The first potential challenger for the Rochester City Council president seat has stepped forward.
Greg Munson, a retired educator and former director of Quarry Hill Nature Center, said he plans to file for the office on Tuesday.
“I want to be Rochester’s new City Council President because I believe Rochester is a great city, but it’s time for change to make it even better for our residents, including my children and grandchildren,” he said in a statement announcing his plans.
Munson said he has been considering seeking office since retirement, but his interest in local government was largely piqued when he helped form the Silver Lake Friends group to support park improvements.
He said he shares many views with the incumbent council president, Randy Staver, who is one of his former students. At the same time, he said he’s been hearing a desire for a leadership change.
“I think we can improve on some things that can be done,” Munson said.
Staver has said he’ll make a decision about running for re-election during the two-week filing period, which starts Tuesday.
Munson said he believes the growth spurred by Destination Medical Center will be good for Mayo Clinic and the Rochester community, but he has also raised concerns, most recently questioning plans for changes to Center Street near the downtown.
The bike infrastructure being added this year is part of DMC’s City Loop project, but concerns have been raised regarding the impact to nearby businesses, as well as downtown access for residents.
“I believe we can’t forget the impact DMC has on our residents,” Munson said.
Other concerns Munson said he plans to raise during his campaign include the recent handling of pay raises for elected officials and approval to use the former K-Mart parking lot for contract parking. He said both issues needed more public involvement before decisions were made.
Munson also wants to play a role in the city’s response to COVID-19 pressures.
“I look forward to helping to lead Rochester through the current pandemic and follow-up recovery to make the city even better for our citizens and local businesses,” he said.
Munson has been the Post Bulletin’s Nature Nut columnist for more than eight years; announced Saturday that the column will be on hiatus.