Duluth City Councilors Take Their Constituents' Concerns to the Chairlift

By KBJR News 1

February 15, 2013 Updated Feb 15, 2013 at 11:17 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - As City Council President Patrick Boyle waited for the evening's first ride up the Chester Bowl chairlift, he recalled just how important the hill has been for his district.

"I don't know if there's a single house that wasn't directly affected by this place at one time in their lives—whether themselves, their kids, grandkids, [or] neighbors," said the District 2 Councilor.

Boyle says he's pleased to pass that legacy of learning to ski at the Bowl on to his daughter, and while she geared up for Thursday night lessons, Councilor at Large Emily Larson was also gearing up to hit the slopes, and hear from the people.

"Tonight's just a chance to have some fun, sit on the chairlift, [and] talk city stuff," said Larson as she strapped on her boots.

...even if the conversation isn't the most complimentary.

"People here—there's no shortage of opinions. It's what I love about the job," said Larson, laughing.

And while, no doubt, concerns were raised throughout the course of the evening, it's that constructive criticism; say the councilors, that will shape their decision making.

"We're here for it, what issues do you have, what do you want to talk about. This is kind of a fun way to do it," said Councilor at Large Dan Hartman.

But it was Larson who had the privilege of the first chairlift conversation, and what more fitting way to begin than with a ride alongside Thom Storm—Chester Bowl's Director.

"I'm look at how we can keep Chester Bowl running like this. It's running a lot with volunteers, [and] it's been very successful. But, we need to make sure that we can keep doing this for other generations," said Storm.

But the conversation didn't end on the chairlift.

After hitting the hill, councilors took the action inside where they served constituents cocoa and snacks over more conversation.

- Posted to the Web by Billy Wagness