ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Mayoral Madness Championship Game: Bell vs. Bye

MAYORAL MADNESS championship game Charlie Bell defeated Greg Gilbert yesterday 60 percent to 40 percent. And then there were two. After three weeks, 10 matchups and 12 candidates, only two mayoral hopefuls remain in Mayoral Madness, the News Trib...

MAYORAL MADNESS

championship game

Charlie Bell defeated Greg Gilbert yesterday 60 percent to 40 percent.

And then there were two. After three weeks, 10 matchups and 12 candidates, only two mayoral hopefuls remain in Mayoral Madness, the News Tribune editorial page's light-hearted attempt to introduce an unusually large pool of office-seekers to voters. Thousands of readers participated, casting their votes online at duluthnewstribune.com.

Meg Bye, a former Duluth city councilor and the city's former human rights officer, reached the championship round by upending Robert Wagner, a graphic designer and self-described "computer nerd" who works with developmentally disabled adults while also running a music events and promotions company called Wrekt Records. She then knocked off incumbent Mayor Herb Bergson to reach today's finals.

ADVERTISEMENT

Well-known community activist and former funeral home director Charlie Bell survived to today's matchup by defeating former St. Louis County Commissioner Joanne Fay in the opening round, and then by knocking off Duluth city councilors Don Ness and Greg Gilbert.

Two more questions. One more round of online balloting.

Read. Consider. And then vote.

Charlie Bell

Q: Duluth can't even afford to replace a police dog without having to hold a fundraiser: How would you solve the city's budget woes?

A: We've got to stop spending money, period. We have to adhere to a budget. We have to solve the health-care contracts, and then we have to work on economic development -- stop just talking about economic development and start implementing a plan. And we need to do this by expanding our tax base and not by raising taxes, by expanding our tax base and creating better-paying jobs and new opportunities.

Q: At Sky Harbor Airport: Save the old-growth trees or preserve the ability of small, private planes to land and take off?

A: I respect the Park Point residents and their fight to preserve the forest. I planted thousands of trees on the hillside in Duluth when I was a Boy Scout and scout master. But that airport has been there a long time. It's not going to be an easy solution or one that can be made overnight. If I get elected, I'll make it a priority to somehow figure out the best solution for both the residents of Park Point and the needs of our community.

ADVERTISEMENT

Meg Bye

Q: Duluth can't even afford to replace a police dog without having to hold a fundraiser: How would you solve the city's budget woes?

A: The budget woes we have are a product of 20 years of neglect and of not being honest with the public about costs and the value of city services. One cannot solve them in one fell swoop. My approach would be, first of all, to get information from the community about what services it really values and wants to see continued. Undoubtedly, safety would be high on the list. But the community desires other certain services from its government. And I'd need to determine what those services are and then be honest about the costs and the assets the city has in providing them. I'd put all the information out, and then, as a government, make a decision while also being aware of the long-term effects of short-term decisions.

Q: At Sky Harbor Airport: Save the old-growth trees or preserve the ability of small, private planes to land and take off?

A: I don't think those two are mutually exclusive. We need to save the old-growth trees and we need to figure out ways to reconfigure that airport if it's going to stay in that space. But we also should look at other options, such moving the airport to another location where it could serve the same purpose.

What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.