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ELECTION GUIDE: Cloquet City Council, Ward 1

 

October 21, 2022

Candidates Warren 'Bun' Carlson (left) and Erik Blesener (right).

CLOQUET CITY COUNCIL, WARD 1

Warren 'Bun' Carlson (Incumbent)

Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.

I am currently the city councilor for Ward 1. I also serve on the Cloquet Area Fire District board. In addition, I was a salesman for 31 years. I also have coached youth hockey and softball.

What made you decide to run for city council this year?

I enjoy serving on the city council. I feel my experience and the cohesion of the city council gives me an opportunity to continue to serve the community.

Inflation and insurance are driving city costs up. If elected, how would you prioritize the various expenses and departments?

Our citizens expect their roads are maintained and plowed, as well as having responsive city services like police and fire. We need to prioritize budget items that uphold those community priorities. We also need to cultivate businesses through our economic development department.

Name one other top issue facing Cloquet and how you would like to see it addressed.

As was mentioned, the cost of health insurance is not only affecting cities, but the county and private businesses as well. We need to work with our city employees on how to provide them with coverage and yet understand that we cannot continue to pass these expenses on to the taxpayer. Exploring other insurance plans and coverage options would be a first step.

Elaborate on one thing you think the council handled well over the past two years.

The council needed to restore the confidence of our community towards the city and the services we provide. We have strived for transparency greatly reducing closed session meetings. We also quickly adapted to virtual meetings when the pandemic started, continuing to provide for public participation.

Why should people vote for you?

I feel my experience and willingness to listen to the issues of my ward 1 constituents makes me an effective city councilor.

Erik Blesener

Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.

I retired after 25 years with the Cloquet Police Department and most recently worked for the Cloquet Public School District and American Indian Education Department with children in grades K-12.

What made you decide to run for city council this year?

I previously served on the Cloquet City Council and very much enjoyed my time there and working with the people of Cloquet. I would like to have an opportunity to serve once again.

Inflation and insurance are driving city costs up. If elected, how would you prioritize the various expenses and departments?

Although the city level of government cannot control or change federal interest rates and other federal financial matters. If elected as a Cloquet City Councilor, I would work toward finding ways to save the city taxpayers unnecessary costs by encouraging consolidation and collaboration of city resources whenever possible.

Name one other top issue facing Cloquet and how you would like to see it addressed.

I feel that although the council has done an adequate job at expanding more quality, affordable housing in the city, there is still a need for housing options for residents of various income levels. In addition, I have spoken to several retired residents in the past year and have become aware of the lack of housing options for retirees and those that are considering downsizing their homes and have been unable to find desirable housing options.

Elaborate on one thing you think the council handled well over the past two years.

I believe the acquisition of the Members Credit Union on 14th Street and relocation of the Cloquet Police Department and City Hall was a sound financial decision. This kind of collaboration saves money for both the city and its residents.

Why should people vote for you?

As a lifetime resident of the city, I believe in the community and its future. I promise to work with the council and the residents of Cloquet to expand opportunities for everyone.

 
 

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