Public forum features candidates for Austin City Council positions

Austin City Council and legislative candidates weighed in on local issues during a community forum on Wednesday.

Posted: Oct 24, 2018 3:28 PM
Updated: Oct 24, 2018 6:52 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. - With less than two weeks to Election Day, it's becoming increasingly important to know who is on your ballot and what they stand for. That’s why dozens of people spent their lunch hour Wednesday at the Eagles Club in Austin listening to candidates for Minnesota legislative districts and Austin City Council in a public forum.
Jeff Austin is running against Susan Fell Johnson for the at-large city council position.
They answered questions from the audience including why taxes are so high, how to address the current housing shortage and how to make the town more attractive to buyers and fix up dilapidated buildings.
“I think we need to work with the community to come up with some granting opportunities and outside funding opportunities and offer people incentives to fix up their existing homes,” says Fell Johnson.
“We've set aside $200,000 in the budget for next year for housing initiatives. I think we've been really proactive in this area with the rental housing. That's the first step we've taken because that's the low hanging fruit. We can go after those, recognize those properties and get those properties cleaned up and start there,” says Austin.

Austin currently serves as city councilman in the first ward. The two people hoping to take his vacated seat are Rebecca Waller and Jeff Arneson.
They answered the question, “When it comes to spending tax dollars, is it better to hire employees at the lowest possible wage or to attract quality employees with competitive wages and benefits?”
“The best way to use our tax dollars is to hire quality people and have those people stay in their position versus hiring low-quality people at the minimum rate we can do. Otherwise what we are doing is spending valuable resources on training people and then continuously training,” says Waller.
“I am a firm believer that we need to have in this state and this city a minimum wage of $15 per hour, a working wage. That is the key to keeping people here,” says Arneson.

In ward 2, Jason Baskin is running unopposed. Joyce Poshusta and Brian Heimer are going head to head in ward 3.
Also present at the forum, candidate for Minnesota State Representative District 27B, Jeanne Poppe. Her opponent, Christine Green did not participate. Candidates for Minnesota State Representative District 27A, Peggy Bennett and Terry Gjersvik also participated.
To hear from these candidates and more make sure to watch our Eye on Politics segment, Sunday nights at 10:00.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 139444

Reported Deaths: 2440
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34988995
Ramsey14471364
Dakota10132138
Anoka9160153
Washington623372
Stearns608248
Scott354934
Olmsted335930
St. Louis314271
Wright265315
Clay246443
Nobles231918
Blue Earth20857
Carver18677
Kandiyohi17835
Sherburne176322
Rice168310
Mower153918
Winona129619
Chisago11142
Crow Wing108322
Benton10099
Lyon10076
Waseca9419
Beltrami9278
Otter Tail9217
Todd8726
Morrison8029
Steele7873
Polk7864
Itasca77117
Nicollet75618
Douglas7344
Freeborn7004
Le Sueur6516
Goodhue63311
Martin61918
McLeod6154
Becker6044
Isanti5835
Watonwan5814
Pine5630
Carlton4832
Chippewa4693
Mille Lacs43216
Hubbard4233
Cass4055
Dodge4050
Wabasha4050
Pipestone36117
Rock3555
Meeker3483
Brown3353
Roseau3000
Redwood29411
Yellow Medicine2946
Murray2913
Cottonwood2900
Fillmore2650
Renville26313
Sibley2623
Wadena2573
Faribault2440
Kanabec23010
Houston2201
Jackson2191
Swift2122
Pennington2091
Unassigned19553
Lincoln1910
Aitkin1882
Stevens1861
Koochiching1765
Pope1650
Big Stone1531
Lac qui Parle1453
Wilkin1424
Marshall1371
Lake1290
Clearwater1281
Mahnomen1282
Norman1280
Grant1024
Red Lake822
Traverse580
Kittson500
Lake of the Woods451
Cook180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119931

Reported Deaths: 1677
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19440289
Woodbury735998
Johnson596531
Black Hawk5862102
Linn5823132
Dubuque538358
Scott474442
Story408218
Dallas352547
Pottawattamie333245
Sioux249817
Buena Vista227912
Marshall209036
Webster192315
Plymouth170331
Wapello157362
Clinton151627
Muscatine151258
Des Moines147310
Cerro Gordo146127
Crawford137014
Warren12947
Carroll118913
Jasper115034
Henry10955
Marion104811
Tama98637
Lee98311
Delaware81713
Dickinson7769
Wright7481
Boone7369
Mahaska72824
Bremer7029
Harrison68415
Washington67711
Jackson6623
Benton6222
Lyon5598
Clay5474
Louisa53415
Winnebago50619
Winneshiek4969
Cedar4947
Hardin4887
Kossuth4850
Hamilton4794
Buchanan4755
Poweshiek47211
Jones4704
Clayton4613
Floyd45211
Emmet44620
Iowa4299
Page4190
Guthrie41315
Mills4133
Cass4123
Cherokee4112
Sac4074
Butler3963
Franklin39318
Shelby3932
Fayette3924
Allamakee3879
Madison3713
Chickasaw3691
Clarke3573
Humboldt3503
Hancock3394
Grundy3326
Palo Alto3262
Calhoun3234
Osceola2930
Mitchell2881
Howard2819
Monroe26411
Union2635
Taylor2522
Jefferson2471
Monona2472
Pocahontas2382
Appanoose2343
Fremont2121
Lucas2106
Ida2082
Adair1911
Greene1890
Montgomery1877
Davis1854
Van Buren1842
Keokuk1711
Decatur1600
Audubon1561
Worth1460
Wayne1343
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