I just got a look at the 2014 mid-term election ballot for our area. The Little Canada City Offices, State Supreme Court judges, court of appeals judges, and 2nd district court judges are on one side of the ballot and the federal and state offices are on the other. At least for the purposes of this blog and our lake, the Little Canada City Offices and our local state representative are probably the most critical.
First up, the Little Canada City offices. As you can see from this section of the ballot, we have an incumbent council member, John Keis, running unopposed for mayor and seven candidates running for two council member offices. Probably a little-known fact about the Little Canada city council is that it has become a well-paid part-time job over the years, $475/month. Back when my wife ran for office in 2006, the job paid about $2,000/year. The following year the council began to regularly increase their paycheck, even when a past council woman noted it was in poor taste to do so when the economy was crashing and many local resident were seriously hurting. Now, the job pays about 3X that and amounts to a pretty good part-time job with little-to-no-qualifications necessary.
Andrew Henderson (http://www.eastmetrovoterguide.com/henderson.php) is a young, energetic recent resident who has a lot of good ideas for the city and our community. I couldn’t find anything regarding Christian Torkelson. Jeff Heikke is a young local business man who has been very involved in the city’s recreational organizations. Rocky Waite is a neighbor and someone who has a long history in Little Canada and who has been a constant defender of Savage Lake and our neighborhood. Tom Fisher (http://www.eastmetrovoterguide.com/fischer.php) is a member of the Planning Commission and a familiar face to the current commission.
I asked each of the candidates who had listed an email address on their website the following question, “Savage Lake has received fairly brutal treatment from the Ramsey County Watershed District, the DNR, MNDOT, and our city government. What would you do to help lakeshore residents to protect this disrespected natural resource?” Stay tuned, I’ll let you know what they had to say.
The state office that most affects our lake and community is the State Representative for District 42B. We have to thank Jason “Ike” Isaacson for his work in getting the MNDOT ombudsman office involved in bringing a little sanity to the I35E construction process. Within a couple of days of receiving my letter about the construction crew’s all-night noise bash, Representative Isaacson had sent me a letter (published earlier in this blog) and interrupted a few MNDOT bureaucrats’ naps and got a response and some action for our community. This is a no-brainer for me.
Subtext: In a moderate effort to be upfront on my own personal bias, because John Keis was the a new council member, part of the clan who appointed Michael McGraw to office in 2007, I will write-in a candidate for mayor. When my wife ran for Little Canada City Council in 2006 after Jim Lavelle died before being able to assume office, the council chose not even to interview her even though she had received nearly 1,000 votes (about half of the winning total). The council pretty much made its choices from a collection of city insiders, Michael McGraw being the ultimate selection. From that point on, I felt that our city government arrogantly and consistently chose to ignore voters and do what they want, east coast style, and our connection to the city was never the same. Since the 2006 election, I have never voted for any of the council members who were in office at that time, usually writing-in my choices. Rocky Waite has been one of my regular city officer votes for 16 years, so it with particularly enthusiasm I will get to vote for him without having to write his name into my ballot although I’ll probably still write in his name for mayor.