Three candidates are vying for your support as an At-Large representative on the .
Next Tuesday, Aug. 14, voters will be asked to choose two candidates to move ahead to November's General Election.
The three candidates for At-Large representative are:
Patch asked candidates to respond to a series of questions. Below, you will find responses from Ludescher. You can read Buckheit's and Gasior's .
On Thursday, we'll run responses from the four candidates seeking the Council seat.
If you're interested in voting absentee, .
Family: Wife Nancy. Four adult children, Megan Singamsetty, Alex, Ben, and Rose. 1 son-in-law, Praveen Singamsetty, one daughter-in-law, Melissa Ludescher. 6 brothers and sisters.
Education: Farmington High School - graduation with high honors, College of St. Thomas - graduation cum laude with a B.A. in Quantitative Methods, and a concentration in Spanish. J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.
Occupation: Attorney and Counselor of Law - 23 years.
Political experience: Northfield City Council 1998.
Why are you running for a seat on the Northfield City Council?
I believe that Northfield needs better representation in many areas. The business community especially needs some representation, including the downtown businesses. The current Council is heavily weighted with persons whose fortunes are connected with the colleges.
I believe that renters, blue collar workers, Latinos, and other sectors of Northfield need someone to voice their concerns. Having grown up on a farm in Farmington and having worked my way through college and law school, I believe I understand the concerns of the non-academic community as well as the academic community.
I also think it would be helpful to have Council people who are in the work force every day, who can relate the concerns of the average citizen on the street.
What’s the most pressing issue facing Northfield and the City Council?
The wasteful spending on unnecessary projects - especially the Safety Center. The City is currently in the process of spending $1.6 million to build an underpass under Highway 3 while at the same time there isn't enough money for a Spanish interpreter at the and the is facing increased rental pressures from the City. We need to take care of the needy before spending money on pork-barrel projects.
I am also deeply concerned that this Council has developed an unjustified arrogance in its ability to lead this town - most acutely shown by its repeated attempts to make sure that the citizenry doesn't get to vote on the .
What is something you think the current Council has done well?
Nothing of any significance. However, if something were brought to my attention, I might agree.
What is something you think the current Council hasn’t done well?
In no particular order:
- The EDA destruction.
- The Safety Center project - on nearly every aspect including financing, lack of a vote, design, lack of communication, ignoring the recommendations of remodeling, moving the Safety Center, allowing the gagging of the Fire Department, letting the police chief be in charge, and refusing to allow citizen input.
- Hiring attorneys from the Cities to handle the City's business.
- Failing to pay Waterford the money that we agreed to pay them.
- Developing the Complete Streets model.
- Building a cul-de-sac on the west side of the City.
- Looking to sell the hospital.
- The Comprehensive Plan.
- The 300 page Land Development Code.
- Not acting to dismiss the Lansing lawsuit, and paying Roder's attorney $495.00 per hour to defend himself.
- Implementing and maintaining one of the most draconian rental ordinances in the nation.
- Failing to move the business park concept forward.
- Shutting out many groups including the Chamber of Commerce.
- Trying to implement the streetlight assessment.
- Investing our money outside of Northfield and then losing $2.0 million to Rate Search in St. Louis.
- Spending $0.25 million to develop a bike path on which you can't even ride your bike.
- Spending $0.50 million to remake the Post Office parking lot.
- Agreeing to spend $1.6 million to build an underpass on Highway 3.
- Trying to coerce the HRA into building the Safety Center instead of putting it to the voters.
What would you have tried to do differently?
I would say "No." more often. I would develop some guidelines for what constitutes good spending. I would focus on making sure that Northfield has a sustainable budget.
Why should constituents vote for you in the Primary Election? What makes you a better choice than your opponents?
See the 19 things above for why I believe that I am a better candidate for Northfield than Ms. Buckheit. From what I know of Mr. Gaisor, I believe that he would make a fine Council person.
Anything else you would like to add?
Many of my positions may be unpopular with a minority of Northfield. However, these are tough economic times, and everyone has to participate in keeping government spending under control. If not, we will all suffer in the long run. Northfield is a great town, but we cannot continue to spend like government's resources are endless. It is the people's money that comes from taxes. It is their money that is earned by getting up early, staying up late, working two jobs, working when they are sick, and by sacrificing. These folks don't want needless bike paths or underpasses; they need water, sewer and roads.