Mayor's race, Pt. 1
Q: If elected mayor of Duluth, would you attend (on a regular basis) the city council meetings? Why or why not? How would you improve the working relationship between the mayor's office and the councilors?...
Q: If elected mayor of Duluth, would you attend (on a regular basis) the city council meetings? Why or why not? How would you improve the working relationship between the mayor's office and the councilors?
Having been on the council for eight years, I have a good understanding of when it's important for the mayor to attend, when it's a distraction and when it's not necessary. I would bring that judgment to that decision on a meeting-by-meeting basis.
I am well-positioned to greatly improve the relationship between the mayor and the council.
The key is constant communication and supporting councilors in their efforts to move policy forward.
Every councilor wants to make his or her mark during their service. Oftentimes, because of a lack of communication and coordination, those efforts lack the support from the administration and other councilors. As a result, there's a tremendous amount of frustration created because the initiative isn't well thought out.
I would regularly attend the meetings, but based on the issues that were involved in those meetings.
I think the mayor needs to play a stronger role and needs to work more often with the city council.
How would I improve the relationship?
I would like to ask them what they would like from me as a mayor in terms of issues.
I would provide them more expeditiously with the information that they need for the votes that they must take.
I would also let them know what's going on with the projects and community issues that I was working on; I would communicate better.
When asked if the across-town, opposing press conferences would continue, Ness said this:
Too much communication takes place through the media and through press conferences. That contributes to a sense of division and unnecessary drama.
Frankly, it makes it more difficult for those parties to come together and work things out on a professional basis because things have been played out through the media.
When asked if the across-town opposing press conferences would continue, Bell said this:
A lot of councilors want the mayor's job, so, once they're elected, often they regard each other as competitors. A good leader, if he's experienced, will share information so the end result is something better for the community and know that if he does a good job working with the council and serving the citizens, his job won't be in jeopardy. In the past that hasn't worked, because the leaders haven't had the experience to understand that by working together, it will certainly enhance his or her successes.
Make plans now to vote in November
If a student or a resident is interested in registering to vote in the November election -- without any further ID as is required for election-day registration -- voter registration cards must be received in the City Clerk's office by 4:30 p.m. Oct. 16. Registration cards may be secured at a number of locations, among them the main library and all branches, various fire halls and the City Clerk's office at 330 City Hall, 411 First St.
For more information, call 730-5500. Voters can register on Election Day, as long as they bring the correct documentation, verifying address and identity.