I am the incumbent Duluth city councilor in the 4th District and am the 2021 City Council president. Nuts and bolts is what city council work is, but it is also work that can grow you — if you let it.

My three priorities are public safety, housing, and economic development.

To address public safety, in late September, three of my council colleagues and I announced an amendment to the mayor’s proposed 6% levy increase. We are looking at public safety in a whole new way. We worked hard to include all voices with the options we have available. We want to support our public safety teams by not only listening but taking direct actions.

Our proposal would make possible a base salary increase for our police officers, sergeants, and lieutenants of up to 15%. Pending negotiations, that would break down as a 2% planned base salary increase, an 8% one-time market increase to base salaries, and up to a 5% one-time base-salary increase. It would be in exchange for structural changes to the city’s current health care plan in order to make it sustainable into the future for the city and taxpayers.

Our proposal also would increase ongoing training budgets for the police and fire departments in the amount of $100,000 for each department annually and establish an ongoing funding source for the city’s community crisis intervention program in the amount of $600,000 a year.

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Beyond public safety, our proposal calls for up to a 5% one-time base salary increase for all city staff, also in exchange for structural changes to the city’s current health care plan in order to make it sustainable into the future for the city and taxpayers.

Regarding housing, I have and continue to support initiatives like Lincoln Park Flats and allowing yurts on private property. I continue to find ways to support the housing needs in the district and citywide.

I think about economic development in terms of helping folks get jobs and job growth. I asked business leaders where the business community sees itself in politics, in the community, and in the lives of everyday people. I asked how I can learn and how I can help. We talked through how I could develop strong relationships to help the business community. I put forward a series of roundtable learning sessions. My first roundtable was at Bent Paddle in August. Another roundtable was held in September, and a third is scheduled for Oct. 27, hosted at the Children’s Museum. I have learned that the business community feels like the city lacks in customer service and in helping business operators navigate City Hall and its processes.

I am a solution-minded person who likes to see people happy. I want to continue to do that for the 4th District. I ask you humbly to continue supporting me and to vote for me on Nov. 2. (See reneevannett.com to get involved, donate, grab a lawn sign, or door-knock.)

Renee Van Nett is the incumbent in the race to represent City Council District 4, which includes Duluth Heights, Piedmont Heights, Lincoln Park, and part of West Duluth. She wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page. Election Day is Nov. 2.