Q&A: David DeLong, Candidate for Northfield's Second Ward

Next Tuesday, Aug. 14, voters will be asked to choose two candidates to move ahead to November's General Election.

Four candidates are vying for your support for the Second Ward representative on the .

Next Tuesday, Aug. 14, voters will be asked to choose two candidates to move ahead to November's General Election.

The four candidates for Second Ward representative are:

Patch asked candidates to respond to a series of questions. Below, you will find responses from DeLong. You can read Balster's , Reiland's responses here and Schulz's responses here.

On Tuesday Patch ran responses from the three candidates seeking the At-Large Council seat. They are: ,  and .

If you're interested in voting absentee, .

David DeLong

Why are you running for a seat on the Northfield City Council?

I’ve been disappointed for quite some time with some Council procedures and decisions. I feel my experience, coupled with my straight forward, common sense approach to reaching cost effective decisions would be beneficial to the City and Council. I am not in favor of selling the hospital and I think the public should be allowed to vote on the Safety Center financing.

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

Budget and spending – It’s hard for me to believe that last year the Council passed the smallest most responsible tax increase, but then found a million dollars for a new police facility and a half million for a trail. This year they are proposing a 3% increase which seems like a reasonable starting point but that increase jumps to 7.55% when you add in the cost of the proposed new police facility.

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

I have a high standard of expectations of myself and other elected officials. I guess I’m a little old school about if you’re going to do a job you should do it well. Having said that I think they get it right about 90% of the time.

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

The Safety Center.  It started as a combined Police and Fire with the lowest possible bond cost. Then when 3 council people who had voted to send it down the low interest road changed their minds and made a u – turn resulting in a 7.2 million police station with maybe some fire department training and offices (fire department would like to train where their equipment is), no public vote allowed and thousands and thousands and thousands in extra interest payments because of higher rates. They cut out the fire department and pushed that problem down the road for another Council to solve. There are no plans and specifications, no estimates of operating and maintenance costs. There are lots of unknowns but they’re going full speed ahead. Details don’t matter. Costs don’t matter.

What would you have tried to do differently?  

Nail down the scope of the project making sure all needs are met.  Nail down all costs. Choose a site that fits the new parameters. Educate and inform and then let the people vote.

Why should constituents vote for you in the Primary Election? What makes you a better choice than your opponents? 

With any new job there is a learning curve. I’ve done the job before and I’ll be good to go right out of the gate. Having been around for a while I know what has worked before and what was tried and failed. There are times when you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to fix a problem.

Anything else you would like to add?

Fifty year resident of the second ward. I work for the contract food service provider on the Carleton College Campus. I was elected to two terms on the Council, beginning in 1993. I served on the EDA and various other committees and boards. I worked with three different Mayors, numerous Council persons and a couple different administrators.

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