Mayoral Speed Candi-Dating at The Grand today

Mayoral Speed Candi-Dating Mayoral Speed Candi-Dating

I drove by the Grand this morning and noticed the marquee. And then I noticed the poster on the wall at the entrance to the GBM. And then when I checked my email, I got this from Union of Youth (NUY) Exec. Director Josh Hinnencamp:

Hey Griff, I just wanted to make sure you know about the mayoral speed candi-dating event at the Grand from 2:00-4:30pm today (Sunday).

See Josh’s Youth Platform blog post on the Union of Youth blog as well as his post about today’s event on


  1. Josh Hinnenkamp said:

    Hey everyone. It would be great if people showed up to this. This is a potential voter’s (and even non-voter’s) chance to talk to the mayoral candidates and ask tough questions. It is not focused on any type of issue or set of issues, but is focused on whatever you bring to the table. So come and ask the candidates about your “key issue(s).” Many YOUTH and adults worked hard to make this happen and this would be a great way to show your support for area youth.

    August 10, 2008
  2. Ross Currier said:

    The Youth have developed a very thoughtful platform for the Mayoral primary and election.

    Maybe the No-Longer-Quite-So-Youthful can learn a thing or two from the Youth’s approach on this matter.

    August 10, 2008
  3. We missed this by ten minutes, and I hope they go another round. One time, last minute call isn’t enough to catch all those who wish to attend! and that goes for all the meetings of importance.

    August 10, 2008
  4. Gabriel Rholl said:

    I agree that the youth platform is a good idea. I especially agree with the plank advocating increased youth transportation capabilities. This is an issue that I sincerely hope is up and coming as a big issue, and I give a lot of credit to Andy Alt for blowing the whistle on the problem we have: Northfield Transit is not supplying services conductive to increased ridership. We MUST move towards increased stops, hours, and a dedicated regional link to the metro area if we want a bus/transit service we can be proud of, and quite frankly, one that is worth our money.

    August 10, 2008
  5. Mary Rossing said:

    Many thanks to Josh, Amy and all the amazing folks from the Union on Youth for organizing this event. I know they had hoped for more people, but I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the ability to engage everyone in the conversation that the smaller groups allowed. I learned a great deal from all the youth there and, as always, was impressed with their active engagement in their community. We are so lucky to have to have such a unique youth facility in the Key, if woefully under sized for their needs. And transportation? That’s a topic that all of us will have to tackle together!

    August 11, 2008
  6. Eduardo Wolle said:

    This was a well planned event. I was impressed and pleased by the exchanges that went on between the participants and the candidates. Thank you Key for leading the way into the discussions that need to take place regarding the present and future of Northfield.

    August 12, 2008
  7. Josh Hinnenkamp said:

    Thanks again to Lansing, Wolle, Schlichting, Hvistendahl, and Rossing for participating in this event. I must say it was a great chance to get a better feel for your positions on certain issues. You all seems like great people and have put a lot of thought into your campaigns!! Another thanks to all the youth that showed up to the event. I think we had over a dozen youth there. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun!!

    Here is the critique: ADULTS – WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU? I know Sundays can be leisurely days full of napping on the hammock and taking a stroll in the park. I know some of you had things going on. But I know many of you didn’t. We all like to piss and moan about this and that, especially now that the election process is under way. Quit the moaning and educate yourself on who would be best as mayor. Why not come and meet the candidates and ask them your questions and issues in person? Much more personable than a debate (though they have their place) and a much better way to get a good feel for the candidates. I think a lot of people blew their chance on taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity.

    There is salvation, though. A second chance. Redemption. THIS SUNDAY the 17th at 3:00PM the KEY will be hosting a “meet n’ greet” open house mayoral shindig with snacks, beverages, and the following candidates: Dave Hvistendahl, Mary Rossing, Eduardo Wolle, and (probably) Jon Dennison. We will do it up again on the 24th (3:00pm) with Paul Hager, Lee Lansing, and James Schlichting. Just show up and listen to the candidates talk for 5-10 minutes and then the candidates are done you can go and talk to them. Do you care about the environment, highway sprawl, future projects, the liquor store, energy sustainability, city taxes, youth issues, etc.? Well show up and ask them about your issues.

    August 12, 2008
  8. Andy Alt said:

    Thanks, Gabriel. And Ms. Rossing, your statement “And transportation? That’s a topic that all of us will have to tackle together!” caused my left eyebrow to raise. Isn’t working on topics together a good method for tackling most — if not all — topics? 🙂 I’ve sent you a few documents in the mail, perhaps we can discuss it at length soon. I’m sure you’d like to hear from more people about transit before making any final decisions on it, hence your broad statement, a statement which I happen to agree with.

    Josh, as for not many people showing up for the candi-dating, I wouldn’t take that to mean people don’t care. I understand your feelings about it, but I also understand my own feelings as to why I’m not always anxious to hear candidates talk about issues. What is the rate that people we elect follow-through. I don’t mean to imply lying, honestly, but things come up. People thought President Bush was a moderate for instance. And I doubt many could have anticipated how Mayor Lansing’s administration fared.

    August 12, 2008
  9. Mary Rossing said:

    Andy, you are so correct. One of the things that was on the youth platform was transportation, but what I wanted to hear from them was what specifically they could/would use and when. Too often I think that what we offer is not what people will use and then we wonder why it is underutilized. That’s why this issue is so crucial to ensure that users are engaged in the conversation. I don’t know what the answers are, but other people do.

    My big issue is sharing of resources so that we can afford to offer more. If the youth would use a shuttle M-F at 3:30 to downtown–to the Y or to the Key, or to the library, that would be a great thing to know. If there are Malt-O-Meal folks that would ride on a route at 7am and again at 3, this could be implemented, and so on. And as gas prices continue to rise this will become even more attractive for more people.

    One interesting discussion that the city is looking in to is providing a twice daily shuttle from the transit hub (behind Walgreens) up to the Burnsville or other transit station in the southern Metro that would connect to bus and light rail. Personally I might use this as an alternative to driving to the airport.

    Beyond that there is more to transportation than transit. Bicycle lanes, paths, safe walking routes are all so important, as are providing efficient routes for the trucks that service our businesses and industries. That is why I stated that this will be an important issue for us to work on together. I’m glad it raised an eyebrow.

    August 12, 2008
  10. This is just the type of issue that I think could be discussed at LoGroNo. So, I’ll start it off and see if it can fly.

    Now, this is just one little instance of me, and I really didn’t mind it then, but I would now, because I am on full time oxygen, but totally mobile.

    Two years ago, one of our vehicles was down and I wanted to do my yearly beauty shop trip that is one mile away from my home. It’s a highway mile, so not one I would walk. I called for the city bus and it came right when we arranged. Then, I called to let them know I was ready and they had advanced notice of that. Well, we waited about fifteen minutes and then, we had to go over to the high school, so it ended up taking me about forty five minutes to go a mile back home. I even mentioned it to the driver before he took that fatal turn. Being on oxygen, I can’t take a chance on that kind of service, so I no longer take the bus, although I would take it downtown every week or so during the week if I felt more confident.

    As far as carpooling goes, we would have liked that very much at one time,
    but because of my respiratory problems, we avoid enclosed places like cars during flu season, because if my husband gets the flu, and I then do, it might be the end for me. People have lived with the idea that people must be exposed to others illnesses in a commercial world, but it does limit much that would otherwise be done by more than just me. Full families miss out on work and school and lower productivity because one person will go ahead and expose others to their illness instead of opting out for traveling alone in their vehicle that week, or staying home. And I think there is something that can be done about that, as much as people say there isn’t.
    And yes, we get our flu shots, but that’s no guarantee.

    As for the meeting on Aug. 17, I am unclear as to where it is. The Grand or the Key? These are details that must be made plain for dumb folks like me.
    I don’t think hosting necessarily means at the host’s place, but hosting is like setting it up and greeting and sponsoring.

    Andy, we look at candidates to see if we think they are of the people or of the pocket, for instance. We never know what might come up in the way of disasters, odd circumstances, foreign invaders or what have you. Eye to eye is one of the best ways to size up a politician. Does he look you in the eye? Does s/he talk like someone and act like someone who is functional and really cares about his or her constituency? Do his views match yours?
    Has he or she voted that way in the past? To me, being nice or cute doesn’t make the candidate the one for me. Otherwise, I’d elect that one person, oh, oh, oh never mind! 🙂 jUst kiDDiNg. It sounds silly, but I cannot tell you how many women have said, oh, he’s so cute, that hair and smile, etc, etc.
    It’s pathetic. I urge those people who don’t know the candidate not to vote. Really. It’s not doing democracy any favors to be that superficial.

    August 12, 2008
  11. Josh Hinnenkamp said:

    The 17th and 24th events will be at The Key. Probably the back deck if it is nice. Once again – I do understand that things come up, but 10 adults? That’s simply no excuse. I thank those that did attend and reiterate that if we want to educate ourselves on the candidates, then research them and ask questions. You can’t ask questions if you don’t show up. If you don’t want to ask in person, show up and write down a question and we will ask the question to the candidates present. See you all on the 17th and 24th.

    August 12, 2008
  12. Josh Hinnenkamp said:

    In response to Andy Alt (comment #8), if you are not anxious to hear the candidates talk about the issues, how do you decide who to vote for? Is there some magical process you use that I don’t know about? The forum we used was not used for canned responses but was completely on the fly. Do you know how much guts it took for the candidates to show up and put themselves in the vulnerable position not knowing what issues or questions would get brought up. People could have shown up and asked ANYTHING! We should respect them for that and do our part as voters by educating ourselves as much as possible before we vote. And yet people here on locally grown and other blogs complain and moan and DON’T BOTHER SHOWING UP? If you want to be part of the process do more than just write a complaint (NOT directed at Andy Alt) about the state of city politics. And yes when people don’t show up I will take it that people don’t care. How do you show caring then?

    August 12, 2008
  13. Andy Alt said:

    Mary, I liked your reply; it caused both eyebrows to raise at once, thereby curing my headache. In addition to the documents I’ve already mailed you and several others people, I’m going to write something up regarding the monetary concerns and regarding other alternatives to regular routes, similar to the ones you’ve mentioned. I included my telephone number with my correspondence and I hope you’ll be able to schedule a 15-minute face-to-face meeting with me to discuss public motorized transportation. It’s not that I’m against the other methods of transit you mentioned, but there are already some good people working on that.

    I’m also interested in transit to the Apple Valley or Burnsville Transit Center.

    Additionally, though I haven’t pointed it out in my correspondence, I wouldn’t want to see curb-side service in Northfield eliminated in place of more routes. I don’t need the curb-side service but I’m fully aware that others do.

    If you’re unable to find the time for a face-to-face, I’d be satisified with a phone conversation. Thanks, Mary.

    August 12, 2008
  14. Griff Wigley said:

    Josh, I’m curious about the choice of Sundays at 3 pm for all your candidate events. That seems to me to be a tough timeslot to get a decent turnout.

    Also, did Jon Dennison and Paul Hager not participate on Sunday?

    August 13, 2008
  15. Betsey Buckheit said:

    Getting people to attend events can be difficult for any group. I guess Sunday is a good day for me, since I was one of the few adults who attended – it was great. Since so many didn’t come, we had the chance to sit and converse with candidates, rather than the usual chance to ask one question and get a quick answer with no follow-up.

    I went and dragged (not really, she was quite willing) my daughter along. She rated candidates partly by the content of their answers, partly by whether they listened and asked questions rather than talked and also by whether they talked directly to her when she asked a question or whether they responded to me instead.

    August 13, 2008
  16. Josh Hinnenkamp said:

    The reason for the Sunday choice was that we figured Thursdays would be other debates and events. Sundays we thought would be laid back and have less going on. Maybe we were wrong. And as I said, I know people have tings going on. People are busy. We just hope that people take advantage of these wonderful opportunities.

    August 14, 2008
  17. The Northfield News says thisSunday’s session at the Key is 1 p.m., the poster on the Key says 3-4:30 p.m. Which is it and why the discrepancy? Thanks.

    August 14, 2008
  18. OK, I heard that the Sunday candidate session at the Key will be 3 p.m. And thanks to the Key and Norm & Co. for providing opportunities like this for the candidates.

    August 14, 2008

Leave a Reply