There is one candidate running for mayor and two candidates running for two City Council seats in the city of Le Center.
The mayoral candidate is Josh Fredrickson. The council candidates are Collin Scott and Christian Harmeyer. The Le Sueur County News asked the candidates where they stand on some important local topics and issues, and their responses are recorded here. Christian Harmeyer did not respond to the questionnaire by the deadline for this article.
Why are you running?
Josh Fredrickson (mayoral candidate): Having been an elected official for the past 12 years I have been privileged to represent our residents and their needs. While a long consideration was given towards my retirement from public office, I decided with the amount of unknown circumstances we have been forced to deal with as Americans in 2020 it was my duty to remain in a position to assist the council in guiding the city and its residents through these unprecedented times.
Collin Scott (council candidate): I am running for the simple fact that I feel it is every citizen’s responsibility to provide some sort of civic duty to attempt to improve their community.
What do you consider to be the biggest issue facing the city and how would you address it in office?
Fredrickson: The largest issue facing the city currently is maintaining the level of service the residents have become accustomed to receiving from its local officials, city staff, and its departments. The city currently is well behind the norm from a technological standpoint, it is my goal to work with the council to create a responsible plan to address these short comings by upgrading the cities technological infrastructure.
Scott: The biggest issue facing our city today is the lack of sustainable business growth. All towns including ours need new business and support for the already established ones. Business growth is one of the major key factors to the growth and livelihood of a city.
What long-term goals would you like to see accomplished in the city in the next 5-10 years? What is the path to make that happen?
Fredrickson: In the realm of the economic development, the city must continue to broaden its footprint and look to acquire and develop additional industry/commercial land available for potential future business developments. The current Industrial Park is essentially filled and the EDA along with the council need to set an expansion plan with clear goals in mind for future development.
Scott: I would like to see the city grow at a responsible rate both business wise and the family housing sector. The path to this happening is the city reaching out to more businesses and to entice them to take a look at being a part of the city of Le Center. With the business growth, you will not only attract more families to the commmiuyt but older citizens will be more inclined to stay.
What does the city need to do better to promote future growth?
Fredrickson: In addition to the statement already made in this request, a strong focus on utilizing our partners within our different organizations such as the chamber of commerce, Region 9, League of MN Cities, and Le Sueur County EDA to assist with advertising why someone or some company should choose a city such as Le Center to assist with growth and future development of our community. Focusing on the businesses and industry in place as valuable references and examples will prove critical to future opportunities.
Scott: The city needs to sell itself more to outsiders who don’t know or realize the gem of a community that Le Center is.
What do you see as the top infrastructure needs in the city and what should be done to solve them?
Fredrickson: For the past 20 years, the city has taken an aggressive approach to addressing infrastructure upgrades. In 2021, we will see the completion of our north side reconstruction project, which will complete that 20-year progress that was initiated by previous mayors and councils. With that said, there are still some critical needs that will require attention particularly in the Rolling Hills Residential division in town where we have seen some issues arise due to abnormal amounts of water flow into the city’s wastewater system. City staff are working with our engineering firm to develop some both short term and long-term solutions. In addition, continued pressure on the state of Minnesota is required to attempt to speed up the Hwy, 99 repair schedule. The current schedule by Minnesota Department of Transportation of potential 2029 is unacceptable as the current conditions will not support that long of timespan to get anything completed.
Scott: The top infrastructure need that seems to be a priority would be the fixing of Hwy. 99 that runs through our community. Unfortunately, in order to get this accomplished, it will take the cooperation of the state and city working together. As of right now, the state has other priorities and it is not something that I think the city can take on by itself.