CANDIDATE PROFILE WName: Patrick Carr.
Address: 623 Fourth St. S.E.
Family: Married, five children college-age and younger.
Work history: A licensed real estate broker in Minnesota and the Dakotas; owns a snow-plowing business and has done periodic construction work. Previously a teacher in secondary and post-secondary schools.
Education history: Bachelor's degree from Framingham State Teachers College, with post-graduate work at Harvard University. Graduated from commercial driving school, real estate brokers' school, and commercial auctioneers school.
Community activities: For several years was auctioneer of Rochesterfest auction benefiting Gift of Life transplant house, helped assemble properties for Ronald McDonald House site.
Government history: No elected experience; past member of Olmsted County Zoning Board of Adjustment, Rochester Airport Zoning Commission, and Rochester City Commission on Public Salaries.
Contact information: Home phone, 289-5739; e-mail email@example.com.
Top three issues:
1. Promote fiscal responsibility in government.
2. Ease regulations to encourage property improvements in core neighborhoods.
3. Seek a "win-win" compromise to settle dispute with the Dakota, Minnesota &; Eastern Railroad.
"My past experience as a schoolteacher and, more recently, 21 years of self-employment, leaves me a well-rounded background for making positive, common-sense decisions on the council."
Five questions of the candidate:
1. Have city spending cuts gone too deep? No.
2. Does the Rochester City Council provide effective leadership? No.
3. Are necessary public safety functions adequately funded? Yes.
4. Has the city taken the right steps to cover the costs associated with urban growth? Yes.
5. Has Rochester's leadership made the proper commitment to inner-city neighborhoods? No.
By Jeffrey Pieters
In a varied career that has seen him as a schoolteacher, snowplower, heavy equipment operator and auctioneer, Pat Carr says he has learned how to hustle for a buck.
From that hard-earned experience, he says, he now knows of one job where the hourly return could exceed a million bucks an hour.
"I could go through the (city) budget and probably line out a million and a half (dollars) spending in probably less than an hour," he said. "There's a lot of slush in there.
"You look at any construction company, they're using equipment they bought 20 years ago -- used," he said. "We're running state-of-the-art equipment. I would bet there's a couple of million dollars a year in equipment purchases that could be held off at least a year."
Seeking the 4th Ward city council seat, Carr said he would impose spending restraint the council now lacks.
"They hardly ever vote anything down," he said. "I believe things can be done for less money, and done right. You need people out there to balance ideas and make a healthy debate."
Carr said he would work for regulatory changes benefiting property owners, particularly those in Rochester's older core neighborhoods.
For instance, he would propose easing regulation enforcement on owner-occupied houses 50 years and older. Those houses, with their small yards and one-car garages, are "functionally obsolete." He'd give owners freer rein to expand structures on their properties.
He would seek to lower the appeal fee on zoning decisions to $1 from $200, citing his own experience appealing an order to remove a shed on his property. His defense cost him about $500, he said, "and my blood pressure went up, and it never has gone down."
He said the city spends enough money on public safety, and too much money on hired consultants. He would suggest replacing professional consultants with university students seeking advanced degrees.
"It's a win-win situation," he said. "We get it for nothing, and they get some experience in the real world."
Carr has not responded to invitations to candidate's forums, saying he does not want to be perceived as owing a special interest if he is elected.