Five questions for Russ Stover: Duluth City Council vacant seat finalists
Q: The city is facing another budget shortfall next year. How would you handle it? A: The economy and state aid will determine the extent of our shortfall in the coming year. Collecting tax revenue from TIF districts soon to expire is essential. ...
Q: The city is facing another budget shortfall next year. How would you handle it?
A: The economy and state aid will determine the extent of our shortfall in the coming year. Collecting tax revenue from TIF districts soon to expire is essential. We also need to lobby the state Capitol so Duluth can benefit from the new clean-water state sales tax to help fund our federal storm water retention requirements.
Q: How would you have voted on the 14 percent levy increase?
A: The city's portion of residential real estate tax is 21 percent. I don't believe the $30-per-year average on a 175,000 home is out of sync with other inflationary costs such as energy, phone, insurance and medical cost. I would have voted yes to increase the Police Department by five officers to help our neighborhoods.
Q: How would you have voted on the monthly fee for street lighting?
A: I would have voted no. Fees are intended to cover the cost of only those individuals using a specific service. I don't believe that to be the case with public lighting.
Q: What do you believe are the most cuttable city expenditures?
A: The administration has reworked the budget extensively. Any new reductions would be difficult to find without loss of services to the public. New cuts in the coming year should be shared reductions. Police, fire and public works should receive first priority in city appropriations.
Q: If appointed, would you run for election in the fall? Why/why not?
A: I would not run for re-election. I don't believe it would be appropriate to run as an incumbent to an appointed seat. I may possibly run for a political office in the future.