Duluth News Tribune endorsements at a glance

In anticipation of the Nov. 8 election, the News Tribune Opinion page has published eight endorsements since Oct. 11. Here are capsules of those editorials:...

In anticipation of the Nov. 8 election, the News Tribune Opinion page has published eight endorsements since Oct. 11. Here are capsules of those editorials:

For City Council At Large: Krug and Larson stand out

Accomplished in their personal and professional lives, Linda Krug and Emily Larson are eager to give back as public servants.

Larson works with nonprofits as a consultant. Her firm focuses on work force development and economic development, areas where the city also needs focus.

Krug also owns and operates a small consulting business. Until recently she was dean of the University of Minnesota Duluth's College of Liberal Arts. She also has served as president of the University Education Association, was a catalyst with the city's Creative Communities Initiative, was a board member for both Park State Bank and the St. Luke's Foundation, and, most recently, was a member of the city's Tourism Tax Task Force.


Their opponents: Tim Riley and Chad Smith.

For City Council District 4: Krause, a proven, frugal leader

An ally of anyone concerned about government spending, Garry Krause promises to prioritize core services to hold the line on rising taxes and fee increases. He was a Duluth School Board member from 2000-04 and was the 4th District's City Council representative from 2006-10, during which time he also served on the Duluth Economic Development Authority. He's an academic dean now at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.

His opponent: Jackie Halberg.

For City Council District 1: Fedora, a budget watchdog

During difficult days of economic distress, the Duluth City Council is well-served by the financial expertise of 1st District incumbent Todd Fedora. He has shown himself to be a gives-it-straight budget watchdog. That comes from 25 years of experience as a commercial lender. His day job includes managing a $100 million portfolio. A member of the Duluth Economic Development Authority,

Fedora regularly and deliberately works to bring new industries and jobs to Duluth.

His opponent: Jennifer Julsrud.


For School Board At Large: Miernicki's voice one of knowledge

Duluth voters don't get a chance every election to add someone like Mike Miernicki to the School Board. For 36 years he was an educator and administrator in the Duluth district. He taught social studies, yearbook and journalism. He was a class adviser, ran the photo club and spent his last 10 years as activities director at Duluth East, retiring in 2005. Miernicki is familiar with tough financial times. He has lived them. His voice would be one of knowledge and experience.

His opponent: Ryan Stauber.

For School Board District 2: Seliga-Punyko forward-thinking

She wasn't on the School Board when the Red Plan was picked, but Judy Seliga-Punyko has helped to see it through with a positive attitude, a watchdog's skeptical eye and a passion for what's best for Duluth's coming generations. She taught music 11 years in Duluth elementary schools, was a longtime swimming coach, was a past president of the PTSA Council, and is an ambassador to the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of other community-improving organizations.

Her opponent: Loren Martell.

For School Board District 3: Take advantage of Westholm's experience

Longtime educator and retired principal Bill Westholm was director of school operations for the district from 2005 through 2007, was principal at Central High School in the 1990s and was principal at Denfeld High


School, his alma mater, for 10 years, from 1995 to 2005. In the 1980s and 1990s he was assistant principal at all three of Duluth's public high schools. Voters can jump at the chance to put that kind of experience on the School Board.

His opponent: Jon Donahue.

On the school district levy questions: Duluth schools

need money

The Duluth district definitely needs the money taxpayers could provide to

bolster classroom offerings, to control class sizes and to improve student


Few argue that.


The concern is that not enough is being done to convince voters to say yes, yes and yes when, considering how tough times still are, the easier votes are no, no and no.

Let's change this embarrassment: Statewide, taxpayers, on average, spend

$936 per student to improve learning; in Duluth it's only $365.60 per pupil.

On the city's parks levy: Vote yes, if you can afford it

Don't knock anyone for voting against raising their own taxes to create a new fund for public parks. Times are tough. But know the consequences. Without a new taxpayer-approved and taxpayer-supported parks fund, the city

will continue to spend a paltry $800,000 a year on parks, barely enough to keep the grass mowed. And there won't be money to keep open Duluth's branch libraries at Mount Royal and in West Duluth.

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