Moose Lake voters will elect two City Councilors on Nov. 8 and there are three candidates. The Pine Journal asked city council candidates the three following questions. Their answers are numbered to go with the question below each candidate's name. (Answers were limited to a certain word count, and edited by the Pine Journal if they were too long.)
1. How does your past experience, job or education qualify you to serve as a City Councillor?
2. Why are you running?
3. What are the top two issues facing the city right now and how should they be addressed?
My diverse experiences, as a 25-year member of the Moose Lake Fire Department (chief for eight years), working for the state of Minnesota in two different departments and as a current member of the city council for the past six years, makes me believe I am qualified to serve once again the citizens of Moose Lake. I have been part of the emergency management team for both the floods of 2012 and 2016. When trying times have occurred in the city of Moose Lake, I know what the city has to do in a timely manner.
I am running for re-election because I believe that the city of Moose Lake is a growing community that appears to be moving in the right direction with the leadership that is in place. In the past six years since I've been on the city council, Moose Lake has seen many challenges along with many positive improvements. I would like to continue to be on the city council to see the city of Moose Lake continue in its growth and development.
I believe the top two issues facing the city of Moose Lake are its infrastructure and city of Moose Lake's limited tax base. As far as infrastructure in the city, the city of Moose Lake needs to be able to follow its improvement plan for road maintenance. When it comes to the limited tax base, the city needs to continue to encourage new businesses to move into city of Moose Lake. The city council needs to continue communication with its neighboring government entities in hope for expansion.
I am a retired master electrician with 40 years in the field of residential, commercial and industrial construction. I have spent time in traffic management, street lighting and fiber optics. Actually doing the work and having a leadership role has given me a lot of understanding of problem solving. Since moving back to Moose Lake over 10 years ago I have joined the Historical Society, the Moose Run and the Methodist church. I am a Vietnam veteran and a member of the American Legion. I was a Water and Light Commissioner for five years, which gave me an understanding of the city.
I believe that communication with the public is essential in any well run government. The job of council member must include knowledge of the problems, some experience in dealing with the problems and the ability to talk to the people. I have valuable knowledge and being retired, I am willing to put in the time and effort to work on finding answers.
Property Taxes — Approximately 80 percent of Moose Lake property is owned by the state of Minnesota, Carlton County, Moose Lake School, Mercy Hospital, city of Moose Lake or various churches. This means that they do not pay property tax. The bottom line is that 20 percent of Moose Lake has to pay for 100 percent of the bills. We need more commercial property in the city of Moose Lake to help with the property tax problem. This means more commercial building.
Infrastructure — Moose Lake’s infrastructure is for the most part old and in need of replacement or, at the very least, upgrading and maintenance. Roads, sewers, water, sidewalks, etc., need work. Without more of a tax base to do that, we are in trouble.
Candidate Kristin Heaton Huso did not respond to the PIne Journal.