The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Election 2012

October 25, 2012

Mankato councilwoman challenged by write-in candidate

(Continued)

MANKATO —

“I made a commitment back in the early summer that this was what I wanted to do,” she said. “I will be getting literature out and talking to people before the election.”

Both candidates have a lot of ground to cover; Ward 2 is the city’s largest. It covers North End neighborhoods as well as most of hilltop Mankato north of Madison Avenue.

Ask the candidates why they’re running and you’ll get some very different answers.

Rovney said she’s running to continue what she views as the city’s progress in recent years.

“There’s a lot going on, a huge amount of things happening with the city,” she said.

Rovney said the city has strengthened its business partnerships with the downtown business community through the City Center Partnership. For the past several years, the city has given $25,000 to the partnership, though Rovney said the group is heading toward self-sufficiency.

Rovney also cited the city effort to enlist the help of local businesses in maintaining flower planters.

She also called the community policing model headed by Public Safety Director Todd Miller a “complete asset to our communities.”

Having police officers assigned to neighborhoods makes people more comfortable because they get used to seeing the same faces, she said.

Rovney also said the council has kept the levy down despite losing more than $3 million in state aid.

“We’re just bare bones,” she said.

Still, she has occasionally opposed cuts to quality of life services, such as a reduction in tree planting.

“I know there has to be a balance. They’re just amenities people have come to expect. It’s very easy for people to say we should just cut it, but you’d lose a lot in your city,” she said.

Dieken said he’s running to improve communication between the ward and its councilor.

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Election 2012