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Primary election preview: Two Harbors City Council At Large

Two Harbors City Council At Large candidates Zach Anderson, Jackie Rennwald and Joel Schultz will face off for the seat being vacated by Jerry Norberg in the primary election Aug. 14 to determine who will advance to the general election in November.

The News-Chronicle sat down with the three candidates for a question-and-answer session this week.

At Large candidate: Zach Anderson

Zach AndersonDid a specific issue or project motivate you to run for the council?

The way the city has been spending money and the things they have been spending money on, and the fact that I've talked to quite a few people already, and people feel like their voice isn't being heard by the council.

The one issue that I heard from one block is (about) the block and alley that they are working on. A lot of them said they did not want the paved alley and it was pushed through the council, even though a majority of them said they did not want it paved.

What do you think about the performance of the current council?

I believe the (current council) is doing an OK job. Another thing I've heard is that a lot of people believe that there are too many business-motivated people. They run businesses and that's all they concentrate on and they need to concentrate on the whole picture. They seem to be putting business interests above those of the people.

What current or upcoming city projects should be a priority for the council?

No. 1, I believe that getting the roads and sidewalks done in a timely manner should be a priority. The other part would be figuring out what we need to do to make the waterfront more vibrant. We need to bring back some history, whether we put up some monuments to explain the past or remodel some "Whiskey Row" huts with a plaque that explain the old days down in Two Harbors.

(Note: "Whiskey Row" was a 19th century settlement in Two Harbors that was also home to 22 saloons and brothels.)

More about Anderson

Age 30

Occupation: Food and beverage manager at Lakeview National Golf Course

Hometown: Two Harbors

Education: Two Harbors High School Class of 2007

Family: Tim Anderson (father), Chris Anderson (mother), Logan Anderson (brother), Skylar Remmie (girlfriend). Zach and his girlfriend also have a baby on the way, due in January.

At Large candidate: Joel Schultz

Joel SchultzDid a specific issue or project motivate you to run for the council?

There wasn't a specific issue. I worked in the inner city of Milwaukee, Wis., for five years and I'm passionate about the community. Our community is behind on some things like infrastructure and my experience and passion for wanting to help contribute is the reason I'm running.

The capital improvement plan is a great momentum starter for improving the infrastructure, so I get excited about continuing that momentum.

What do you think about the performance of the current council?

I spoke with the city administrator, who gets to kind of direct what happens around the city, and he said, and I agree with him, that the current City Council has been aggressive in putting pressure on the city and city administrator to get things done. I'm actually quite happy with the current City Council and would want to continue that positive momentum that we do have. I believe that I have experience that can add to their experience.

What current or upcoming city projects should be a priority for the council?

The priority should be the capital improvement plan of roads, alleys and sidewalks. That improves the town and provides community buy-in. When the community is taken care of, when you move families into a block that is rundown, and you bring in change and a house gets painted and a yard gets mowed, it starts change. It creates motivation and excitement for the town that there is some positive energy here.

Continuing to advance infrastructure, improve the waterfront and empower the community for change are the three biggest areas for opportunity in our town.

More about Schultz

Age 30

Occupation: Senior business development manager at PureDriven

Hometown: Rogers, Minn.

Years as a Two Harbors resident: 3.5

Education: Some college

Family: Chelsea Schultz (wife), children: Zayden (5), Lenora (3), Everett (6 months)

At Large candidate: Jackie Rennwald

Jackie RennwaldDid a specific issue or project motivate you to run for the council?

No. I've been planning to do this for two years and have been attending City Council meetings fairly regularly. I knew that this particular seat was going to be open and two years ago and I've been working toward that goal.

What do you think about the performance of the current council?

I think they work well together and they seem to have the best intentions for Two Harbors and I want to see what other fresh thinking I can bring to the table to continue that path.

What current or upcoming city projects should be a priority for the council?

We should continue with the CIP (capital improvement plan). I know it's a fluid document or agreement, but we need to continue the good work that's already started. Our waste treatment facility is also part of our infrastructure and the foundation of our town and that needs to be retrofitted and updated.

We also need to keep businesses happening, not only downtown but also up on Seventh Avenue. There are a lot of vacant buildings up there and we need to make this a more business — small and even large businesses up in the industrial park — friendly community.

More about Rennwald

Age 48

Occupation: Community volunteer, Two Harbors Area Food Shelf board co-chairperson, substitute teacher

Hometown: Mankato, Minn.

Years as a Two Harbors resident: 16

Education: Degree in English and a teaching certificate from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.

Family: Chuck (husband), son: Henry (14)

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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