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Q&A: Rhonda Pownell, 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 Pownell. You can also read responses from Graham 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.


Rhonda Pownell

Age: 41
Family: Husband David and Five Children ages 16 to 7 years old
Education: BA from St. Olaf in 1993
Occupation: Home Educator
Political experience: At Large City Councilor, Economic Development Authority Board, Northfield Enterprise Center Board, Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and League of Minnesota Cities Board of Directors


Why are you running for Mayor?

I’m running because I care deeply about the community and the people that live here. Our community needs strong leaders who will lead by example and hold up a high standard of integrity. Who are committed to treating others right and not looking to promote themselves, but have the common good of the community at heart. This is my commitment to you.


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

The City Council needs to focus on taking care of what we have like the police and fire facilities and our streets, sewer and water infrastructure. While doing this we need to strategically prepare for the future by increasing economic growth and finding ways to do things better for less.


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

This Council is known for doing its homework. Not only have they improved the financial condition of the city by reducing dependence on state aid but they have also implemented a pavement management program and increased the number roads repaired each year.


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

There have been times where the dynamics on the Council haven’t been the most positive, but I think we have learned from this and are coming out stronger than when we went in.


What would you have tried to do differently?

It’s always important to find ways to build relationships outside of the Council meetings. Taking the time to listen and understand where people are coming from is essential to building trust. I did this, but there’s always room for improvement.


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

My knowledge of what’s been happening with the city is fresh. In addition, I have a proven track record of being someone that can stand through adversity, maintain a positive attitude, be a team player, and get things done.

I am a highly collaborative and facilitative leader who will work with and bring together the leaders in our community to provide practical solutions to the issues before us.

I have used this approach successfully many times for things like the Community Video Project where nine different entities were brought together to create and fund a marketing piece for our city. This approach was also used for the creation of the Adopt a Park Program, the Public Education of the 2010 Census, and the background work for the creation of a City Wide Loan Program.

This style of leadership works for Northfield! 


Anything else you would like to add?

As Mayor I Will:

  • Provide strong leadership, build bridges and build trust amongst the Council, City Staff, and Community.
  • Focus on the core services of police, fire, streets, sewer, and water; ensuring they are adequately funded, maintained, and equipped not only now but into the future. 
  • Bring a balanced perspective to economic development; supporting businesses of all sizes, maintaining a vibrant healthy downtown, and providing expansion opportunities for our medium to larger industries.

Thank you for taking this opportunity to educate yourself. Your vote matters.

You can follow me on facebook.com/rhondapownell or find more information about me at rhondapownell.blogspot.com

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