EARLIER: Five questions for Becky HallThe News Tribune asked the same five questions to each of 10 finalists for the open Duluth City Council seat. We’re running one set of responses a day. Today we have the responses of Becky Hall, a community activist and former economic developer.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The News Tribune asked the same five questions to each of 10 finalists for the open Duluth City Council seat. We’re running one set of responses each day, going alphabetically. Today we have the responses of Becky Hall, a community activist and former economic developer.
Q: The city is facing another budget shortfall next year. How would you handle it?
A: I would expect the mayor and his administration to submit for approval a budget that is balanced. During these tough economic times we cannot spend beyond our means and put a greater burden on our citizens. Some nonessential services may have to be put on hold or cut.
Q: How would you have voted on the 14 percent levy increase?
A: When many in Duluth are forced to cut back, I expect government to do the same. I would have voted no.
Q: How would you have voted on the monthly fee for street lighting?
A: Duluth already is burdened with the highest utility rates in the Midwest and I understand that a portion of our utility bill goes into the city’s general fund. That’s a hidden tax. I would have voted no and suggest we redirect that money from the general fund for street lights.
Q: What do you believe are the most cuttable city expenditures?
A: Nonessential services. For example, we should support opportunities for non-governmental entities that are willing to come forward and enhance or improve on our city’s assets as we have with the zoological society and the zoo. Our city golf courses could benefit, as well, from similar efforts by a private management endeavor.
Q: If appointed, would you run for election in the fall? Why/why not?
A: Yes. The issues facing Duluth are not short-term and neither is my commitment to working hard for this community. The best way to hold a councilor accountable for decisions made is to accept that she will have to answer to our citizens one day and ask them to allow her to continue that work.