Friday, October 30, 2009

Beth Olson

At-Large candidate (vote for two)

See the questionnaire here.

1. Sidewalks
Duluth already has an ordinance that requires people to shovel their sidewalks. However, these types of ordinances are difficult to enforce, particularly at times when there are budget cuts. I think we will solve this problem by looking at each neighborhood individually. By teaming with community police officers, community clubs, citizen patrols and other community partners we can identify why sidewalks are not being shoveled. Perhaps it is a mobility or health issue or an issue of an absentee landlord. These different circumstances will need different solutions
2. Recycling laws, overflowing garbage containers
This is a very important concern. All of the various garbage companies work through WLSSD (Western Lake Superior Sanitary District) for recycling. WLSSD has a great awareness campaign to promote recycling. We need to build on our existing partnership to create more targeted awareness. Also, we need more public trash and recycling receptacles.
3. Skunks, birds and animal control
I believe we need to put together a team that includes the city, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and animal care and rescue non-profit groups to develop a short and long term plan to resolve this problem.
4. Sale of small liquor bottles and single cigarettes
The city should partner with groups in the community addressing issues of poverty to find out how this practice affects our citizens. This will lead us to understanding what the problem actually is and what an effective response would be. I have many years of experience gathering input from the community to effect positive change.
5. Dealing with less state support
Local Government Aid (LGA) is a process of taxation at the state level, using sales tax that provides money back to local governments to keep property taxes down. This “Minnesota Miracle” has been cut back by the state leaving, cities like Duluth in economic crisis. We need to join the other cities that are fighting for a return of LGA. I have experience lobbying successfully at the state legislature for funding initiatives.
6. Economic development in Central and East Hillside and Lincoln Park
These neighborhoods need to be at the heart of our economic development plan. We need to look at creating and supporting small businesses that will help to build on the best of these neighborhoods. We can turn to established groups such as the Lincoln Park Business Group for planning and assessment. If we have a council that cares to develop these neighborhoods it will happen. Our neighborhoods need to be treated fairly and resources allocated accordingly.