Robbinsdale Ward I City Council Candidates Meet in Forum
Robbinsdale residents will elect a new city council representative for Ward 1 in a special election on February 14th. This council member will complete the remainder of the term for Tyler Kline. Kline resigned in September after driving intoxicated and the wrong way on Highway 100 and damaging a police squad car.
The League of Women Voters hosted a forum on Wednesday night at Robbinsdale City Hall for Ward 1 candidates Raymond Blackledge and Regan Murphy in which they answered questions from residents.
Some of the topics discussed included the ongoing plan to bring light rail to Robbinsdale, building a new community center, rising water bills and the city budget. Robbinsdale, spends 55 percent of its budget on public safety and Blackledge questioned if some of that money could be reallocated and put to better use.
“That’s an astronomical amount to pay for safety,” said Backledge. “There has been a shift and a push to make sure people feel connected to our police department and I would like to see how can we continue to think about shifting the usage of our police and that portion of the funds in a more useful way.”
Both candidates agreed on the need for a community center in Robbinsdale, possibly at Sanborn Park. Murphy, who grew up in Robbinsdale, wasn’t sure Sanborn would be the right location but said he’s “100 percent” in favor of building a new community center.
“Across the board from our youth to retired folks and in-between it’s something we need. Our organizations often have to meet outside Robbinsdale which is unacceptable in my eyes,” Murphy said.
Early voting is underway for the Ward 1 seat and residents can also vote on election day at City Hall. You can learn more about the Special Election here.
You can watch the entire forum here.