Q&A: Frank Balster, Candidate for Northfield's Second Ward

Next Tuesday, Aug. 14, voters will be asked to choose two of three 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 Balster. You can read DeLong's responses here and 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, .

Frank Balster

Age: 39
Family: Wife – Christie, 2 children 10 & 8
Education: BS in Business Administration
Occupation: Sales Representative
Political experience: 1st run at elected office. Currently serve on the Northfield Charter Commission

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

The City needs leadership that must come to a compromise on decisions that is for the good of the city as a whole.  Too many decisions have been made and too much money has been spent without listening to concerns from both sides of a issue.

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

We must get our fiscal house in order.  The prediction from the League of Minnesota Cities that by 2015 most Minnesota cities will be broke must be taken seriously.  That study shows that ALL Minnesota cities will have their expenditures exceeding their revenues by 2015, by 2025 those cities will outspend their revenues by over 22%.

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

This City Council approved swift departmental measures when LGA spending was first cut by the State.

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

The City has not taken a hard look at spending in other areas.  For example, spending money on consultant’s studies when many of the projects are not feasible in the near term.  We must plan our future adequately but to spend thousands of dollars on consultants when we are staring at such a bleak financial future is not wise spending.  This is comparable to paying a architect to draw up plans for a 50,000 addition to your home right after you took an almost 6% pay cut at work and know that more cuts are in the future.

What would you have tried to do differently? 

I believe that I would have put many of the capital improvement projects and their council discussion on the back burner.  Let the committee, boards and task forces that were assisting with those projects continue their research and brainstorming and hopefully refine their ideas to more affordable ideas.  In the mean time the City Council can concentrate their efforts on making sure that the City is operating all departments as efficiently as possible and all preventive maintenance programs are funded as best as possible.

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

Northfield is a wonderful town but has some dynamics that put many people at odds with each other.  I see tendencies to drag national and state politics into our opinions of others that taints the goal of improving Northfield as we try to work together.  I think that I can work with people from the varying political opinions in hopes of finding the best path for Northfield.  Also, with the work that I do and the company that I work for I come to the table with very few factors that might present a conflict of interest.

Anything else you would like to add? 

Northfield has been a great place to raise my family for the past 5 years.  The diversity that it offers exposes my children to a great many things that will help them become productive members of society.  I do my best to make decisions that allow Northfield to continue to offer so much to a broad range of people as well as the generations that will come after us

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