City Council Candidates Sit in the Hot Seat

By KBJR News 1

August 5, 2011 Updated Aug 5, 2011 at 8:14 AM CST

Ten of the 13 Duluth City Council candidates running in this years primary put themselves on stage.

They sat in front of a large forum audience of Duluth business leaders and voters to voice the issues they deem important.

For many, the focus was on infrastructure. But also of popular discussion was taxes, financial obligations, and social good essentials such as parks and libraries.

Other areas council candidates deemed important: Bringing business to Duluth, supporting current companies, and managing finances.

For those who attended the event, they say it was helpful.

"For me, it confirmed who I have as my front runner in this race," said Shane Bauer, a Duluth resident and member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Many heard things they liked.

"I liked to hear that some of the candidates identified the Duluth public library as a core city service and that was encouraging," said library employee Dan D'Allaird.

But even if everyone can't agree on spending priorities, they could agree on one thing: wanting the candidates to make bolder commitments on issues.

"Some of it seemed a little general to me. Like for example, library came up a lot as a core city service, but nobody really talked about how that's a core city service. I mean, were in a time where being a little radical might be necesary. It might be time for those types of changes," said Bauer.

While D'Allaird said he would also like to see firmer commitment, but in his case, it would be a strong promiseto save library services.

And with strong emotions attached to current city issues, Duluthians believe the turnout for these elections will be good.

"I expect we will have a very good turnout because whether your issues are libraries, or parks and rec., you recognize that there is a lot at stake in this election and part of that is because money is tight," said D'Allaird.

The primary election will be September 13 with polls opening at 7 a.m.