First Ward: Susan Howitz HannaInteresting...
Northeast Minneapolis has done the city a good turn in sending Paul Ostrow to City Hall since 1997. He's been a leader on matters at the core of city governance -- budgeting, public safety, land use and more. His retirement leaves a void on the council.
DFL endorsee Kevin Reich and neighborhood activist Susan Howitz Hanna have the credentials and commitment to represent the ward capably. But Hanna would bring to the job greater political independence, a clearer perspective on the needs of both the ward and the city, and more evident persuasive skill.
Hanna, 50, is an account manager for Qwest Communications who grew up and raised a family in the First Ward, and has a long record of civic involvement. She's sensitive to the pleas of businesses for less city red tape, of senior citizens for property tax relief and of families for safe, walkable neighborhoods. She exhibits the pragmatic maturity needed to balance those interests.
Reich, 42, is a master of governmental processes and intricacies as project director for the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association. He would approach City Council service as a tactician, with a large problem-solving toolkit at the ready. But his focus on the details could cloud his view of how best to use those tools.
Also running in the First Ward are restaurant manager Tom Alessi; writer/advertiser Mark Fox, and Moose on Monroe bar owner Larry Ranallo. Alessi, 43, who has Republican endorsement, wants to reduce taxes. Fox, 43, has interesting ideas for employing volunteers in service to the city. Ranallo, 47, is a small-business booster. Each of them offers a worthy perspective and should stay engaged in civic life.
Rumor on the street is that Reich missed the Startribune screening, after missing 2 Stonewall DFL screenings and and AFSCME screening.
Hmmm, it's not cool for a candidate to skip these important screenings, especially after one has been endorsed by the DFL.