ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Meet the Rochester City Council Ward 3 candidates

Vangie Castro and Norman Wahl are seeking the Ward 3 seat on Rochester City Council.

Vangie Castro and Norman Wahl
Vangie Castro and Norman Wahl.
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER — Two candidates will be on the Nov. 8 primary ballot for the Rochester City Council Ward 3 seat.

Each candidate was sent a short questionnaire seeking background information and their reason for seeking the council seat that served the city’s northwestern ward.

Here’s what they provided:

Name: Vangie Castro

Age: 47

ADVERTISEMENT

Occupation: Impact program assistant, United Way of Olmsted County.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration, California State University, East Bay.

Have you held elected office? No.

Have you served on local government boards or commissions?

  • Governor’s Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying, 2012-2014.
  • Olmsted County Victim Services Change Team, 2017.
  • Olmsted County Human Rights Commission, 2021 - Present.

Community involvement:

  • Gay Lesbian Community Services chair, 2012- 2015.  
  • Member of Peace United Church of Christ.
  • Working Women’s Golf League president at Willow Creek Golf & Event Center.
  • Family Services Rochester, volunteer.

What are your top three campaign issues: 

  • Affordable, accessible and mixed-income housing.
  • Diversifying the current leadership.
  • City budget.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? I’ve worked locally and statewide to address policies that disproportionately affect the most marginalized. My years in nonprofit work, and education in public administration have perfectly positioned me to represent the residents in Ward 3 as a council member. And I love this city and the people who live here.

What will be your top goal if elected? Rebuild trust in local leadership and strengthen relationships with city staff and the community. I think it’s important that residents of Rochester know what’s happening locally and that their leaders truly care about their well-being and safety. Hit the ground running and become the best council member I can be.

ADVERTISEMENT



Name: Norman W. Wahl

Age: 67

Occupation: Semi-retired Lutheran pastor, currently working in production at Great Harvest Bread company and an instructor for Driver Improvement Associates.

Education: Preston-Fountain High School; bachelor of arts degree, Augsburg College; master of Divinity and doctor of Divinity, Luther Seminary.

Have you held elected office?

  • Kiester School Board, Kiester, 1984-1990.

Have you served on local government boards or commissions? No.

Community involvement: 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Morning Pride Lions Club treasurer.
  • Samaritan Bethany Foundation Board.
  • Wright Homes of Crimson Ridge II Board, secretary.
  • Augsburg University Board of Regents, 2006-2018

What are your top three campaign issues: 

  • Continuing practical and competent leadership for a vibrant and thriving city.
  • Taking time to listen to and respond to constituent concerns.
  • Work toward civility and safety in the community that all may flourish.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position? For four decades, I had the opportunity to help lead small and large organizations on the local, regional and national levels. I have learned to work closely with all people and bring a spirit of kindness, while achieving measured goals. I genuinely enjoy visiting with and representing the needs of the community.

What will be your top goal if elected? Rochester has been blessed with huge resources, beginning with people who have immense gifts. Rochester needs to continue to harness its people, its finances and its energy into growth that benefits everyone. We need to embrace the economic engine that drives our city and employs tens of thousands.

More candidate video responses
Candidates for council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked for video responses describing the qualities of an ideal council member and what prompted them to run for office.
Candidates for council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked for video responses related to how they think city funds should be spent in parks and other city recreation facilities.
Candidates for council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked to provide video responses related to what they see as key priorities for developing an annual spending plan.
Candidates for council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked to provide video responses related to what they see as priorities for Destination Medical Center in the next four years.
Candidates for council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked to provide video responses related to what they see as the city’s role in supporting the creation of affordable housing.
Candidates for council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked to provide video responses related to Rochester Public Utilities' plan to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2031.
Candidates for Rochester council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked to provide video responses regarding proposed plans for Silver Lake Park changes.
Candidates for Rochester council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked to provide video responses regarding how they can help community members feel their voices are included in the decisions made by city officials.
Candidates for Rochester council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked to provide video responses regarding what they believe the city needs to prioritize when considering bike and pedestrian infrastructure for city streets.
Candidates for Rochester council seats on Nov. 8 ballot were asked to provide video responses related to what they see as a primary goal for the city of Rochester to achieve next year.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
What To Read Next
The Rochester Area Builders Home Show will host a job fair, youth skills competition, food events and local businesses.
Fall 2022 dean's lists and graduates.
While a new COVID-19 variant continues to become the most common variant in the state, Olmsted County hasn't seen a measurable increase in COVID cases during January.
The administration is bringing back an Obama-era decision, later reversed by Trump, that bans new mineral leases on 225,500 acres of the Superior National Forest for the next two decades.