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Making the extra effort to connect with Main Street voters

Tom Corbett, candidate for Stillwater City Council, explains why and how candidates visit condos and other multi-unit residences

Last Saturday afternoon, I spent a few hours visiting the condos on Main Street and doing campaign literature drops there and meeting residents.  I did not do any door-knocking, as I thought that was not appropriate.  The people I met in the hallways of the condos were friendly and encouraging. 

One resident of the Lofts of Stillwater asked me in to his condo to talk about the campaign, Main Street issues and about maintenance of the dirt road between the Lofts of Stillwater and the marina.  Had I not made a point to visit the condos in person, I would have missed out on that conversation. 

I've been having conversations like that across the ward since I first filed as a candidate.  I have been very intentional about reaching out to people in the ward, regardless of whether they live in single-family homes, apartments, condos or assisted living.  Part of the reason why we have campaigns is for the candidates to better understand the concerns of the many people they would represent.  Regardless of how this campaign turns out, I wouldn't change anything about how I have run, nor would I trade any of the great conservations that I've had with voters along the way. 

One resident of Terra Springs understandably asked me, “How did you get in here?”  I answered that I had made an appointment with the property management company to access the building.  There’s a state law (Minnesota Statute 211B.20) that permits candidates to, on appointment, access multi-unit residences to door-knock and to do literature drops.  It’s an important law.  Without it, owners of multi-unit residences would be able to decide which candidates would have access to voters at their properties.

About 10% of voters in Stillwater’s Ward 2 live on Main Street.  I believe that it’s important for candidates representing Main Street to make an extra effort to reach out to these city residents directly, not just through Facebook or local media.  The impacts of City Council decisions with respect to downtown construction, community celebrations and river issues are often felt most directly by these folks.  I am respectfully asking for their votes to represent them and Stillwater’s Ward 2.

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Susan November 02, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Hi Tom, I am curious, how would you have voted in regards to a couple issues: Would you vote to give any more money to the St Croix Coalition? What do you think of the latest vote/decision to wait for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the levy work downtown? How do you see better enforcing the noise ordinance? Currently our neighborhood is bombarded with amplified music in the summer; surprisingly this is not from the bars on, or very near Main Street. Our only recourse is to call the police, over and over. The city has told us that this is the only way to gauge if there is a problem. Some residents do not want to do this, as they think the police should only be called in an emergency. Other neighbors have simply given up as it doesn't seem to do any good. Can you see proposing some kind of written complaint system? What did you think of the city’s handling of the proposed stronger liquor ordinance? To be fair, I will also be posting this on Mr. Kozlowski’s latest blog post. Thank you for your time.
Tom Corbett November 03, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Susan, I won't vote to give more money to the Coalition for the St. Croix River Crossing. I agree with the City Council's decision to have the Army Corps of Engineers perform the levy project with an "escape clause" for the city to do the work itself if the Army Corps of Engineers does not start work by August. The only way to know whether the noise ordinance has in fact been violated is for neighbors to call the police and for the police to check it out. We traded emails in September regarding noise issues, including for library events. The library complies with the city's noise ordinance and also has its own noise policy that private parties using the patio must abide by. If you would like a copy of that policy or the contract that parties sign to book the patio, let me know. Rental fees from wedding receptions and other events go toward public (library) use and represent about 5% of the library's budget. Without those dollars, the library would likely need to cut its hours, materials, and offerings. The senseless violence we’ve seen recently after hours in downtown Stillwater is totally unacceptable. The city should first determine whether existing state statutes (e.g., dram shop acts) and the city’s current liquor ordinances are being enforced. The city should then be thorough and look at what ordinances other Minnesota cities have on the books and whether some of those approaches make sense here. Thank you for your thoughtful questions!
Susan November 03, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Hi Tom, thank you for answering my questions. Yes, we did email in September and I was going to follow up with a more lengthy email to both you and Mr Koslowski, but I ran out of time. To keep things simple here online, I felt it appropriate to ask you both the same questions which are important to me and my neighborhood, and as you know, the noise is a big issue around here. When most of us moved in, we had a very quiet neighborhood, with almost no amplified music other than during Lumberjack Days. Now, with the massive expansion of the library, and their funding needs, we have a nightclub scene there almost every weekend during the summer. We have to listen to an outdoor, amplified band every Sunday at the Legion, and we often have amplified music floating down from Pioneer Park. The town leaders (excluding Micky) have thrown us under the bus and ignored our pleas for some peace and quiet. We want to make sure that we have someone still fighting for us at city hall. I guess what bothers us most about the library and The Legion is that they may be abiding by the ordinances in regards to time and/or permit, by why is the sound level never tested or questioned?
Susan November 03, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Yes, the library is very good about ending the outdoor amplified music by 10pm, but the level can get out of control from both places, and the patrons coming and going from the library, and/or the smokers outside, can get very loud. In my opinion, the noise ordinance should be about more than the time that the music is supposed to end. Again, thank you for taking the time here, as I know you must be very busy with the election so close. It is my understanding that Shawn has a set of questions he will be publishing, and I look forward to reading more.
Randy Marsh November 04, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Tom, same question I have asked of your opponent: Can you please indicate whether you have any or to what extend you have a pre-existing relationship with Mayor Harycki? Thanks.
Tom Corbett November 04, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Randy, I have no pre-existing relationship with the mayor.

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