Safety is a priority for candidates

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 26, 2002

The 1st Ward Austin City Council race continues to attract attention.

The challenger, Vaughn "Spud" Bothun, has campaigned as a "law and order" candidate and provided colorful -- some say controversial -- remarks at the candidates forums.

The incumbent, Mickey Jorgenson, takes the "high road," avoiding any accusations of "mud-slinging."

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Jorgenson reserves her opinions for debating issues at council meetings.

Here are the candidates profiles in their own words:

Vaughn Bothun

Prior elective office experience: None.

Profession: Retired businessman.

Why are you seeking this office?

I am seeking this office to make a difference in the lives of the average citizen of Austin, Minnesota.

What is the top priority?

My top priority would be to support public safety in Austin with funding for the Police Department and Fire Department so that law and order can be restored to our city.

Final comments:

If I am elected to office, I will work hard to make every citizen's voice heard in city government and not just special interest that has prevailed over the years. You can assure yourself that my baggage contains no corporate influence.

Mickey Jorgenson

Prior elective office experience: I have served on the Austin City Council for the past four years.

Profes-sion: Former teacher

Why are you seeking this office?

I have truly enjoyed the past four years. The issues are complex, the learning curve is steep, but at the end of every day, I feel I have made a positive difference.

What is the top priority?

Once again, I emphasize the quality of life in Austin. And this is perhaps the most complex issue of all, as it is many things to many people. It is about public safety and maintaining and improving our community for all citizens. We will be faced with difficult decisions in the future, due to the state deficit. But we can continue to move forward.

How would you fix that problem?

I believe we are moving in the right direction regarding public safety. Our capital improvement plan has many projects that affect all areas of our community, and I believe it offers some flexibility as we see what the future holds. Getting to work on the Cook Farm is a big plus in the area of economic development.

What are your thoughts on public service?

It's very good for the soul! Everyone should try it!

Final comments:

I believe I have been responsible in my decision-making, responsive to my fellow citizens, and perhaps most importantly, open-minded. In today's world, that's essential.

Lee Bonorden can be reached at 434-2232 or by e-mail at