Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement

Two Bemidji council seats, mayoral seat on primary ballot

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/all/themes/bemidjipioneer_theme/images/social_default_image.png
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Two Bemidji council seats, mayoral seat on primary ballot
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Three Bemidji City Council races are included on Tuesday's Primary Election Ballot.

Five candidates are running for mayor, three candidates are running for Ward 2 and three candidates are running for the at-large mayoral position.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Each race will be whittled to two final candidates for the Nov. 2 General Election.

All candidates took part forums hosted Thursday night by the Citizens for an Informed Electorate. For full coverage of the forums, go online to bemidjipioneer.com.

Mayor

Bemidji is guaranteed to have a new mayor in 2011 as current Mayor Richard Lehmann is not seeking re-election. Instead, Lehmann is running as a Republic candidate for the state House 4A seat not held by Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji.

Five men are seeking the mayoral seat. Candidates include current Ward 3 Councilor Ron Johnson and residents Dave Lalone, Dave Larson, Laverne "Pedie" Pederson, and Adam Steele.

E Ron Johnson, a lifelong Bemidji resident, is now in his third term as the Ward 3 representative on the Bemidji City Council.

Johnson, who currently represents Bemidji on several local, regional and statewide committees, has said he wants to continue working on the major issues facing the city, including south shore redevelopment, parks and trails, downtown development, the Quality neighborhood Initiative, economic development, operation of the Bemidji Regional Event Center, airport expansion and growing the city's tax base through annexation.

E Dave Lalone, who has lived in Bemidji for 30 years, has said he is interested in improving the community for its residents by improving pedestrian and bicycling areas, addressing too-fast traffic and improving green space.

He has said he is running for mayor because the position has gotten too political in recent years.

E Dave Larson has lived in Bemidji for 3.5 years and is an architect with EAPC. He serves on several city commissions, including the Downtown Development Authority and South Shore Design Review Committee.

As a small-business owner, he said he has experience with budgets and personnel issues, and has negotiated solutions to find ways to overcome obstacles.

E Laverne "Pedie" Pederson, who moved to Bemidji in 1981, has pledged to listen to constituents in order to make the best decisions possible.

Pederson, who has cerebral palsy, had said he is inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt, who could not walk because of polio. He said that was inspiring because Roosevelt never gave and kept going.

E Adam Steele has said his goal is to do less than any other recent Bemidji mayor, referencing his desire to not tear down historic buildings (such as the old Bemidji High School), not for annexation on Bemidji and Northern township residents, not regulate dog and cat ownership and not accept per diem compensation.

He also supports the Local Government Aid cuts that have been made in recent years.

Ward 2

E Incumbent Roger Hellquist is seeking his third term as the Ward 2 representative. Hellquist, who has lived in his ward for 22 years and in Bemidji since 1977, has said he is seeking another term because there is a lot of unfinished business left to accomplish, including consideration and possible action on annexation, the Bemidji Regional Airport Authority (of which is he is a representative) and solutions to budgetary issues.

E Reed Olson, who moved back to Bemidji six years ago, is a co-owner for the Wild Hare Bistro and has said he is aware of the challenges facing the city.

As a small-business owner, he said he is used to working with tight budgets and knows how to make sure each dollar is spent wisely. He also serves on the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Commission.

As the youngest of the councilor candidates, he also said he has new and innovative ideas.

E Richard "Dick" Sathers has lived in Bemidji 37 years and has been a Ward 2 resident for 32 years. He retired seven months ago as the fire chief for the Bemidji Fire Department, a position through which he learned about the city's budget and the financial constraints.

He has said he will not cut public safety budgets and supports growth throughout town as well as economic development.

At-large council

Current Councilor At-Large Barb Meuers is not seeking re-election, so Bemidji will have a new at-large representative in 2011.

E Linda Lemmer, who was born and raised in Bemidji, has said she has decided to seek a position on the council to take a proactive role on issues rather than a reactive role.

She said she would always ask for citizen input on major issues and would not be afraid to change her mind if information is presented that would cause her to reconsider her previous position.

E Byron Rock, who has lived in Bemidji since 2004, said he is running for the council seat because he has a vision for the city's future. He said he wants to increase the tax base, increase green spaces, support business recruitment and retention and ensure that the Bemidji Regional Event Center does not become a burden on taxpayers.

E Jim Thompson, who has lived in the Bemidji area since 1937 (minus 13 years for professional training), said he loves Bemidji and its people. Thompson, a former member of the Northern Town Board, said he is in favor of annexation because it would expand the city's tax base and would like to extend sewer and water around Lake Bemidji.

Three Bemidji City Council races are included on Tuesday's Primary Election Ballot.

Five candidates are running for mayor, three candidates are running for Ward 2 and three candidates are running for the at-large mayoral position.

Each race will be whittled to two final candidates for the Nov. 2 General Election.

All candidates took part forums hosted Thursday night by the Citizens for an Informed Electorate. For full coverage of the forums, go online to bemidjipioneer.com.

Mayor

Bemidji is guaranteed to have a new mayor in 2011 as current Mayor Richard Lehmann is not seeking re-election. Instead, Lehmann is running as a Republic candidate for the state House 4A seat not held by Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji.

Five men are seeking the mayoral seat. Candidates include current Ward 3 Councilor Ron Johnson and residents Dave Lalone, Dave Larson, Laverne "Pedie" Pederson, and Adam Steele.

- Ron Johnson, a lifelong Bemidji resident, is now in his third term as the Ward 3 representative on the Bemidji City Council.

Johnson, who currently represents Bemidji on several local, regional and statewide committees, has said he wants to continue working on the major issues facing the city, including south shore redevelopment, parks and trails, downtown development, the Quality neighborhood Initiative, economic development, operation of the Bemidji Regional Event Center, airport expansion and growing the city's tax base through annexation.

- Dave Lalone, who has lived in Bemidji for 30 years, has said he is interested in improving the community for its residents by improving pedestrian and bicycling areas, addressing too-fast traffic and improving green space.

He has said he is running for mayor because the position has gotten too political in recent years.

- Dave Larson has lived in Bemidji for 3.5 years and is an architect with EAPC. He serves on several city commissions, including the Downtown Development Authority and South Shore Design Review Committee.

As a small-business owner, he said he has experience with budgets and personnel issues, and has negotiated solutions to find ways to overcome obstacles.

- Laverne "Pedie" Pederson, who moved to Bemidji in 1981, has pledged to listen to constituents in order to make the best decisions possible.

Pederson, who has cerebral palsy, had said he is inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt, who could not walk because of polio. He said that was inspiring because Roosevelt never gave and kept going.

- Adam Steele has said his goal is to do less than any other recent Bemidji mayor, referencing his desire to not tear down historic buildings (such as the old Bemidji High School), not for annexation on Bemidji and Northern township residents, not regulate dog and cat ownership and not accept per diem compensation.

He also supports the Local Government Aid cuts that have been made in recent years.

Ward 2

- Incumbent Roger Hellquist is seeking his third term as the Ward 2 representative. Hellquist, who has lived in his ward for 22 years and in Bemidji since 1977, has said he is seeking another term because there is a lot of unfinished business left to accomplish, including consideration and possible action on annexation, the Bemidji Regional Airport Authority (of which is he is a representative) and solutions to budgetary issues.

- Reed Olson, who moved back to Bemidji six years ago, is a co-owner for the Wild Hare Bistro and has said he is aware of the challenges facing the city.

As a small-business owner, he said he is used to working with tight budgets and knows how to make sure each dollar is spent wisely. He also serves on the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Commission.

As the youngest of the councilor candidates, he also said he has new and innovative ideas.

- Richard "Dick" Sathers has lived in Bemidji 37 years and has been a Ward 2 resident for 32 years. He retired seven months ago as the fire chief for the Bemidji Fire Department, a position through which he learned about the city's budget and the financial constraints.

He has said he will not cut public safety budgets and supports growth throughout town as well as economic development.

At-large council

Current Councilor At-Large Barb Meuers is not seeking re-election, so Bemidji will have a new at-large representative in 2011.

- Linda Lemmer, who was born and raised in Bemidji, has said she has decided to seek a position on the council to take a proactive role on issues rather than a reactive role.

She said she would always ask for citizen input on major issues and would not be afraid to change her mind if information is presented that would cause her to reconsider her previous position.

- Byron Rock, who has lived in Bemidji since 2004, said he is running for the council seat because he has a vision for the city's future. He said he wants to increase the tax base, increase green spaces, support business recruitment and retention and ensure that the Bemidji Regional Event Center does not become a burden on taxpayers.

- Jim Thompson, who has lived in the Bemidji area since 1937 (minus 13 years for professional training), said he loves Bemidji and its people. Thompson, a former member of the Northern Town Board, said he is in favor of annexation because it would expand the city's tax base and would like to extend sewer and water around Lake Bemidji.

Advertisement
Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337
Advertisement
Advertisement