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ELECTION GUIDE: Cloquet City Council, Ward 3

CLOQUET CITY COUNCIL, WARD 3

Iris Keller (Write-in*)

Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.

I have 4 daughters and 3 grandchildren, with another expected in December. I've lived in Cloquet since 1988 and I've been working in the Cloquet school district for 23 years. I have taken on many large projects with many people involved. I know how to work with other people.

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

I've always been involved with this community and I've always had an interest in knowing how things run. It seemed like the right time to run.

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

Just like a household, you need to look at what is needed and what is wanted and budget the finances to make sure the most needed are met first, then work from there.

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

Affordable housing – just as the old middle school was converted into apartments, are there other buildings that could be converted to housing – perhaps the old Solem Hotel. Are there funds/grants available to help facilitate the improvement of buildings?

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

The revitalization of the old historic downtown district. The improvements to the park areas and skate park. The road work done on 14th Street and repaving of roads around town.

Why should people vote for you?

I've been involved in many different organizations in Cloquet over the years and have I learned how to work with many kinds of people. I feel the people in Ward 3 are the hardworking backbone of Cloquet and I will work hard to be their representative on the City Council.

Pete Erickson (Write-in*)

Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.

My family and I have been Cloquet residents for 15 years and for the same amount of time I have been employed with the Cloquet Area Fire District Firefighter/Paramedic. I am also a current member of the Minnesota National Guard with 14 years of service and 3 deployments to the Middle East. If elected, I look forward to serving Ward 3.

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

I want to carry on the good work Chris was doing in the seat he vacated. Ward 3 is the most populated in Cloquet and investing in our ward through residential homes and businesses moves Cloquet forward!

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

We as a community cannot stop the external forces on our city and this includes inflation and insurance costs. However, we can control Cloquet's revenue. How are we using our resources to generate this revenue for our city to use to blunt inflation and rising insurance costs? My priority, if elected, is to understand our city better and assist in ways to increase revenue.

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

Housing, more specifically, rental housing needs to have minimum standards. As a landlord myself I am disappointed that we have investors inside and outside our community that will use our citizens as personal piggy banks. Allowing our investors to drain the equity out of our housing stock and then allow it to fall into disrepair does not improve our citizens, our city and lastly our revenue. I would like to see that we have rental licensing fees and biannual inspections. This will allow us to protect our citizens from potentially destructive rental situations and increase the city revenue.

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

Over the past several years we have seen a move to a new generation of policing, and it has required our department to adapt. I believe that the council has worked hard to improve the trust of the citizens in our Police Department through this generational shift.

Why should people vote for you?

I want people to vote for me because I want to help my ward move forward for reasons I have stated above. We do this by providing proper housing and building on our strengths as a city to generate revenue.

WRITE IN *Chris Swanson will be the only name on the ballot for Ward 3, but Swanson moved out of the ward after the filing period so he cannot serve as the Ward 3 councilor if elected. Ward 3 residents must write in the name of their preferred candidate, which is why these profiles are identified as write-in candidates.

 
 
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