In one of their last chances to speak about issues in front of a crowd before the Nov. 8 election, the four candidates for two City Council seats took part in a League of Women Voters forum on Thursday night.
, , and were asked a wide range of questions, from where they stand on a potential plastic bag ban (all four said they would at least be willing to look into it) to what they would tell someone thinking of moving to St. Louis Park.
The issue of a controversial freight rail reroute was—not surprisingly—raised again, and all four candidates reiterated their opposition to the proposal.
The candidates did get a chance to show differing views when they were asked what their top three priorities would be if elected.
Johnston-Madison said "sound economic development," working to protect the local environment and enhance neighborhood parks, and the freight rail and light rail issue.
Spano said working with and supporting St. Louis Park schools, economic development, and figuring out the freight rail and light rail issue in a "productive" fashion.
Hallfin said "smart" redevelopment of existing business districts, looking at the bike crossings at Beltline and Wooddale avenues with light rail slated to come by, and moving forward with a that has been long delayed.
Kaufman said the freight reroute and light rail issue, economic development, and renewing a commitment to "responsible budgeting."
The candidates were also asked about any specific construction projects or developments that they would like to see started.
Hallfin said figuring out the future of the is key. He also said he is a proponent of a local civic or community center.
Kaufman said he didn't think the timing for a community center is right financially, but he did say he might support one down the road. Kaufman said his short-term focus would be on helping smaller, neighborhood businesses grow.
Johnston-Madison also cited the Nestle plant, and added that development along the proposed light rail line will be very important.
Spano concurred with Johnston-Madison on the issue of development along the light rail line. He also voiced support for a community center, pointing to the for-sale as a possible site.
To watch the full forum, check out the video above, courtesy of ParkTV. The St. Louis Park City Council election is Nov. 8. Kaufman and Hallfin are vying for the council's "at-large A" seat, while Spano and Johnston-Madison are running for "at-large B." Click the Participate 2011 link below for the latest local election coverage.