Golden Valley Mayoral Candidates Speak at Forum
With this year’s elections about a month away, candidates for Golden Valley mayor laid out their platforms at a Sept. 28 League of Women Voters’ forum.
Candidates Roslyn Harmon and Gillian Rosenquist are competing for the mayor’s seat.
Both candidates attended the forum, fielding questions on a variety of topics ranging from property taxes to public safety.
Current Golden Valley Mayor Shep Harris did not file for re-election.
Rosenquist is a member of the Golden Valley City Council, while Harmon sits on the Golden Valley Police Employment, Accountability & Community Engagement Commission.
Candidates for Golden Valley Mayor Discuss Top Three Priorities
Both candidates addressed their top three priorities for the next four years if elected mayor.
Harmon said she would prioritize public safety in the police and fire departments, as well as affordable housing initiatives.
“We need to really mend this community divide so we can have a vibrant city, so we can work together on behalf of Golden Valley and be the heart that the city truly deserves,” Harmon said.
Meanwhile, Rosenquist said she would focus on rebuilding the city’s police department to full staffing, ensuring “fiscal moderation” and providing basic services like infrastructure replacement.
“Doing the municipal facilities, doing our infrastructure work, providing those really important core services,” Rosenquist said. “Making sure we don’t pass the buck on a future generation.”
Golden Valley’s Property Taxes
Harmon said the city needs to be more transparent and look for community involvement early in the budgeting process.
“As I said, four years, 30 percent tax levy, that’s insane, because if we want to keep our seniors in their homes, there are some people — hey, that can afford it — but there’s other people who are having a difficult time,” Harmon said. “And then when we talk about young folks that want to move into our city, we want to make sure that they can afford it.”
Rosenquist characterized the city’s budget as a value statement. As a result, the city needs to fund new initiatives that support the city’s values, she said.
“Last year I was the lone vote against the 11.2 [percent] levy increase, because it was double about what our comparable population cities had last year and I’m glad to say we are in the right direction and the proposed levy increase this year is 6.5 [percent],” Rosenquist said.
Public Safety in Golden Valley
Rosenquist said Golden Valley is working with a new prosecution team that is “going to be working a lot in restorative and diversionary tactics.”
“We’re really proud that we have a full-time social worker as part of our public safety team,” Rosenquist added. “I think that’s really important to help our folks respond to what we know are increasing mental health and other kinds of issues.”
Harmon said she is confident in the abilities of the police leadership team.
“We have a Neighborhood Watch which needs to turn to a neighborhood welcome,” she said. “And so we have 800 block of leaders and I want to make sure that they’re trained in restorative practices.”
Candidates for the Golden Valley City Council also participated in the forum. The full video is available here.