Election 2015: St. Paul City Council, Ward Six
HOME STRETCH. Whew.
Candidates in the Sixth Ward:
Dan Bostrom (incumbent, DFL-endorsed)
Kevin Bradley is a libertarian: "My political philosophy is centered on personal liberty, non-aggression, and the belief that the only legitimate function of government is to defend and protect the rights and freedoms of individuals. ... I will do everything in my power to make sure taxpayers' money is spent only on services that are absolutely necessary, or is at least not spent frivolously. Everything else can and should be done by private businesses." His website is set up on a blog, and you can leave comments, and there's sort of a hilarious conversation going on in the comments of this page between him and a very persistent local resident.
Resident: My two utmost concerns are the lack of economic development on Arcade and the need for residents to find and pay for snow removal in alleys. Care to comment on how you would attend to these two issues?
Kevin: The issue underlying both of your questions is the high cost of starting and running a business in Saint Paul. I would work to reduce licensing fees and prohibitively expensive insurance requirements, which are among the complaints that I hear from current and potential business owners. If these problems could be addressed, Arcade would be bustling with new and expanding businesses. There would be enough professional snow removal companies to force competition for customers, which would mean ample advertising and affordable service. Any efforts by the city to remove snow from alleys would required higher taxes, which I oppose.
Resident: I understand the impact on taxes. However, in our case we rely on the goodness of one neighbor to find a vendor, collect for cost and put up with all the calls to complain. Some neighbors refuse to pay so the balance is passed along to others. It is just an archaic system that is wrought with contradiction. The City re-surfaces the alley, charges us a special assessment (i.e. a friendly term for taxes), but refuses to take on the snow removal issue. Mpls is able to do it. I can't believe there isn't a workable solution for St Paul.
Kevin: The fact that some of your neighbors do not contribute to removing snow from alleys implies that it may not be as important for them as for you.
I mean it's basically:
Resident: Working with my neighbors hiring a private service provider is incredibly annoying. I want to just have the government tax everyone and provide this service.
Libertarian: No, you don't understand. This is exactly how it's supposed to work.
Resident: I totally understand and this SUCKS.
Libertarian: Well, of course it sucks but the actual problem here is too much government.
Don't vote for Kevin if you'd like to see the city take over alley plowing. It's definitely not a priority for him.
Ed Davis's top priority is term limits for the City Council. He has ties to a group that has a long list of grievances, some legit and some oddball. He's not accepting donations (although he's recruiting volunteers) and his Facebook page is just his personal page and one of the only things visible to people who aren't his friends is about a farmer who got in trouble for selling raw milk ("A victory against the industrial food complex controlling our urban food options and producing sterile food that is responsible for many of the chronic diseases of society today." You know, I respect the right of adults to drink raw milk if they want, but if you're convinced that pasteurization causes disease, you're a weirdo.)
Dan Bostrom is an elderly Eastsider who's been on the City Council since 1996.
He has a long list of genuinely impressive accomplishments from the years he's been on the Council. He's endorsed by freaking everybody, and if I lived in Ward 6, he's who I'd vote for.