LETTER: Thank you, Gina Bauman

To the Editor:

On Dec. 12, the New Brighton City Council voted to stay in office one extra year without seeking the approval of the voters. Council member Gina Bauman stood alone in opposing this action.

You read that right. The New Brighton mayor and city council members voted to skip the 2019 election and to switch to even-year election cycles in 2020, thus giving themselves an extra year in office.

They cited cost savings, but this should be a question for the voters. Do we want to spend the money to have odd-year elections where mayoral and council candidates are front and center in the minds of the voters? Or do we want even-year elections where municipal races are overshadowed by state and federal races? Let’s face it. In 2020, the minds of most voters won’t be on mayoral and council candidates.

Further, who should decide whether some sitting members of the council get an extra year in office – the council or the voters?

Only one council member, Gina Bauman, thought this was a decision that the voters of New Brighton should make. Unfortunately, Gina lost her last election and the citizens of New Brighton lost their lone voice on the city council. I wish to extend my gratitude to Gina for her service on the New Brighton City Council and for always remembering that she was there as a representative of the citizens of New Brighton. Thank you, Gina!

Garth Scholten, New Brighton

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