9-27 CCN Letters to the Editor

Business owner favors Johnson for mayor

To the editor:

As a Watertown business person, I want a mayor who will promote and support businesses, not stifle or set up road blocks for present and/or prospective Watertown businesses.

In 1999, Mayor Norm Bauer and the city planner at that time came to my Chanhassen business, Hooked on Classics. They said that they were promoting businesses to come to Watertown. Mayor Bauer said to me that everything would be set up — zoning, etc. — if I moved my business to Watertown. So, I did move my business to Watertown without any problems.

Things have changed since that time. I have the largest commercial building in Watertown, but I’m not able to lease out two-thirds of the building because of the present city zoning restrictions. I was told that because this part of the building has been empty, it could only be zoned as storage.

New businesses in my building would mean more jobs for some of our Watertown-Mayer graduates. Because of the present Watertown zoning restrictions, most of our Watertown-Mayer graduates have to go elsewhere to obtain employment instead of settling in Watertown and raising a family here.

City council experience can be good for the community, or it can be bad. I want a mayor who will be giving to the community; not taking advantage of being on the City Council to benefit his or her situation.
I am endorsing Charlote Johnson for Watertown’s next mayor, as she is a “giver” and is not running for mayor for what she will receive. She is a retired educator with great leadership experience. I have talked with her and she is all for increasing Watertown business and supporting the present businesses. After looking at her qualifications and talking with her, I encourage Watertown citizens to vote for her.

Daryl Kirt
Owner, Hooked On Classics


Candidates should participate in debate

To the editor:

Recently, four Republican candidates for Carver County Commissioner published an open letter to indicate their intention not to appear at the League of Women Voters (LWV) candidate forum on Oct. 2.

In their letter, the candidates indicated their decision was the result of their determination that the League was a “leftist” organization and that questions asked in previous candidate forums presumed “an agreement with your world view”.  They also state that they “have no faith that the League of Women Voters of Carver County are going to accept that point of view or ask questions that will allow us to talk about those values”.

The good news is we don’t have to take their assertions as fact.  We can go to the tape.  The 2010 LWV candidate forum is available on-line for viewing at the Chaska Community Television Web site (www.vimeo.com/chaskatv).  Here are the six questions posed of Carver County Commissioner candidates in 2010:

1.) Considering the decrease in aid from the State, what are your priorities for Carver County?
2.) Carver has been a rural county. How do we maintain the rural/urban balance?
3.) The Carver County Community Development Agency (CDA) is responsible for community and economic development in the County. Please assess the CDA’s record and suggest ways that it could change its operations.
4.) Do you feel that the decision to underwrite $10.8 million in bonds for the Oak Grove City Center project in Norwood-Young America was the correct one given the current economic conditions and the significant opposition of residents?
5.) Are you in favor of keeping the Public Health, Land, and Water Services Department in Chaska or moving them outside of Chaska and why?
6.) The 2011 County budget includes a 1.5% pay raise for county employees. How do you justify this given the current economic environment?

There’s nothing “leftist” about these questions.  In fact, two of these questions directly challenge spending decisions made by the County Board, and all of them allow candidates to expound generally of their philosophy of government.

Tom Workman, Frank Long, Vince Beaudette, and Jim Walter don’t have a leg to stand on here.  Their short-sighted decision may very well rob Carver County voters of their only opportunity to see their Commissioner candidates side-by-side answering the same questions. That decision speaks poorly of their readiness for the office they seek.

Public officials need to demonstrate that they can effectively communicate with everyone in the community.  When you’re a County Commissioner, you can’t pick up the ball and go home when faced with someone you disagree with.  You have to work with them and try to find the best solution.  I hope the four candidates will reconsider their decision and allow voters the chance to see them in a fair and open-to-the-public forum before Election Day.

Sean Olsen