Incumbent's View Column: The goal is continuing Duluth's impressive progress
I moved to Duluth in 2007 to attend UMD, where I graduated and, most importantly, met my wife Tricia. We chose to build our lives here in Duluth and have been committed to improving our community since purchasing our home in West Duluth in 2012.
My service to Duluth has had many roles. It has included president of my local community club, leadership to my church council, and board member to CHUM and PAVSA, among other organizations. Over the past three years, my service has also been as your At Large Duluth city councilor and as your current council president.
Here are some of what we have accomplished together:
We have more than $1 billion in private investment going into our eastern part of downtown. We need to ensure this investment leverages other investments into housing to continue to grow our city.
We have invested nearly $50 million along our St. Louis River Corridor neighborhoods and brought back youth programming at our parks.
We have created a more intuitive regulatory environment for first-time entrepreneurs and business owners, including through the creation of the Red Tape Reduction Task Force. This allows us to continue to retain and attract businesses here in Duluth.
We have invested an additional $1 million in repairing our roads and sidewalks. In the next year, we will have an additional $7 million, bringing our total to an historic $10 million annual investment into our streets. We have been responsible about what is beneath our roads and have put our water lines on a sustainable repair plan as well.
We have also increased our investment into public safety and worked to address the opioid crisis that impacts both our police officers and our firefighters.
Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not entirely beyond our control.
In the next four years, I will continue to work to address our housing shortage. During my day job, I am a housing professional and have a deep understanding of how best to leverage resources and engage partners to more rapidly address this gap. I worked with Mayor Emily Larson to create the Mayor’s Affordable Housing Task Force, and I will continue to focus on building a fiscally stable city. A key to this is a focus on continued growth both in residents and in business.
And while the issues above are broader, headline-grabbing issues, I will remain dedicated to taking care of constituent and neighborhood essentials, too. That means working to ensure our parking laws are enforced, our parks are maintained, and neighborhood street lights are working.
I’ve never shied away from difficult conversations in our community. I will continue to work collaboratively and positively to find common ground to move our city forward. I look forward to continued progress in our city, and I genuinely believe we are in a better position today than we were four years ago.
I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 5 to keep moving Duluth forward.
Noah Hobbs is an incumbent At Large member of the Duluth City Council. He wrote this at the request of the News Tribune Opinion page. Election Day is Nov. 5.