Three candidates are vying for the Ward 4 seat on the Northfield City Council during this year's special election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Jessica Peterson White, who was appointed to the seat after Councilor Patrick Ganey resigned to accept a position at Middlebury College in Vermont, is hoping to get voter approval to finish the last year of Ganey's term. Rick Esse and Scott Oney are the other two candidates.
Patch asked all candidates to fill out a questionnaire to aid voters in their decision this November. See what Esse had to say below:
Have you ever held an appointed or elected office before?
I have not held appointed or elected office before, although I did run for city council once, previously.
What relevant experience do you have?
I have broad business experience and have served on boards of multiple community organizations, including: Northfield Area United Way, Northfield Community Action Center, Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Rotary Club of Northfield. I currently work with a wide range of clients in agriculture, construction, financial services, manufacturing, health services and retail, which gives me a broad perspective on today's business climate.
What is your occupation?
I am a Senior Communications Counselor and Vice President at Neuger Communications Group in Northfield.
Where did you go to school?
St. Olaf College, BA. I also studied at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul.
How old are you?
Do you have a spouse, children or any other family members you’d like to tell voters about?
My wife, Pam, is a registered nurse at Regions hospital in St. Paul. We have one grown son, Alexander, and a Bichon named Churchill.
What are your campaign goals?
My only campaign goal is to win the election. After that, the work begins.
What issues are you most focused on?
From a citywide standpoint, I think economic development is our most pressing issue. I will strive to help Northfield overcome its reputation for not being "business friendly." In conversations with Fourth Ward residents, the issues that come up most frequently are the expansion needs of the library, the future of the post office building and the completion of Way Park. I will work very hard to find creative solutions to these problems as well as to maintain a vibrant downtown and mutually beneficial relationships with our college partners.
Why should voters choose you?
I care deeply about Northfield, and I bring the perspective of having been a college student, a longtime resident, and a downtown employee and business owner. I am an advocate for the health of our historic downtown as well as focusing on economic development. I have never understood the attitude that if you are for downtown you are opposed to economic development and vice versa. These two viewpoints are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can and should support each other.
I will offer an independent voice, while interacting professionally and respectfully with those of differing viewpoints. I am committed to serving, and believe that I can make a difference.
Related articles on Northfield Patch:
- Ward 4 Filing Closes; Trio to Seek City Council Seat
- Northfield Council Gets First Ward 4 Candidate
- First Candidate Files for Ward 4 Council Election
- Second Candidate Files for Ward 4 City Council Seat