col Drive issues toward conclusion
By Glenn Faith
I want to bring stronger leadership to the Rochester City Council. Our 2nd Ward and the city have issues that need to be dealt with and driven to conclusion.
"Connecting, understanding and listening" is not enough. Our incumbent of nine years has presided over the generation of a $26.5 million backlog of street projects (in the good years), rapid peripheral growth resulting in unmeetable demand for more roads and degenerating social conditions in the city core three blocks from Mayo's new Statuary Park at the Gonda Building. In the face of this she believes that the city council has "provided effective leadership," "taken the right steps to cover the costs of urban growth," and "made the proper commitment to inner-city neighborhoods." I say no to those claims. Furthermore, in the face of federal, state and municipal restraint across the nation, she appears to be running on a platform of raising taxes!
I began my campaign on an inner-city platform because I live there, like it, and want to make it better. But in addition, the campaign has unfolded a host of issues that need resolution: The power plant, police, the Decorah edge, affordable housing and the Cascade watershed. These issues won't go away; they demand resolution, and not be left to ferment for years. Let's have the public debate and vote them up or down.
More fundamentally, however, I believe that the new century will plead for the following:
1. Need for planned and more compact growth linked with an inviting transportation plan. Rather unrestrained disperse growth has forced the building of supporting infrastructure to or beyond the limits of affordability. A proposal for planned growth to the northwest appears to have been given scant attention. We must return to a more compact style of growth, shorten the lines of supply and develop a transport network (including rail) to take pressure off of roads and dependence on rubber-tired vehicles. Beyond a certain concentration the car becomes a liability.
2. Need for re-engineering our downtown commercial and residential districts into a true urban form. With the downtown initiative and the Kutzky project we have the seeds of developing a city. We need to build density sufficient to attract the shops and conveniences of city living. Rochester skipped the city phase, changing from a small town to suburban style in one leap.
3. Expansion of post-high school education opportunities beyond current status, both in the technical and academic sectors. To fully capture the benefits of a genomics center we should evolve at least limited research capability in the biological sciences.
4. Diversification of our economic base would be advised. One can look at Madison, Wis., to see an industrial community built around the strength of the university, in our case, the Mayo Foundation and IBM. We need to encourage innovative additions.
I believe I have the leadership experience to grasp these issues and drive them toward conclusions.
Glenn Faith is a candidate for the Ward 2 seat on the Rochester City Council.