Ward 3 candidate column: URIAH WILKINSON
November 1, 2019
I am a 25-plus-year resident of Cloquet and have been working as a Realtor in the area for the last 15.
As a long-time resident of this city, I have always had a vested interest in the political landscape and an interest in the direction Cloquet is headed. I have served on the planning commission for the last nine years and have been politically active in this community for the last 20. I have served on multiple boards, including transportation and housing and governmental affairs, to name a few. Additionally, I am a regular contributor through my Pine Knot News column, “The Political Account” and have been a frequent guest on the political show “Harry’s Gang.”
I believe Cloquet has been through a lot during these last few years. Ongoing investigations and accusations are beginning to strip away the trust between the citizens of this community and those who represent them.
I wish to serve on this council because I am confident that I can offer the experience and knowledge necessary to help Cloquet heal and move in a constructive and positive direction. Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in the negative dialogue, which only serves to distract us from the issues that affect our community.
There needs to be a focus on our local economy with responsible growth. This will help increase wages that have been falling behind for the past decade. In order to do this, there needs to be a focus on infrastructure and housing. Our roads are in disrepair (especially in Ward 3) and the infrastructure that supports our utilities is aged and crumbling beneath our feet.
Utilizing the proper resources and earmarking specific projects will help address those infrastructural needs without burdening the already expended tax base while addressing the issues that have been left behind. We have seen our property taxes increase almost exponentially in the past 10 years. This is due, in part, to constant levy increases by our governing partners and, yes, some levy increases from our own city. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but here is where we need to start working more collectively with our county commissioners and school board members.
There is an aging housing stock in Ward 3. I see this as an opportunity to seek out new and old funding sources that can serve to improve properties and make them more efficient. With the expansion of new multi-family residential developments, there needs to be a continued focus on the future development of single-family properties as well as 55-plus housing — all intended to address both the demand as well as the workforce base that is required to sustain future economic growth.
There is a cause and effect to each decision that is made and understanding that relationship will serve as a platform that can be accomplished rather than one that is only spoken or wished for.
My name is Uriah Wilkinson and I’m running for Cloquet City Council Ward 3 and I am asking for your support and your vote on November 5.
Find out more about Uriah Wilkinson at the “Uriah Wilkinson for City Council Ward 3” page on Facebook or email him at [email protected].