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Bell offers more details on his platform

With voter attention narrowed to the two men running for mayor, candidate Charlie Bell now wants to focus on the issues and his four major goals for Duluth.

With voter attention narrowed to the two men running for mayor, candidate Charlie Bell now wants to focus on the issues and his four major goals for Duluth.

Speaking Wednesday at the beach house on Park Point, Bell rolled out the first part of his plan for the city's future. His major goals are: Building Our Economy, Building Trust in Government, Building Community and Building Future Leaders.

He promised to expand upon each of them as the campaign progresses. Bell said having the objectives will enable him to "hit the ground running" if he is elected mayor.

Building community was the first on his list. Bell promised to preserve and improve Duluth's natural environment, neighborhoods, the downtown, commercial districts, city infrastructure and the arts. That category also includes housing needs, public safety and transportation planning.

With the sandy beach of Lake Superior as a backdrop, Bell stressed the importance of taking better care of Duluth's natural beauty and assets such as thelake, the beaches, Skyline Parkway and city parks.

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He also reiterated the importance of the neighborhood planning districts and the next mayor's role in that process.

"We have to be very serious about it," Bell said. "We have to work to protect and enhance our resources."

He recognized the significance of Skyline Parkway as an attraction for both residents and visitors but criticized its poor condition. Bell promised to enlist volunteers and business community to help clean up trash. He also wants to see signs and other measures to help keep the parkway and city beaches clean.

"With a $70 million budget, we can come up with some money for cleaning Park Point and Skyline Parkway," Bell said. "It's a matter of setting priorities."

"We need to create jobs," he said. "But we need to protect our natural environment at the same time."

Bell outlined some of the challenges facing the city and the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District regarding how to contain runoff. He pledged to work with the district and go after outside funds to address what is expected to be a very costly solution.

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