Rochester City Council, Olmsted Co. Commissioner candidate forums take place
(ABC 6 News) – As we inch closer to election day, the League of Women Voters Rochester is still holding candidate forums to inform the public of who is on the ballot this November and for area residents to get their questions answered by those candidates.
There were two forums held Wednesday night at the Rochester Public Library auditorium. The first was for Rochester City Council Ward 1 position with incumbent Patrick Keane and Andy Hemenway.
Topics asked of the candidates included affordable housing in the Med City, how to get the BIPOC community more involved in board, commissions and among staff, as well as the lack of affordable childcare in Rochester. The candidates were asked if elected, how would the Rochester City Council help with this issue.
“This is a struggle every day in my household. My wife does in-home daycare and she gets multiple calls a day of people that want to be in the Rochester area that are coming here but they can’t find childcare,” Hemenway said.
Both candidates agreed that this is an issue here in Rochester.
“People trying to move here and saying they can’t move because they can’t get places for their kids. So, clearly, it impacts our community that way and it’s just a quality of life thing but it’s also an economic impact that our businesses can’t grow the way they want because they can’t get the employees they need,” Keane said.
The other forum held was for Olmsted County Commissioner District 3 between incumbent Gregg Wright and Karl Johnson.
The two took questions on the future of Olmsted County including how to improve voter confidence and how to make the county the best it can be.
“I do have ideas for improvement. There’s always room for improvement. Our county can provide some daycare issues that are current needs, we can protect our housing and those are the things that I would work on as County Commissioner,” Johnson said.
“Olmsted County is actually a star among the states and other counties recognize that. And I would also ask the state to listen more carefully to Olmsted’s suggestions about how they can reorganize the Department of Human Services,” Wright added.
The election is on Nov. 8th. Early voting is underway right now in Minnesota.