As it gets closer to election day, I wanted to take a moment to remind folks that in addition to the mayor’s contest, our city has other candidates you also need to think carefully about: five individuals running for three seats on your city council.
In addition to the mayor (who is elected every two years), Carlton has six city councilors who serve staggered 4-year terms. Every two years, three of those seats are up for election.
This year two incumbent councilors are running for re-election:
Scott Carl was first elected to the Council in 2004. He was not re-elected in 2008. He ran and was elected again in 2012, and in 2016. From 2004 through 2020, he has served 16 years.
Carey Rhoads was initially appointed to the Council in mid-term and was elected to that seat in 2008; re-elected in 2012 and 2016: three terms and one partial term, more than 12 years.
Amy Wilder, who was elected in 2016 is not running for re-election.
They have been in town (Scott’s family, of course, for several generations) and on the City Council long enough to build a pretty complete record, so I’ll just encourage you to take some time to review and familiarize yourself with their history on the council.
Three new candidates are also running for these three seats: Grant Erickson, Kevin Skipper, and Guilherme Brandao.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and in some cases working with, all three of these candidates and Carlton will be well-served by all of them.
Grant and Guilherme both currently serve on the Planning Commission. Grant resisted valiantly the recently approved zoning change that will permit the development of JR Meadows 2. He’s a familiar face and voice in and for our city and you can be sure he will say what he thinks!
Guilherme was appointed to the Plannning Commission just after the vote on that ordinance change, so was not involved in that decision. He’s been in Carlton about four years and hopes to see his children grow up in the small town he and his wife have fallen in love with and run their small business out of. (Be sure to read his candidate statement in your Voter Guide)
Many of you may know Kevin, who grew up here and has been involved in a broad range of organizations and activities in the community. He too has a young family.
All three have statements in the 2020 Voter Guide and I encourage you to take your time and read them carefully.
I believe that in order to have a council the truly represents our city, we need a diverse membership, and these three will bring new perspectives and priorities. I urge you to reach out and get acquainted with them.
While a city candidate forum would be great, there seems to be no organization to provide such a forum. Not withstanding the forum two years ago, election activities are NOT something our city government should do, and they have wisely chosen not to repeat that action.
Some options for forum organization would be: Carlton Business Association, Carlton Together Cares, the newly formed Carlton Partners for Smart Growth, or just a group of Carlton citizens who want to find out more about your candidates.
If weather and Covid numbers cooperate I’m hoping to have a series of shortish, small group gatherings around town & will invite all three of these candidates to join in. I’m also contemplating a couple of online sessions; either with Zoom or Facebook live. (comments, preferences, suggestions are welcome)
(If you’re interested in hosting one, please reach out to me – your main responsibility would be to provide an outdoor area, and guests – mostly people you know, are comfortable with and, who have an interest in meeting one of the mayor candidates.)
With the accessibility of Zoom as well as other online gathering sites, it’s a matter of getting your heads together and getting it done. & remember that we’ll be receiving our ballots shortly, so the sooner the better!
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