican Party. The police and fire federation's and others. the Sixth Ward on your far left Is Tom hilber? Who is currently employed by Northwest Graphics? He is endorsed by afscme the AFL-CIO and next to him is Chris Nicosia the who is completing his first term on the council. Mr. Nicosia is endorsed by the independent Republicans Building Trades and Drive in the Teamsters Union for the information of those of you here and the radio audience you might be interested to know where exactly words three and six are so that you can find out whether you should be interested when their candidates are responding or three is the Highland neighborhood of st. Paul the southwest corner of the city bordered on the North by Summit and st. Clair and more Ward 6 is the northeast corner of the city boarded are bordered on the west by Edgerton. Okay with all that preliminary one other thing before we get started. Our panelists will be asking the candidates questions. Generally the questions will be of a survey nature. And each of the candidates will have an opportunity to respond. They can take up to a minute and a half. We have a person here who is keeping time. If they get close to the end of the time she will hold up cards and hopefully they will stop they don't stop I jump up and down the second. Thing you should know is that it's possible for candidates to respond to a comment made by one of their opponents. If they say something that they consider needs response. They may raise their hand and we'll get an additional 30 seconds. There with all of that done. We'll start in the Middle with questions from the panelists AL class now. Thanks. Bye glad to be here again today. My first question relates to hazardous waste areas in the st. Paul area have been designated as preferred sites for the location of hazardous waste processing facilities. If you are elected, would you seek proposals from private companies to build such a facility in st. Paul or would you discourage the location of a such a facility within the city? Okay, the question concerns hazardous waste I happen to have worked for represented the waste management board for a couple years in the subject to the sighting of hazardous waste disposal facilities and processing facilities. It can be an extremely sensitive subject. Let's start in the Third Ward with John Drewe. Yes, it is a very sensitive subject. I was during my term in the legislature. I served on local and urban Affairs environmental committees. And this has always been a very touchy issue, especially throughout the state of Minnesota, but I fell feel that this issue was before us. And this is something that we have to go ahead with and something I would like to and I do encourage private ownership. It's something I'm hoping that we will find the suitable location that will make everyone happy. I know this is not the case always but it's something for the future generation that we must provide. And I'm hoping that we can find us very suitable area very soon, and I'm hoping that we will also provide. the input that we need with with private developer and with the city in the hole. Next from the Third Ward Catherine Ackland. (00:06:42) Well, my first reaction is that city of st. Paul is a very dense City. We certainly need more development opportunities. I believe the city council today. It is taken a stand in objection to considering a site within the city limits. I would never vote a policy or an ordinance or resolution without looking at the figures if it could be made safe and cost-effective. I'd like to consider it anything that increases the tax base and employs people is worth consideration. I think there is some considered I worry a little bit about the public safety and the public health of something in such a densely populated area. (00:07:21) Okay from the Sixth Ward Tom hilber. The waste site disposal question needs to be addressed in respects to people people's Health and Welfare. Non harmful waste materials could be stored in high-density areas. But those items that are hazardous to our health and to our genetic codes need to maintain be maintained by corporate and private concerns who manufacture those hazardous Thwaites wastes that affect us all Thank you. Finally Chris Nicosia from the Sixth Ward. Yes, as I understand. The question is directed precisely to hazardous wastes and I being on the city council this term we have already taken a stand that because of the high density and the nature of the waste. We would prefer it not to be located in the city area itself. We know that a lot of this waste is generated by some of the big commercial producers here in our area. We will have to resolve the problem, but our initial impetus is not to have it in a high-density area such as our city. Okay, next question from a small business owner in the city of st. Paul Lucy Fenner. (00:08:39) Thank you. I'm happy to be here as a small business owner. My question is how do you think st. Paul can improve its image and encouraging businesses to relocate to st. Paul and also tied in with that? How can the city help businesses to stay in st. Paul? (00:08:59) Question relates to what can the city do to encourage business both to come here and to stay here? Let's go to the Sixth Ward this time Chris Nicosia. Yes, I too as Lucy have come from the small business industry before I came aboard here. And that was one of my major concerns businesses seem to be leaving our city and our state in Mass Exodus and I am pleased to say that the mayor has chosen me as a city council person to represent the Council on a new board that was just recently formed to study the problem study the reasons why business are leaving and try to come up with some answers to keep them here in town. I do know one thing that the tax and taxation of small businesses has just gone beyond the limit and the ability of small businesses to continue to go on and I do realize that we have to create incentives and particularly. The area of taxes to keep the businesses here and to provide them with the services needed in our town, but we can't overburden the private citizen to make up the difference and it's become a very delicate balance. It's a very delicate issue and I'm glad that we're working on it and I would hope that in the next year year and a half. We will have some direction that may turn this Exodus around. Okay, next from the sixth floor tom hilber the question of the movement of businesses into the city of st. Paul deals directly with what business is all about. And that is to make a profit and the job of government is to Aid people and businesses in making a profit in the areas that they decide to do business in the types of incentives that we want to offer businesses have to be fair and just we must be paying our own way as business people as well as Citizens in the areas that we choose to make a profit that calls for a responsibility from all of us to Foster business to bring people back into the city of st. Paul bring people to downtown st. Paul for business downtown st. Paul for Commerce and downtown st. Paul for culture and entertainment. moving to the Third Ward Catherine, (00:11:25) Ackland Well, I think that we're well under the road of making st. Paula viable place for businesses to locate. They certainly are a number of financial Alternatives that the city's cooperated with tax increment financing different ways of getting public-private Partnerships using Port Authority support having a small business loan programs tied right into the planning and economic development department. We've spent a good deal of time trying to work with the community to make sure that the jobs can be generated through local sole source or First Source contracts with the development that we have made. I believe that the mayor's Administration as well as the city council has a very strong role to play in this if I were on city council, I would do everything I could to keep public-private Partnerships moving. We have many opportunities. As many Alternatives I think we should explore them all the more diversity we have in our tax base the more businesses that grow and develop the healthier. The total economy will be (00:12:38) And from the third board John Drewe. Well first I would like to say that I believe it the business climate here in the whole generally in the state of Minnesota is very poor. We have one of the highest tax rates than any state in the Union. We have other problems dealing the area of workers compensation. It's an issue that I've seen kicked around in the legislature for the last few years and every time an election comes up. I always hear candidates say well we're going to work for a good business climate in the state of Minnesota. We really want to get serious with the problem. I feel that next session with the state legislature can make a very big impact of the cities in the future by changing our business climate in the state of Minnesota. I would like to see come out of the state legislature some business related to the areas of the cities of first class where we can provide small businesses with startup money to encourage small businesses to reinvest their profits, which will mean more jobs in the area which will provide a better tax base in general for the city of st. Paul. I feel if if the next session of the legislature heads that direction the climate in Minnesota and you're going to see generally you can see business in Minnesota, the word will get around Minnesota is a great state to expand in we have many opportunities in this state and let's sell the state of Minnesota, which will help the cities. All right, our third questioner from economics laboratory. John Glenn said thank you. Why and it's nice to be here this afternoon. St. Paul like most mature American cities is constantly faced with budgetary problems, which often means there is a need to cut expenditures or find new sources of revenue during these debates. Most candidates have said that Saint Paul must find new sources of revenue, but none have been very specific as to what these new sources of revenue would be my question is would you personally favor taxing income earning Church own property as a means of generating Revenue. This would not include places of worship. Here's your chance to be brave. Okay. The question is relates to taxation of nonprofit organizations, and let's start in the Sixth Ward with Tom hilber. The question as I heard it had to do with the generation of revenues. In light of the shortfall in funding for City salaries city benefits City projects Capital Improvements and so forth and should we as one of those areas tax nonprofit organizations excluding churches. I believe we all need to pay our fair share for services rendered and that the ways to generate revenues are a difficult area cost efficiency in government is one area that we can look to so that we might better spend our tax dollars. We can also look to the state mandated programs for Venture Capital which will increase the business the businesses in our city and Leslie in the future the tax base. Okay from the Sixth Ward Chris Nicosia. Okay, as I understood the question John was with our ever need ever-increasing need for dollars here in the city. Well, how would we approach the non-taxable properties as far as taxing them? And actually that's that's this more than one question. We have a formula that that can be followed as far as getting more mileage out of the dollar one is to cut spending which we've done in the past and other one is to raise taxes, but I think the real businesslike approach is to get more mileage out of a dollar. We have to become a little more efficient in our operation of government. So that in itself will help but in your direct question of whether or not I would favor taxing nonprofit organizations except for places of worship. I think that that's an approach that we could definitely go toward income properties from non-taxable organizations should be taxed or assessed to pay for their fair share of the services. And I would agree with that. Alright question revolves around the taxation of nonprofit organizations other than churches. It is a very significant question in the Twin Cities, especially because we seem to be the home of a large number of these kinds of organizations from the Third Ward (00:17:13) Catherine Acklin. Well, I think it implied in the idea of the tax-exempt status is the idea that many of the churches in the school's the nonprofit corporations don't have the resources. They're all voluntary contributors the same people that are members of those congregations are the same people that pay the taxes. Anyway, the source of the benefit the idea would be that rather than pay twice. They might be tax exempt at this point in time. I think that there really is evidence that some of the nonprofit's because of their continued development for their own expansion are actually beginning to cost taxpayers money. I would be willing especially in non-contiguous developments which means the non-church and the non-immediate original plant. Whatever the facility was when it got its status that we at least look to see what the city is spending on police and fire Public Safety plowing the services that were actually providing through tax payments from People that are not directly benefiting I'm very interested in looking into that. I realize it's a tough situation in our Ward we have to colleges st. Catherine's and McAllister. I'm very sensitive to the amount of expansion that those colleges undertake as well as the volatile economic situation that they have st. Catherine's is not in such good shape right now to change its financial status might actually seriously affects affect its economic stability. So I'd like to look into it. I don't have the answer. It's a good question. (00:18:53) And finally from the Third Ward John Drew. My aunt and my answer to those two questions, first of all, I would like to say I'm always here this question asked what's your ideas about raising more revenue for the city? Well, I would like to match like to say that first of all, I think the city we've gone through hard times. The state has gone through hard times the national economy has gone through hard times. I feel things are starting to turn now. I don't like to impose a tax or a new tax on any organization. I'm a believer that we should prioritize our needs here for the city. To feel to find out what people really want to pay for. I'm also a believer that there are things that we can do to bring in new revenue and it's not always necessary to impose a tax on someone again, I guess I'd like to get back to the business part of it. I'm a believer that of Rican so business expansion here in the Minnesota. This will provide more jobs. And what we need is more taxpayers and not fewer taxpayers in Minnesota. And if this can happen if we have the more taxpayers, we don't always have to look at other programs to bring upon a new tax upon the people of the city of st. Paul. We've had a question from the audience now that we've gone through all of our three panelists and maybe we can start up with Tom Hilburn the Sixth Ward and go down under the 30-second rule. If you don't mind, I'll let you cheat a little bit if it's necessary, but somebody wants to know your general reaction to team policing and is it a beneficial thing in your ward Tom Hillman? The initial introduction by the team policing concept was supported by myself. I felt that we need a team Police Headquarters. That's closer. Although I don't think one mile from the police station was far enough. I felt that the cost the original cost presented to the public at $36,000 was an acceptable amount for a team police program. However that cost in the final analysis along with Park Rangers was about two hundred and sixty thousand dollars. Okay, and from the 6th Kristen kosha, I believe I believe that team policing in the visibility that it that it gives being in its location is a is a prime deterrent to Crime. It's been proven back in the days of Charlie McCarty when the police officers drove their cars home the visibility in the neighborhoods of the police squad cars certainly deterred crime and today we were lucky enough and able enough and in the council. I supported moving it to a team police location up to the east side of st. Paul in one of our higher crime grid areas and I believe the visibility is going to be a great help to us from the Third Ward John Drewe team policing. Yes, I have made the team police in issue in my campaign and I've worked hard and bringing the facts out especially in my ward where crime has gone up substantially compared to city in the hole and the return of the team. Please will help tremendously in my area. And I also would like to take the opportunity. We have a very strong neighborhood crime watch but I feel with the two of them. They can work together. I do not feel it's that cost C and the citizens in my ward are concerned about our high crime rate people. I've talked to are supportive of the team police and finally from the Third Ward Catherine Acklin (00:22:40) when I was in criminal justice planning, and st. Paul I helped design and raise the funding. First team policing so I support it. However, my opponent has really raised some statistical questions about the crime rate crime rate was never higher than in 1971. The last year A Team policing we do not have an exaggerated or exaggerated crime problem. Now, I believe that the team policing should come back to the neighborhood, but it should be located in a commercial strips such as Ford Parkway where there's a access the citizens could walk in get some volunteer services while they're there. (00:23:17) Okay. Thank you back to the panelists now John Glenn said This question has to deal again with the generation of Revenue in the protection of the maintenance of the tax base in the city. St. Paul has to compete with the suburbs indeed other areas in the state and perhaps even other states for business does Saint Paul need Enterprise zones that are both city and state sanctioned to attract new business. Question on Enterprise zones a subject which has been in the newspapers quite a bit not so much around st. Paul but with Duluth and Western Minnesota, Chris, Nicosia, would you like to start on Enterprise zones? Sure. That's a topic the Enterprise zones that we dealt with at the council level sometime back. It was created by the state. It's an area where you may have a depressed or a large Warehouse area where you would like to attract some businesses in to pump up the local economy create a better tax base and it gives them some temporary tax incentives to come in there and to build and looking around that the development of the city of st. Paul. It's been moving in such a fine direction for a number of years. We have a couple areas that it looks as though it would be a long time before we would be able to develop anything in those areas. And I think the Enterprise zones have given us the tool to do that with I think that again it goes back to the question of the delicate balance between how much should we give away and how much will we reap in return and that's an area that's always up for study. And I think it's a very important area and I believe after looking at the Enterprise zones. It's something that'll definitely work to our advantage. We get some tax base moved into some depressed depressed Warehouse areas right now and the entire population of st. Paul will benefit from those in the years to come. the second candidate in the Sixth Ward Tom Hilbert The question of Revenue generation as it relates to the Enterprise zones in the city of st. Paul is an issue that has to be addressed in respects to not moving businesses from one zone to another but generating new business within those zones. And in order to do that and to build and maintain a tax base. We need a new Port Authority as successful as our Port Authority that will fund venture capital for filling the spaces at the Port Authority has created in our fine City. from the Third Ward Catherine Acklin (00:26:09) I think it's very creative that the planners in St. Paul have taken advantage of the entertainment Enterprise Zone legislation. I don't think it was designed for st. Paul. I think that any Avenue to change the financing or increasing in any startups of small businesses in our less developed areas are fine. I don't think it's the main primary thrust of st. Paul. (00:26:36) And finally from the Third Ward John Drew. I guess I like to say that I agree with my opponent the main thing I feel that where this money is directed right now is an area where there are more concerns that the money will be used more wisely. This is something that I feel the city of st. Paul that it's something that we can look at very possibly in the future. But as of now I would say right now the money is directed in the right places, and I know it's going to benefit the areas up there. Okay, if I can for a moment, let me pause and remind everyone here and especially people. On the radio that we are at a town meeting in Town Square in beautiful downtown st. Paul. We are having a discussion between candidates for the city council from the third and six towards the panelists who my introduce from time to time representing the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce which sponsors this event are John grunts Seth from economics laboratory Al classmen from the accounting firm of boy named bérenger and Lucy Fenner. Who owns accent Minnesota and first Daisy and downtown st. Paul the candidates that we have today are from Ward 6 Tom Hilbert and Chris Nicosia and from ward 3 John Drewe and Catherine. Aklan, and now I will go back to the panelists Lucy (00:28:04) Fenner. As a retailer in the downtown st. Paul. I'm concerned with the parking availability in the cost for customers and for workers downtown. We are competing with Suburban shopping malls with easy access and free parking. How do you think the city can help? (00:28:27) A very good question and spoken with fervor from someone who cares about the answer. Let's start with John Drewe and the Third Ward. That is a very good question. I guess my feelings on that is that I guess I'm a personal believer that we have an Mt. See system here in the cities and seems like we're always hearing about the lack of ridership. I wish we can encourage more people who use the downtown areas to start taking the buses. So very possibly that we could open up some more parking areas here in the city and I also know that the last few months that course of all the problems in the congestions with the streets out here. I'm certain his cause some hardships on the downtown business people here in st. Paul. But I personally feel if it if we can look at the problem of the parking I would again encourage the writer ships of the bus very very possibly. I recall some of the old days where we had possibly some shorter times on the parking meters and then which would provide more more usage of our parking ramps that we have here in the city of st. Paul. Okay, next from the Third Ward which is the as you remember in our original description the Highland Park area of st. Paul Catherine. (00:29:51) Aklan. Well as you bring up parking Downtown parking in the ward 3 is another problem. It seems like wherever you've got vibrant commercial development. The parking is a problem. All I can suggest is that as we continue to develop we look at low cost ways to provide the parking with every development. We don't allow development to go in without that consideration and that we try to look at more Transportation alternatives to possibly busing or small some kind of communication Transportation bands from parking lots to the to the city shopping areas. (00:30:31) from the Sixth Ward Chris, Nicosia Yes, that's a that's a real good question Lucy and I have been tossing that around for the last year. I realized the millions of dollars that have been spent downtown st. Paul here to develop downtown st. Paul and if we were to lose it, it would be an economic crisis at the city could not afford and looking at the parking. It's probably the number one reason that discourages people from coming downtown. It's nice that we have a transit system that gets people here, but apparently everybody isn't using that I've thought it would be a very good study to find out exactly what our cost against the revenue generated the cost of are metering Department against the revenues generated from the actual coins in the meters find out what that small amount or large amount of difference might be and see if we couldn't get some inventive thinking here and create some free parking on certain days or free parking altogether or maybe even set aside. One of these areas in an Enterprise Zone that might be right here along the riverfront and use some areas there to attract parking because that is the key to getting people away from the Suburban shopping centers. Okay, and finally from the Sixth Ward, which again as we indicated at the opening of this debate is in the northeast corner of the city Tom hilber. I would like to address this in respect to Ward 6 the light came on for me this morning as I was driving downtown that the access routes out of Ward 6 head to the North and the access routes that had downtown are not as well developed and that is a concern that I have in ward 6 I feel that access to downtown st. Paul is necessary. Not only with the MTC and Transit but for automobile traffic and that the city council and the community has a responsibility to make our downtown area accessible easy to reach in expensive to park and a nice place to participate in business Commerce industry and culture. One of the things that I may not have mentioned to the candidates, I think we did but since I'm starting to fog up a bit, we are going to have final closing statements of a Min and a half each and we'll do that in about 10 or 12 minutes, but I did want to make sure I had said that next question from the panel. I'll class them. Thank you. As you know most people are recruited to corporate Boards of directors and part because of a certain perspective that they can bring to the board what perspective to each of you think you would bring to the governing body of the city of st. Paul. Okay. The question is you're seeking office on the Saint Paul board of directors businesses often have and I've participated in them extensive discussions about why somebody should be on their board and why they shouldn't and what kinds of perspectives they'll bring. Question is what kind of perspectives would you bring Catherine Ackland Third Ward? (00:33:42) I guess my background as a public administrator as a small business person and as a as a woman family person. I was a department head in st. Paul. I know firsthand the problems of the civil service system the guaranteed rights to promotion the inflexibility of the rules. I know very difficult situations are resolved their proposals are made by staff people that are never voted because the politicians have networks behind them that help them make the decisions not based on rationality having been on both sides. I think I could try to go with the rational decision that best affects the benefits the broader public. I don't think I have as many old relationships that would affect my judgment. I think my small business entrepreneur attitude trying to seek local financing for my business trying to deal with the workers comp issues. All of those Grassroots business issues, I think will give me a different perspective on City Council. (00:34:50) Thank you. Next from the Third Ward John Drew. I think it's important in the coming future. I would like to see his new ideas. Again, I probably have lack very little but should I say interest or direct interest with city of st. Paul? I've had more interest with my own people in my own Ward and I'm hoping I can possibly provide new ideas. I also feel that we need somebody who cares who will work closely with the next mayor with the next city council. And I've often felt that many legislators when I was in the state legislature is regardless of what party you belong to the voice looked at me as a type of person who's easygoing can compromise offers good ideas. And this is something that I feel that a person the type of person that we need to serve here in the city of st. Paul. We have many vested interest groups here in the city. We need someone who can work with all groups. All right going to the Sixth Ward Tom hilber. Question as to the city council being a board of directors and what Tom hilber would bring to the console would like to say that our city is changing and that we need a leader who by his education and background is prepared to guide us through the coming years with sound inhumane policies. My background has been in education. My background has been with labor and my background has been the last four years with business and Retail wholesale to retail and in the retail area of equipment and supplies for business and industry and I feel that this background along with a long-standing interest in Community Affairs while supporting my family and myself are unnecessary asset to the city council since we are indeed all citizens who have paid our way. through taxation and that we have and I have the right to represent the people in these matters as I have participated as a taxpayer as a person concerned with labor issues as a person who's worked in business and as an educator All right, finally from the Sixth Ward Chris, Nicosia. Yes, the question is what do you offer bring to City Hall from various perspectives and I believe that a perspective is how you would view something from what angle? And I think that having been a lifelong citizen here in our good old city of st. Paul certainly gives you an awful lot of rubbing elbows with the people of your own kind. So you bring that perspective to City Hall with you. I've been a family man for over 24 years now. I think I have that Viewpoint of a family looking at survival or living here in the city of st. Paul. I've been a neighbor over on the Eastside my entire life. I've also been a taxpayer and a homeowner for over 20 years over there. So I definitely relate to the problems and the tightness of the tax situation to a homeowner. I've also worked in the Labor Field for a good portion of my life, but I think most importantly the thing that I feel that I offered a city government is my 20-plus years that I have been in and around the business field in the business world. I think that down here at City Hall were dealing with budgets and budget constraints and we Have to be a keeper of the taxpayers dollar and we've got to get as much mileage as I said earlier out of that dollar and that to me is a very important aspect and perspective here at City Hall. Okay, thank you. I think Al class 1 may have to hire all of them. That's a good answer and it is fun as a political observer looks at all of Minnesota to note that and it's gratifying to note that the candidates in these two words and indeed all the candidates that I can see in the city of st. Paul are very well qualified next question from Lucy Fenner. (00:39:19) I hope you can make the answer brief on this one. What is the most serious problem in your ward? And how would you (00:39:29) solve it? The most serious problem in your ward and maybe we can amend that little bit and say or perhaps the biggest issue in the ward now that's different. Let's keep it at serious problem and how would you solve it? Let's see. We ended with Chris Tom hilber ordered six the biggest issue in ward 6 in the city of st. Paul with as many family owned homes as we have is the maintenance of our housing stock as you all know the issues that have been before the city council that have affected this area and concern me are the repair and deduct ordinances that was watered down and finally passed by the current console. I don't think that was enough I felt it was an area that they subtracted from the enforcement of the maintenance of our homes and are the places where we live. I also am very Learned about the reduction in the enforcement of housing code violations. I feel that maintaining our housing stock is necessary and we can do that by telling people that their attitudes towards landlordism have to be addressed. We need to own our own homes. We need to support younger families and buying their own homes. And the east side has been traditionally an area where people have done that and I would like to see that tradition carried on maintenance of our housing stock in the east side is about is the most important issue. Alright next reward 6 Krishna. Kosha, when I ran for office last time, I also recognize the need for upgrading of the homes in the area, but I use the theme of Pride having spent 44 years over there. I realized that when I was a Youngster there was an awful lot of pride in the east side and I believe that pride is still there. However, a lot of people have moved to the outline Suburbs when I wanted to see that the housing stock. The Redevelopment of some of our blighted areas was attended to and in the past year and a half that we've been in office. I believe that there are areas in our Lower East Side that that have had money made available to them so that the stock of the homes could once again get back up to its Old Pride in its old standards. However, that issue is is of primary concern but one of the things I hear when I go out door knocking in this campaign seems to be the tax issue people really focus back on taxes and I would just like to mention that we have heard the cries and the overwhelming Hughes and cries of the public and the citizens of the east side and in the last year and a half we have address those issues. We've been heard we've taken that assessment policy that came to us at a dollar 99 cents a front Parroted back to 77 cents last year throughout the snow removal through our tree trimming reduce the side Lot charges and this year completely eliminated them and also took the assessments and chopped another 25% out of that and in that area and itself, I think we've made some good strides towards making living affordable in our side of town. Okay in the Third Ward Catherine (00:42:54) Acklin I think that the biggest problem is a sense of lost confidence that the city provides a cost effective service its paraphrase taxation without representation. I guess people want to have more input in their assessments and their changes. They don't want sidewalks they get they have to pay for when they don't think they need them. They want trees. They don't want trees. I think we need some kind of an opportunity for some Community referendums were neighborhoods can have some say in some discretionary expenditures in their neighborhood that they have confidence that their city is working for them and with them in the most effective (00:43:34) manner. And John Drew from the Third Ward. Well, I feel her there are pocket issues out there in the ward but two or three on that stand out in my mind. Yes property tax, especially the affordable housing or young couples that want to buy homes in the ward and are forced to look into the suburbs because our high property tax rates in the ward and probably in the city in the whole I would look at this issue very closely and hoping that we can work very closely with the legislature next year to reduce our property taxes also in the area of crime again, I want to bring this issue up because it is still a strong issue. I found out find this out when I'm door knocking people are relating all sorts of incidents to me in the area. And it's something I'm hoping the team police and and bringing back our strong strong neighborhood crime watch program. So we are able to solve some of that. And also I live in a war that has a high number of senior citizens many of them are concerned about going out at night or many of them were just concerned about the economy in general the problems. They face today. I'd like to see more Community type meetings informational type meetings that we can provide senior citizens with help in the area to thank you Tom Hilbert from the Sixth Ward, you mentioned earlier a desire to improve access routes from the Ward to downtown st. Paul. We've had a question from the audience asking how you would do that. So let me ask that of you under the 30-second Rule and Chris Nicosia can comment if he'd care to one of the proposals that I had for the district console was and there are funds allocated for signage. So that routes to downtown st. Paul. Be firmly established by some type of signage that people would use alternate routes that are currently under used and somewhat take some of the burden off of the main arteries such as Maryland. There's a definite concern about not turning Maryland into a free way to I-35 and I think that this is an inexpensive way to address that problem and to bring business back downtown city of st. Paul, okay. I did not hear the alternative routes that may have been proposed but I haven't heard any objections from people as the inability to find their way to downtown st. Paul. We've always had a main corridor from East Seventh Street. We've had his Third Street. We've had freeway 94 coming in from the Ward 7 area. We've had paint Avenue. We have freeway 35 coming in from the north granted that some of the streets are overburdened with traffic such as Maryland Avenue right now. There aren't a whole lot of Alternatives that we can offer but there have been great improvements to Bringing people downtown such as the newly completed Third Street bridge and some of the white bear Avenues and other areas that we have improved. That was Chris Nicosia from the sixth wartime Hilbert wanted to respond briefly. The reason I didn't mention any Roots as the minute. I mentioned any roads that might be picking up in traffic in the flowcharts. I would be losing a number of Voters along that street. I would like to see them fairly distributed and all the access routes to To the downtown area without a lot of heavy construction and so forth and using current routes that are available. Okay. Thank you. We're going to go now then excuse me, if everybody's amenable to the final statements been and a half statements from each candidates again Sue counter from the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce has cards and if you'll keep a brief eye on her, pardon two and a half minutes. Two minutes. I'm sorry my fault two minutes. So we'll keep track and if you'll keep an eye on her and why don't we start with John Drewe? First I want to thank the Chamber of Commerce for organizing this today. And for the people that came down here to listen. When we turn to the word system couple years ago this brought an opportunity for many people including myself to find to get involved in an election up till then I've always felt as a person who who might normally vote Republican somewhat locked out. The one thing I feel very positive about my campaign this year of all the people that I have door knocked and talk to the concerns have always been that we pay taxes, but we received nothing in advance or nothing in return. I phone down there. I have complaints but it's just nothing but the people want today is a candidate. Or person that elected to the city council such as myself. Who cares who will listen to the many complaints that people have today? I've been part of that system. I've had number of people in the past when I was in the legislature who had can turn concerns and I'm always willing listener. I feel this is going to be very vital and next few years is a person who can't listen to some of the problems. I've lived in an area that we seem to have license problems before the neighborhoods that have had any impact and as someone who's going to be elected to the city council, I feel is very important that you work closely with the district planning councils with the business community. And with your constituents this is the type of person that they want to look to the city council. And this is the type of person that I hope to be that's from the Third Ward Catherine Eklund. (00:49:39) Well, I guess the most important thing I'd like to say is that I believe that we do get an awful lot of value from the city of st. Paul. Now, I've met many people at the door that say they have no complaints that they realize that they're paying a hefty share of taxes, but they have a lot of confidence in what they're getting. There are a lot of other people that don't understand we've got to increase the communication with the people. We've got to convince them and show them what their dollars getting give them a little more input into the decisions downtown always listened but start to package in our own neighborhoods our own marketing of our own city services have to be done more positively. I resent creating a crime scare in order to get team policing in our neighborhood. It's not like that. We always have a crime problem. It's a way of life. We live in an urban area are police departments, very effective. Very strong very well financed bringing. Back to the community is an asset. It's something that'll make it better the relationship to have the people talk with the police will improve the effectiveness. We have to continue to build on the positive relationships. The person that is elected in the Third Ward. I hope will stay objective and be a facilitator particularly on local development issues. We seem to have continually hot feelings on both sides whenever anyone proposes something that breaks the status quo in our community. Somebody has to be there to bring out the both sides the positives of both proposals and come up with some kind of compromise that meets the best interests of both both parties. We've got to have increased development for our tax base. We've got to have jobs. We enjoy the community Spirit and the Third Ward and I think with the ward system we can build it into more neighbor neighborly Harmony. I'd like to be part of that. (00:51:36) Thank you. And from the Sixth Ward Tom Hilbert. Ward 6 needs a strong new honest and independent Democratic voice on console from the East side. I will be that strong and honest Voice by listening to community groups and individuals and studying issues and voting and being decisive on voting and being fair and Humane in programs for progress. I will be that strong voice for issues such as the decaying infrastructure for venture capital for rent control for fixed incomes and elderly that rent in my word for code enforcement in the maintenance of housing stock in ward 6 Remember that state and federal mandated Services need a Consul person who will work with elected officials to ensure funding is available and not as an afterthought. I will honor and continue to press for reduction of the st. Paul indebtedness and remain steadfast steadfast for balanced budgets the wishes of the people of Ward 6 are no taxes and no unexpected assessments for services due to tax payers effective and Humane treatment is the byword in the delivery of city services and not just favor for favor solicitation. I will support equity in a fair share of services to the east side in the short and in the long range, but budgetary process I will be effective in working with the legislative Representatives on economic development as it relates to revenue generation and Venture Capital. We need all press for affecting entry level jobs with strong affirmative action for all the people in the public and private sector and finally I will adhere to and not Pay lip service to the st. Paul City Charter in matters of conflict of interest and openness in government. Remember issues are not just one-dimensional listening to the people honesty and integrity on the console attacking Decay wherever it exists studying the issues at hand decisive voting on issues not favor for favor licensing practices. Also the generation of new ideas for Revenue generation for jobs, and for bringing the people back to downtown st. Paul back to downtown st. Paul for commercial concerns back to downtown st. Paul for governmental concerns and back to downtown st. Paul for entertainment and also for our future World Trade Center, which I hope will be built here. We need to I'd like to thank the chamber for the opportunity to speak here today. Thank you. Two minutes are up and finally from the Sixth Ward Chris, Nicosia. All sounds great, but I think we got to get back to the basics last night. You'll find the during campaign time. There's a lot of evenings you spend up thinking about what's going to occur tomorrow plans for the next three weeks to election time. I found myself up about one o'clock last night turn the TV on and there was a movie that I've heard a lot about when I was a Youngster very old movie called a farmer's daughter and it was based on political road to Washington and something struck me there last night as being very important and very germane to our everyday life and particularly here in politics the statement we must represent all of the people. So I took a couple of notes in it and my theme is exactly that we must represent and listen to all the people got to listen to their wants and their needs and I think that if you look at my constituent print out of well over 350 now, Personal contacts with our office to the needs and the desires of the people of our side of st. Paul and we've addressed them batting average probably well over 90% taking good care of our work at home. I've spent my entire life on the east side the area that I represent and I have lived with my family for nearly 20 years in the same home where I have paid taxes same as my neighbors and what I'm trying to say is I'm one of them and I relate to them and their needs all of them the young whom I've coached and guided over the years the middle aged middle income hard-working families of the east side that I grew up with a lot of them. I played ball with a lot of them. I worked alongside of got my elbows and fingers dirty with him. And particularly the senior citizens whom I've always held in high regard. I've always had great respect for him and listen to because I believe there's a wealth of knowledge to be learned from that group of people. Also my business background. I believe is essential in running a business budgets our budgets. There are just so many dollars to go around and we must be very efficient in our handling of the citizens money. We've got to get the most mileage out of the dollar as possible. And finally we've got to remember business equals jobs and jobs equal people. We need a strong and honest, which I have been voice and strong leadership qualities, which I believe I contain to be back here at City Hall next year representing Ward 6. Thank you. Thanks and thanks very much to to John grunts Ethel classmen and Lucy Fenner our panelists from the Chamber of Commerce and to Tom Hilburn Chris Nicosia from the Sixth Ward John Drewe and Catherine. Aklan. It's in the Third Ward as I indicated yesterday. I'm a relatively new resident of Saint Paul. But after this experience meeting all the council candidates a very proud resident and now let me turn it back to the chairman of this event from the Chamber of Commerce Larry Cole Thank you. I this concludes the third in our series of meetings and Town Square. These meetings are scheduled each weekday. Noon are here in downtown st. Paul through Monday, October 24th. Tomorrow will be the first in our series of two meetings featuring candidates for the school board. We would like to express our gratitude for the fine cooperation of the management and staff of Town Square Park, and also would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Radisson Plaza Hotel. Please consider attending the third Forum sponsored by the citizens for excellence in education, which will be held on October 27th at Central High School 275 North Lexington from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Charlotte Mitchell Price speaking on issues facing steep all schools. This is Larry Cole speaking from Town Square. Even listening to live coverage of the st. Paul candidate debates in a broadcast made possible by the McNeely Foundation. The debate series is sponsored by the st. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce tomorrow and Friday during the noon hour school board candidates in district 6, 25 will face each other and discuss issues in that set of Elections remote engineer for this broadcast had Gorn flop Studio controls handled by Bill Catlin. Midday production by Bob Potter Fred wasser and Kirk oersted today's broadcast of midday was made possible by Slumberland and the Lay-Z-Boy showcase shops. Join us again tomorrow for another installment in the st. Paul debate Series. This is Lee X2 all thanks for being with us from Town Square.


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