City Council president candidates square off in forum - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

City Council president candidates square off in forum

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The four Rochester City Council president candidates took to the Rochester Senior Center Friday afternoon. They made an effort to convince voters why they should be the one to fill the open seat.

The set-up for the forum did not allow for any direct confrontation between the candidates, but there was still plenty of opportunity for all four to lay out their case for the job.

It is less than two weeks before the voters of Rochester decide the next city council president, and the race is on. While there was a chance to hear from the candidates Thursday, a forum on Friday brought all four people back to the public eye.

"I've served as interim city council president for the last eight-plus months," said candidate Randy Staver. "A role that I certainly have come to respect even more so now having held the role and the complexity that it involves."

Each candidate was given equal opportunity to speak, and one man went to attack mode right away.

"One of these candidates stated in a news release that he knows he cannot run a business, hold office and raise a young family," said Jan Throndson. "I think you need to take that into consideration. It is a full-time job to be able to do that, so you have to have the time and effort to serve the citizens."

Many questions were asked of the candidates, and a good number of the responses suggest many city issues could be inter-connected.

"I sum up government like this. Government is like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle," said Jim Thompson. "With all the experience that I've had working with all the roles of government over the past 30 years, I believe I have the knowledge and ability to fit all the pieces together."

Even the recent issues regarding IBM and Destination Medical Center were used as talking points.

"Half of all those jobs that are being proposed," said Michael Wojcik. "By Mayo's own numbers, they are actually jobs that the average income for those jobs are less than the average income for households in the community."

Everyone at the Rochester Senior Center listened intently as each candidate offered their case for the coveted city council president seat.

The election for Rochester City Council president takes place on March 19, so it is crunch time for all the candidates vying for that city council spot.

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