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LETTER: Your vote crucial in Aug. 14 primary

If you have never voted in a primary election before, it is crucial to all citizens and candidates that you take the time to vote in this year's primary election Tuesday, Aug. 14.

The city of Cloquet has four candidates for mayor, four candidates for the At Large City Council position and three candidates for the Ward 3 City Council position.

The current Ward 3 council person is Roger Maki and he is one of the four candidates for mayor in the primary election.

In case some potential voters are unaware, the number of candidates in this year's primary election and general election Nov. 6 is due mainly to the event of March 16, 2017, and the events that followed.

On that day, the former police chief was put on paid administrative leave (following a vote of no confidence by the Cloquet police union) by the mayor and a split vote on the City Council. A lengthy investigation by a hired consultant deemed the original charges were unwarranted.

The police chief should have been encouraged to return to his job. The mayor and certain councilors did not want the police chief to return, forcing him to retire.

In October, the interim police chief was made the police chief, again by the mayor and certain councilors. No other candidates were interviewed and the job was never posted, so qualified applicants had the opportunity to apply.

The current appointed councilor at large and candidate stood up at a City Council meeting and said to the police department: "I have your back."

If you want to return Cloquet to the town many of us have lived in and loved for generations, please read and review old news stories in the paper and online, use your common sense and decide who you feel the candidates are in the upcoming primary that best represent and reflect your beliefs and values and vote accordingly.

Don Walsh

Cloquet

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