Jeanne Koneczny, a lifelong resident of West Duluth, announced Monday her intentions to run for Duluth City Council. She is the third candidate to enter the race for the 5th District seat now held by Councilor Jay Fosle. Fosle has not yet disclosed whether he will seek another term.
Koneczny, age 79, for years has been deeply involved in neighborhood issues, including the development of more quality housing. But the race will mark the first time she has sought elected public office.
“I just decided to go for it. This is another step in all the things I’ve been involved in.
And my desire for a better western has always been first and foremost with me,” she said, noting that she now has time to serve on the council in her retirement.
Koneczny suggested Duluth’s western neighborhoods have a lot to offer.
“We have a lot of land that is already zoned for industrial and manufacturing and housing. We have an undeveloped riverfront,” she said. “I feel that the western part of Duluth has got the gold, because we’ve got the land for expansion.”
In a statement, Koneczny said: “I want to be collaborative in finding solutions to improve our quality of life: better streets and infrastructure, reducing crime and drug problems and helping families achieve home ownership so they can stay in Duluth and put their talents to work here, not the Twin Cities.”
Koneczny has served on the Duluth Planning Commission, the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District Board, the West Duluth Business Club Board, the Spirit Valley Citizens Neighborhood Development Association and the Duluth Board of Zoning Appeals. She also has served as a neighborhood representative for the St. Louis River Interlake/Duluth Tar Site Superfund.
Koneczny plans to formally launch her campaign at 5 p.m. Tuesday with a gathering at Gannucci’s Italian Market, 301 N. Central Ave.
To date, two other candidates also have announced their bids for the 5th District City Council seat: Janet Kennedy and Ashley Grimm.