David Ludescher - 2012 Northfield City Council Candidate (At Large)

David Ludescher

David Ludescher (dludescher@northfieldlaw.org) is a candidate for Northfield City Council, At Large. David's responses to questions prepared by Northfield Citizens Online in cooperation with the League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls are presented below:

Candidate information

I am running for the At-Large Council position. I am a local downtown attorney and business owner. I have been in Northfield 23 years in the same house on the east side. I am married to Nancy, a parish nurse at St. Dominic Church in Northfield. We have 4 adult children, all of whom went through all 12 years in the Northfield public school system. I grew up on a dairy farm in Farmington Minnesota; I am the fourth of seven children.

Since coming to Northfield, I have not only practiced law the entire 23 years but have also been actively involved in many different service organizations and activities, and have served in leadership capacities in many of these organizations, including: past trustee St. Dominic Church, past City Council member, past president of Northfield Arts Guild, Northfield AREA Chamber of Commerce, Northfield Lions, and the Rice County Bar Association.

Questions

1. Comment on the impact of reduced state aid to the city and tell what measures the city should take to respond to the reduction:

It appears that state aid is going away. The city will have to budget without the aid.

2. What are your economic development priorities for the city?

I would like to reduce the regulations and disincentives for economic development. I think the Comprehensive Plan and the Land Development Code should be revisited so they are more friendly for development. I would also consult with the Chamber to get its ideas, rather than thinking that I have the answers.

3. What are the physical and facility needs of the city? How do you propose to meet them?

I don't think anyone, including this City Council, knows what the physical needs are. I am not in favor the current police station, which in my opinion is over-built and far too expensive.

4. If elected, what regular methods will you use to get input from those you represent?

I don't have lots of ideas. I would intend to hold informal meetings early in the morning, and later in the day for people to provide input. I would also set up a "council of advisers" who would be willing to serve for free to give me advice. I would consider people with varied opinions.

5. Comment on the long-term relationship of the city and the Public Library, the Northfield Hospital and the Northfield Community Resource Center:

I don't understand this question, but I will attempt an answer. The City has a great library, but until the economy revives itself the library will have to live within its current spaces. (I would consider an expansion to the north if the library could raise the funds for construction.) The hospital is a complicated issue. The hospital seems to have done very well without Council interference. I am not in favor of "blackmailing" the hospital into giving money to support the City's operating budget, like the Council recently did with the parks "donation." I do not know the exact relationship that the City has with the NCRC. There are some wonderful organizations housed in that building. I think citizens are getting a lot of "bang for the buck" with these organizations. I would favor City support for these organizations before I would commit funds to developing additional City facilities and operating expenses.

6. Comment on the value to the work of the council of the city’s many advisory groups:

I think this Council has misused its advisory groups. The EDA is in shambles, the Council tried to force the HRA to build the Safety Center, and the Planning Commission has not done well with planning for businesses.

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