Q&A: Dana Graham, Candidate for Northfield Mayor

In the coming weeks we'll run more Q&As and video interviews for candidates who are on Nov. 6's ballot in Northfield-related races.

Two candidates are vying for your support to become Northfield's next mayor.

They are:

  • Dana Graham
  • Rhonda Pownell

Patch asked candidates to respond to a series of questions. Below, you will find responses from Graham. You can also read responses from Pownell here. Responses are written by the candidates and have not been edited by Patch.

In the coming weeks we'll run more Q&As and video interviews for candidates who are on Nov. 6's ballot in Northfield-related races. You can also find out more information about the candidates by checking out our election guide for all election-related stories.

Dana Graham

Age: 57
Family: Wife: Marin Amundson-Graham, Sons: Scott, Luke, and Collin
Education: University of Vermont, Business 
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Political experience: Former Northfield City Council member, former Northfield EDA member, former Northfield Planning Commission member, Currently on Rice County Planning Commission. 

Why are you running for mayor of the Northfield City Council?

I am running because I have a passion to be part of forming our future. I have extensive experience and, maybe most importantly, I have the leadership skills that are necessary to be successful in this position. 

What’s the most pressing issue facing Northfield and the City Council?

There are several. According to our city survey, the overwhelming issue for citizens was the shape of our roads. I do think that the city has responded and prioritized the fixing of more streets. For me, personally, I want to get the leadership structure at the Fire Department resolved immediately. We also have to get the agreement between the city and the Rural Fire District finished. Obviously, the design and build of the new Police station will be high on the list. The ownership issue of the NCRC also has to be resolved.

What is something you think the current Council has done well?

I think the council did a good job of handling the finances of the city during a very rough time. They made some tough decisions. They responded to the cuts in local government aid from the state and the city was able to maintain a AA rating. 

What is something you think the current Council hasn’t done well?

I think the council had a hard time sticking by decisions. They seem to get bogged down. Obviously, the safety center process was troubling at times. It seemed like they did not trust people that did the work. Sometimes taking two steps forward and five steps back. The EDA was not handled well.

What would you have tried to do differently?

Stick to the process. As a leader, it will be up to me to keep things moving in the right direction. I will guide the council to check our egos and make everyone realize that we need to collaborate because none of us is smarter than all of us. 

Why should constituents vote for you on Election Day? What makes you a better choice than your opponent?

I am a leader. I have over thirty years of experience in business management. I will forge partnerships and be a strong collaborator. My leadership style is one of good communication and inclusiveness. I will work closely with city leaders to promote the city for economic growth. I will be a leader that is respectful of the role of city government, responsive to our community's needs and last but certainly not least, be responsible with your tax dollars.

Anything else you would like to add?

I look forward to working with my opponent on the council as she is in the middle of her term and will be there for at least two more years.

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