Editor's Note: Each day this week, St. Louis Park Patch will profile one of the five people competing for two seats on the City Council this year. Absentee voting in the 2011 city election begins Friday. A primary for one seat is Aug. 9, with the general election for both seats Nov. 8.
Steve Hallfin said his reason for running for City Council is pretty simple.
“The main thing I’m trying to get across to people is that I’m a St. Louis Park guy,” the candidate for the “at-large A” seat said. “I’m truly running because I want the best for the city of St. Louis Park.”
Hallfin has already been involved in the city on a number of levels over the years. He previously served as president of both the local Little League and the Browndale Neighborhood Association. Hallfin is also currently on the city parks and recreation commission, a position he’s held for seven years.
Getting elected to City Council, however, wasn’t in the cards for Hallfin the last time he ran. That was eight years ago, and Hallfin was beat by Phil Finkelstein, who will be at the end of the year.
Hallfin said Finkelstein was a great candidate—and has been a great councilman—but he said he didn’t do himself any favors, either.
“I figured I’d stick a couple signs in the ground, shake a few hands and win an election,” Hallfin said. “It didn’t work that way. I certainly learned a lot.”
This time around, Hallfin—who is up against Justin Kaufman for Paul Omodt's soon-to-be open seat—said he wants to have a more organized approach. He’s already started putting together mailings—something he didn’t do at all in 2003—and added that he plans on doing a lot more door knocking as well.
“I really want to touch as many people as I can,” Hallfin said.
Hallfin said there are a few main issues he wants to address with voters. He said the freight rail issue is obviously a key topic. The candidate said he likely would have voted with the majority earlier this month when the council passed a resolution that , but Hallfin acknowledged that he would want to research the issue a lot more, too.
“I’m really just kind of in study mode,” he said.
Another key issue, Hallfin said, is making sure seniors are able to afford to live in the city. He said St. Louis Park is an aging community with a sizable senior population, but said he worries these people sometimes get lost in the policy shuffle.
“I don’t want to see seniors taxed out of their houses,” Hallfin said.
Hallfin, who works at Allianz Insurance as a salesman, said he is an avid golfer who also enjoys coaching his son’s baseball team—though those days will coming to an end as his son is almost 16, meaning he will be jumping to a new league with new coaches. That doesn’t mean Hallfin won’t continue supporting local sports, as well as the St. Louis Park community as a whole.
“Our household bleeds orange and black,” he said.