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Rand starts City Council race

Heather Rand has announced her intention to run for an at-large seat on the Duluth City Council. The West Hillside resident is possibly the first to publicly announce she will seek one of the seats coming up in the fall election. Rand is currentl...

Heather Rand has announced her intention to run for an at-large seat on the Duluth City Council.
The West Hillside resident is possibly the first to publicly announce she will seek one of the seats coming up in the fall election.
Rand is currently employed as a legislative representative and government relations administrator for Minnesota Power and Allete. She specializes in tax, economic development, environment, energy and labor-related policy.
Her prior professional experience include work as an administrative assistant to the St. Louis County administrator, commissioner administrator for the Duluth/Fond du Lac Economic Development Commission and administrative assistant for the town of Rice Lake.
She holds bachelor of arts degrees in political science and urban studies/planning from Augsburg College, and is working on a graduate degree in public administration.
Rand has been active with the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, the League of Woman Voters, the YWCA and the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Council.
Rand said she will focus on core government service and the way tax dollars are spent. She believes the top concerns of residents are job creation, sustaining and creating viable neighborhoods and optimizing the city's green space and natural amenities.
As for the council's venture into regulating smoking, she said, "It's been very divisive for Duluth." Rather than a local issue, Rand views it as something that could better be handled at the state level.
Rand said she believes Duluthians are tired of divisive community arguments.
On the proposed Spirit Ridge Golf Course, another hot button city issue, Rand said she can see how it would complement Spirit Mountain as a tourist attraction. But given the situation with the possible city liability for some grants on the property, she said the jury is out until they figure out what the repercussions will be.
Rand does support the city's new planning effort.
"I think finalizing the city's comprehensive plan will be a tremendous asset," she said. "Folks will understand what to expect with respect to future development."
As for city spending, Rand maintains that the city's budget should not be increasing more than the rate of inflation.
On the often controversial Technology Village, Rand said the original idea was visionary, and the city should continue focusing on getting funding from the state.
The candidate is also aware of the tremendous time commitment city councilors must make. It's a commitment Rand said she is ready to make.
In the months ahead she plans to meet with as many city residents and community organizations as possible.
The two at-large seats, currently held by Lynn Fena and Patty Edwards, will be on the ballot along with the district seats held by Greg Gilbert and Gary Eckenberg.

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