Would Northfield benefit from having some women on the City Council?

Peggy Prowe, LaNelle Olsen, Elaine Thurston

250px-Testosterone_structureI took this photo of former Northfield City Councilors (L to R) Peggy Prowe, LaNelle Olsen, and Elaine Thurston at Saturday’s ‘To China and Back’ event. Click to enlarge.

I asked them if they thought that a preponderance of testosterone might be a contributing factor to the recent meltdown at City Hall.

I can’t quote their exact response but it sounded something like, “Duh!”

I asked LaNelle if she’d consider running for Mayor. For her reaction, click the thumbnail to enlarge, if you dare.

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16 thoughts on “Would Northfield benefit from having some women on the City Council?”

  1. Some gender balancing would probably be good; though I don’t recall if any women ran in the last election, which might, in and of itself, indicate a superior intelligence or, at least, a craftier survival instinct.

  2. Brendon- Quite possibly it is just common sense on their part. Those of us men who have been married many years recognize how our wives wait for us to bluster past, then pick up the pieces and restore order. In my opinion, if there were some women on the council, I don’t think we would have seen all the consternation we saw in 2007. They are much better at maintaining relationships and resolving conflicts than we men, especially if they are like my wife. I think there is a reason that women are called “mothers”.

    One of the problems, I think, is that politics is viewed as a man’s world. I think we need the womans’ touch in that area. We don’t need for them to act like a man, but we need for them to be a stong, secure (not dominating) woman. When we men can begin to esteem the women for who they really are and allow them to come along side us, rather than dominating them, we will be on a road to greater success as a society and a nation.

  3. Other women who served on the City Council since I’ve lived here include Marjorie Cox and Nancy Gruchow.

    Were there others?

    Brendon, I do remember that Clarice Grabau ran for Ward 3 back in 2004. Both she and Arnie Nelson were write-in candidates but I can’t remember what precipitated that.

  4. In 2004, Clarice Grabau ran as a write-in candidate in the 3rd Ward because CC Linstroth filed to run for re-election, then withdrew leaving Ward 3 with no official candidates. And I ran against Lee Lansing for mayor.

  5. Yeah, I knew about you running for mayor, Betsey. I was referring to the most recent council (only) elections. Has Northfield ever had a female mayor?

    It would be interesting to know what the ratio of male candidates to female candidates has been over the past (insert suitable number, say 50) years for councilor and mayor, and then the ratio of men elected to women elected over that same time period.

    Would the two ratios be approximately equal (not statistically different)? And, if so, what has been the trend over that time period? Approaching parity or retreating from it? Or inconclusively fluctuating? Would the numbers be too small to draw any real conclusions?

  6. The most recent city elections were all-male, ’tis true.

    When I was running in 2004, I was told there had not (yet) been a female mayor and my sense is that very few women have run for city offices.

    We have been well served by women on the Rice County Commission (Molly Woehrlin, Heather Robins, Jessica Peterson); the School Board has 4 women (a majority) and many women have been influential members of appointed boards and commissions.

    So, how do we get women to run for Council?

  7. It used to be that the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, youth sports and other organizations were the places where people learned about leadership and process and built the networks and self confidence needed to get elected. (The downside was that those in power often chose who would be ‘allowed’ to run.)
    There also used to be a minimum level of civility involved in holding public office.
    It seems we aren’t building the next generation of leaders. And given the demands of serving and the harrassment heaped on elected officials — without any of the fame, money or perks found in higher office — it’s easy to see why people aren’t volunteering.
    Who are people who might be our next candidates and what can we do to encourage the best women — and men — to run?

  8. I have to think about what I want in a mayor. I look to Bill Clinton as being one of the most successful politicians in my lifetime. He was a man who cared about people. He made it a point to know names and names of sons and daughters, moms and dads. He made it a point to work a compromise so that everyone would win something. He genuinely wants to uplift the world. I have it on the utmost authority.

    I also like to see someone who believes inthe strength of the American citizen who works hard and gains his or her own self respect for adding positive units to the society.

    I wonder what Northfield woman is like that, and willing to take office.

  9. Brendon Etter writes:

    It would be interesting to know what the ratio of male candidates to female candidates has been over the past (insert suitable number, say 50) years for councilor and mayor, and then the ratio of men elected to women elected over that same time period.
    Would the two ratios be approximately equal (not statistically different)? And, if so, what has been the trend over that time period? Approaching parity or retreating from it? Or inconclusively fluctuating? Would the numbers be too small to draw any real conclusions?

    The numbers for Mayor would be pretty small, but still likely instructive (especially if extremely skewed as suggested). Another relevant statistic would be the number of each gender who ran for councilor/mayor during the same timeperiod. If anyone can dig up the data, I’ll analyze it!

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