Duluth is the best place to raise a family, live, work, and play. I can think of no better place where my life-long leadership training and experience could be offered in service to my community.

Duluth has the great outdoors, spectacular health care, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and more.

Duluth also has challenges, such as aging infrastructure, a drug and opioid epidemic, and stagnant population growth. We all know problems are there, but we haven’t been successful in addressing them. Now is the time. What difficult choices must we make?

Simply put, the status quo is not growing Duluth. Leadership is an activity, not a position. Leadership starts with you and must engage others. Your purpose must be clear. Leadership is risky. A change to focus on balancing the city’s budget while addressing our basic needs is in order.

With 20-plus years of successful business experience — including national recognition for growth, balanced budgets, and customer satisfaction — I am prepared to promote Duluth. With a multi-year plan that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, relevant, and time-sensitive, I will address:

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Jobs: Well-paying, living-wage jobs will be a product of a business-friendly administration that focuses on reducing or eliminating barriers and regulations that make bringing well-paying jobs to Duluth cost-prohibitive.

Housing: By reducing barriers to housing development, we will incentivize housing development for all portions of the housing market.

Streets: We now have a sales tax dedicated to residential street improvements. You can expect me to ensure that these funds will be utilized for the much-needed repairs.

And public safety: The city’s public-safety team, especially law enforcement, needs additional tools to address challenges related to the opioid and drug epidemic. Increasing the capacity for our public-safety team to get resources is a basic responsibility of our city government, particularly increasing mental health treatment referral options.

Since choosing Duluth as the place to raise my young family, I have enjoyed watching and learning how the people of Duluth are uniquely connected. Although I focus on the reality of the way things are, I prefer to imagine the possibility of the way things could be. When it comes time to making decisions, I value justice and fairness.

I have been described as reasonable and level-headed, yet I have no problem finding flaws in an argument. For real change to happen, who must do the work? Who else?

If I’m elected mayor, you can expect nonpartisan, practical, and back-to-basics leadership that asks questions before offering answers or solutions. Does a collective purpose exist? Who can we inspire?

We Duluthians can work together to address challenges our city faces. We can explore new approaches and implement them as appropriate. By energizing others, we will build bridges between alternate viewpoints. We can unite around common purpose.

David Nolle, a retired executive director of the Boy Scouts of America, is one of eight challengers and an incumbent in the election for Duluth mayor. The candidates and incumbent were invited by the News Tribune Opinion page to submit columns. The primary is Aug. 13. The top two vote-getters will advance to Election Day on Nov. 5.