ALBERT LEA, Min- With only a week left before the election, Albert Lea mayoral candidates George Marin and current Mayor Vern Rasmussen participated in a forum Monday hosted by the chamber and KIMT News 3’s Raquel Hellman.
“Anytime you have a race where both people are very passionate about the issues there is a difference in feelings,” said Mayor Rasmussen.
“I think a lot of it is just local politics,” said Marin.
They laid out their platforms for why those in Albert Lea should vote for them. Rasmussen said the number one issues Albert Lea faces is growth in all aspects; jobs, community, etc. And he has a plan for how to grow the town if re-elected.
“To move our community forward we're going to have to look at incentive programs to help our community grow,” he said. “The biggest thing is how we make our community attractive so people want to move to our community.”
Marin doesn’t disagree and knows the city needs to grow, but said rural healthcare and losing services from Mayo clinic are the biggest issue.
“We are going to look at addressing that and what we can do to bring in a second option,” said Marin “We’ve lost options with the full-service acute hospital leaving so we are going to have to work to bring those back.”
Being a part of Mayo Clinic while the cuts were made, Mayor Rasmussen apologized for not being able to speak about the issues more publicly.
“I was unable to speak about it then and I’m sorry for that,” he said. “I had to look at what was in the best interest of my family.”
As it comes to the final days to rally voter’s support, both want to make sure people know where they stand on the city issues.
“We’re going to focus on addressing the most urgent needs at the right time,” said Marin.
“Together we can make that happen, so in November I’m asking if you would support me so we can keep this ship floating.”
The chamber will be hosting two more forums Tuesday night for County Commissioner and School Board.
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