Because an election forces voters to choose between candidates, I would like to say a few words about my opponent.

Mr. Mueller has been and continues to be an asset to the city of Crystal. He has given of himself over many years to make our community a better place. He deserves our thanks.

Mr. Mueller is not a “bad guy” and he does seem to have a very strong background in city planning. But the job of a City Council member is to represent the people of Crystal… not to plan their lives for them.

When a family has all of its worldly possessions stolen by an out-of-control law enforcement agency, I think their representatives should be first in line to advocate for them– not refusing to meet with them. When citizens come together to ask for a hearing on matters like street assessments or to request a change to animal ownership ordinances, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not rudely dismissed or ignored with aloof silence. Those who serve in government are not somehow above the citizens who elected them.

What the council needs is members who are concerned about the people of Crystal, not as statistical measures, or components on a zoning map, or as taxable values in a comprehensive budget, but as individuals who have chosen to be a part of the community we call Crystal. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota and worked for several years with the USDA and then worked as a realtor in this area for several years. So I’m certainly as capable as Mr. Mueller when it comes to reading reports, looking at maps, and understanding budgets. And while practical matters like lowering crime rates, properly placing commercial districts, and spending financial resources wisely are critical to having a healthy city, the important thing for residents is having their elected representatives truly engage them on the issues and concerns they hold dear.

Mr. Mueller said at the League of Women voters candidate forum that his campaign has a “single, underlying theme”… “neighborhoods”. My campaign has an underlying theme as well: listening to you.

Mr. Mueller makes a big deal of my being endorsed by the Green Party, saying he has not sought the endorsement of any party. And I guess if you can afford to pay for an election out of your own pocket, that must be a nice luxury to have. But I’m not wealthy. My family is much closer to the norm in Crystal than that and the money required to run even a limited campaign would have cost us dearly. So yes, I’m grateful to the financial supporters and Green Party volunteers who have helped me with campaigning. These selfless individuals have done this, not to push an agenda on the people of Crystal, but to help give those in Crystal a meaningful choice this November 6th. My presence in this race means that you don’t have to vote for some guy, when the council is already going to have a lot of guys on it starting in 2013.

Mr. Mueller implies that I will be guided by a partisan ideological bias, but everyone has a perspective and a set of beliefs they hold dear. Perhaps he thinks his lack of ideas represents some sort of impartiality on his part? I am honest and open about what my perspective is and what my ideas are. Sometimes we’ve disagreed, but I am actually listening to you so that if I’m elected I can do my best for everyone in Crystal. It is not my intent to plan your city for you based on my own biases and philosophies, but to work with you. I am listening.

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