Since I filed to become a Brooklyn Center City Council candidate, I’ve made some great connections with people in our community. The outpouring of support has been humbling yet has served as confirmation that I am on the right track. I never pictured myself getting into politics in any fashion (other than doing my civic duty of voting) but I really care about my city and know we can do better than we have.
On some of the Brooklyn Center Facebook groups, I’ve received some great questions. I realize not everybody is a member of each and every one of them, so I thought I’d post some of them here along with my answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
At which Brooklyn Center restaurant did you have your most recent meal out and what did you tip?
My wife and I try to keep Rose Garden in business. ???? We always tip generously (more than 20%).
Do you find most people to be good or evil?
Being a follower of Jesus, I believe what the Bible says about the human condition: we are all born sinners and therefore, we sin. There is nobody who can call themselves good compared to God’s standard.
Despite that, I think most would profess to be “good” people. That is, they don’t murder people or steal things or cheat on their taxes, etc. They might even donate to charity or volunteer on a regular basis. From that perspective, I think there are a lot of “good” people in the world but I think even the best of the best by our standards are working against their natural bent toward sin when they do those things.
Do you feel city ordinances should be applied equally to the entire community or are you justified to pick and choose who they apply to?
The law should be applied equitably to everyone under its jurisdiction without regard to how I feel or the circumstances. If we show favoritism to some and discriminate against others with how we apply the law, that is not true justice.
What are the top three issues facing our city and how do you plan to address them if you are elected?
1) Crime. If you tuned in to the City Council meeting last night, you learned that crime is trending upward. People should be able to feel safe in their homes and in the streets.
2) Police Department understaffing. Even if everything develops as intended with the Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety Act, there will still be a need for licensed Peace Officers to help enforce the law.
3) Divided leadership. The Council, City Manager, and city staff often seem to be at odds with each other. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” A new Mayor and The Council need to understand the fundamentals of the Council-Manager form of government and work together toward the best interests of the community.
I think 1 and 2 are somewhat connected. If I am elected, I will work via our City Manager to ensure Chief McDaniel and the Brooklyn Center Police Department have the resources they need in order to have a fully staffed police department. A fully staffed police department is necessary to be proactive in the fight against crime. I would continue to support the efforts of making lateral hires to ensure we have qualified and experienced officers on our streets. A fully staffed police department also allows for community engagement which is key to crime prevention. In my words and actions, I will work to dispel the notion that we are for abolishing the police and that we need them and support them even if the public safety model is being changed with expanded responses to 911 calls in our city. I will also work to ensure Chief McDaniel is able to give input to these committees.
As far as the divided leadership issue, I do understand the Council-Manager form of government. In my words and actions, I will do my best to trust our City Manager and city staff and the information and recommendations they bring to the Council. They are selected based on their experience and qualifications and I think Dr. Edwards and his staff are invaluable resources to help ensure a happy, healthy, and safe community.
Unfortunately, if you are looking to government to fix all these issues, your hope is misplaced. Government can certainly help and support solutions but it will take many individuals partnering together based on common values and goals to truly address these problems.
When you filed to run for office, did you pay the fee or get the required signatures? Why did you choose the route you took?
I paid the fee and it appears all the other candidates did as well. I considered the other route and think it’s a neat way to make money not an obstacle to running for public office as well as giving an opportunity for candidates to meet their constituents. I have been planning my candidacy for months and somewhat arbitrarily chose to pay the fee figuring I would have plenty of opportunities to meet and interact with constituents no matter which option I chose. As I understand it, I was the first one to file my Affidavit of Candidacy which I also planned.