Duluth Mayoral Debate: Economy

Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 8:11 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - During Tuesday’s debate incumbent Mayor Emily Larson and challenger Roger Reinert were asked the following questions on the economy.

Recently, DECC leaders announced they were having financial difficulties and requested a $1 million line of credit from the city. About a week later, they announced several layoffs.

How concerned are you about what’s happening at the DECC and what do you feel the city’s role is in supporting the facility?

Mayor Emily Larson and Candidate Roger Reinert voiced their concerns about the DECC and what the city's role should be in supporting the facility.

In the most recent census data, Duluth grew by about 400 people over the past decade. That’s 0.5% growth. That compares to a 14% growth in Rochester, 5% in St. Cloud, and 17% in Moorhead.

Why are we growing at a much slower rate and what needs to be done to change that?

Mayor Emily Larson and Candidate Roger Reinert debate Duluth's slow growth.

Viewer-submitted question from Cindy P., a lifelong West Duluth resident. She says, “I am very concerned about the neglect of our West Duluth Business District and West Duluth as a whole. West Duluth deserves to get the same revitalization efforts that have been afforded to the Lincoln Park District and Downtown area.” She also pointed to the empty Kmart building and the loss of community park buildings.

As Mayor, what plans do you have to help West Duluth finally get the attention it deserves?

Mayor Emily Larson and Candidate Roger Reinert discuss their policy positions on West Duluth and its economy.

In the mayor’s most recent budget proposal, American Rescue Plan money was used to avoid cuts to several departments and keep property taxes down. That money won’t always be there to help.

How can we continue to keep the budget fiscally responsible without raising property taxes in the years to come?

Mayor Emily Larson and Candidate Roger Reinert discuss their economic views and how to avoid tax increases.

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