Ten white men are running for four available seats on the Aberdeen City Council. In what I would like to take as a sign of the need for Aberdeen to welcome newcomers, at least seven of the candidates were born elsewhere and moved to Aberdeen later. Aberdeen, like America, is a choice that should be open to everyone.
All ten candidates spoke yesterday at the candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Chamber of Commerce. I got video of all portions of the forum except for some of the responses on housing and crime (on the shopping list: more batteries or a camera with direct AC input!).
First, opening speeches from northwest district candidates DCI agent Dave Lunzman, Twin City Fan plant manager Josh Jones, and Aberdeen film festival organizer and pigeon control specialist Tom Black:
Opening statements from southeast district candidates for a three-year term field service technician Tim Prater and incumbent Dennis “Mike” Olson:
Openers from northeast district candidates banker Luke Bunke, motorcycle customizer James Washnok, and entertainer and incumbent councilman Mark Remily:
And the last prepared remarks from southeast district five-year term candidates HVAC tech Kaleb Weis and state inspector and incumbent Clint Rux:
All ten candidates address the question of whether the city should invest in a big events center:
A question about the city’s role in promoting affordable housing brought the following responses. My video got all but Lunzman and the first half of Olson’s response:
A question submitted by the audience asked the candidates to explain why population had only gone up 10% but crime had doubled and lay out what they will do to stop all that crime. My video got Lunzman, Jones, Black, Prater, and Olson; watch for Tom Black to come to the dais at 4:15 and explain, armed with stats, that the question is flawed:
I’ll prepare commentary on the candidates’ responses separately. I’ve also contacted all candidates except for Mike Olson to arrange one-on-one interviews for the Dakota Free Press podcast. But for now, view, share, and discuss!