Bloomington Candidate Recommendations Updated

We are recommending that you vote for the following candidates on or before Election Day (November 7).  They reflect our values, they have supported our candidates in the past, and we believe that they will best serve our communities.

Bloomington City Council

Bloomington School Board Candidate

We are distributing sample ballots for your consideration.  For additional information on these candidates, please check out their websites.


Mark Stoltz for Bloomington City Council At Large, Write In

Mark_Stoltz.jpgFor those who have followed the Bloomington City Council races, it is clear that the two candidates vying for the At Large seat are supported by different wings of the DFL party. 

If you want an alternative, an option does exist.  On the ballot, fill in the oval for the write-in candidate and write in the name “Mark Stoltz”.

Who is Mark Stoltz?  

Mark is a 25 year resident of Bloomington. He has owned his home in the Hyland Neighborhood for the past 21 years.  Mark's career has focused on Healthcare Information Technology and Medical Imaging software for the past 20 years.

Mark and his wife have raised two kids.  They have made use of all of Bloomington's services and amenities including sending their kids to Bloomington Public Schools...preschool through Jefferson High School.  Mark's family has been involved with figure skating at the Bloomington Ice Garden, Scouting, Swimming, and Jefferson High School Marching Band.

Back in 2003, Mark ran for city council.  Mark declared his candidacy when it became clear that the incumbent would otherwise run unopposed. Mark believes a healthy democracy involves participating in the election process by offering voters a choice between candidates.  While Mark did not win, he got to know the community and issues that Bloomington was facing then. He has followed the current campaign and wants to give voters for the At Large seat a more conservative alternative.

 

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SD49 Republican Recommended Candidates

 We are recommending that you vote for the following candidates on or before Election Day (November 7).  They reflect our values, they have supported our candidates in the past, and we believe that they will best serve our communities.

Bloomington City Council

Bloomington School Board Candidates

We will be sending out sample ballots soon for your consideration.  In the interim, please check out their websites and Facebook pages.

 


Opinion: Why I'll be Voting NO on Bloomington Referendum

Small_referendum-1.jpgThe personal opinions expressed here are not a formal position of Senate District 49 Republicans, but rather presented for consideration as you weigh your own decision on the referendum. Carol Brumwell was on her way to become a Math teacher when the computer-age captured her career path instead. Now retired, she volunteers for a literacy nonprofit as well as SD49. She’s owned a home in Bloomington more than 30 years.

Everyone wants great schools. Everyone in the city and state benefits when our schools are great and give kids an excellent start to informed lives and fulfilling careers.  Renew current funding? Sure, and I’m counting on the fact that such a renewal can be proposed in 2018, before the current authorized levy expires.  Maybe even increase by a percent or two to be sure teachers can focus attention on helping our kids learn.

But increasing the Bloomington per-pupil funding immediately by 25% ($465 increase, from $1472 to $1937), with yearly inflation raises on top of that, as this ballot’s version of the referendum proposes,  isn’t reasonable.  My research found that an increase of that size hasn’t been adequately justified, and I’ll be voting NO.

For me to vote “Yes”, the school administrators and school board must come back next year with a better, needs-tied, number.  They should also present a plan for how they’ll effectively deliver on core skills education as well as nice-to-haves.  And please, communicate both of these in an adult manner to adult tax-payers.

Here’s the information I found:

Besides the 25% increase, the referendum also includes an automatic yearly inflation adjustment.  That’s not mentioned in most literature but is listed on the school district’s referendum page. “If approved, the operating referendum authority would extend for 10 years and include an inflationary factor. Without the inflationary factor, the purchasing power of the referendum revenue would decline as inflation rises each year.”

 

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Bloomington School Board Candidate Forum Held

Beth-Beebe-Youtube.jpgSD49 Republicans are recommending that you vote for Beth Beebe for Bloomington School Board on or before November 7. Beth attended and spoke briefly at the Sept 26 dinner meeting.  Her concise 2-minute presentation may be viewed by clicking the image at left.

 

 

Remember that, in these non-partisan races, the SD49 GOP organization may "recommend" but has not "endorsed"  candidates. 

You may also watch a recording of the Oct. 3 Bloomington School Board forum, co-hosted by the League of Women Voters and Bloomington Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).  Not every candidate was asked every question, so comparisons of policy positions or differences among all 11 candidates may be embedded in responses across several questions.


Contrasts Clear in Bloomington LWV Forum

Candidates for the Bloomington City Council and for the Bloomington School Board met separately on October 3 in forums conducted by the League of Women Voters. 

In the forum for Bloomington City Council Candidates, many common positions and clear contrasts came out in the questioning.  Here is a quick summary of selected responses.  For the full discussion at the forum, CLICK HERE and look for the video of the City Council Candidates.  Note that not all city council candidates were asked the same questions, so some were able to skip by some of the subjects. 

Support for Bloomington as a “sanctuary” city

-       At large candidate Arulfo:  supports

-       At large candidate Coulter: supports

-       District III candidate Frost:  comply with the federal law, or change the law

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Vote for the Bloomington School Referendum

referendum-2.jpgRic Oliva is the Republican chair of Bloomington Precinct 23.  He is also the chair of the Bloomington School Board.  We asked him why he personally supports the Bloomington operating referendum that will be up for a vote this November.  He made clear that he is not allowed to advocate for or against ballot questions in an official capacity as School Board Chair and cannot speaking on behalf of the Bloomington School Board or Bloomington School District.  The following are his own opinions, representing the facts “to the best of my knowledge.

In November the Bloomington School Board will be asking voters to approve an operating referendum that would replace the current referendum and increase funding by approximately $465 per pupil per year for the next ten years. The state legislature caps the per pupil funding amount and length of operating referenda. If approved, the district would receive the maximum amount allowed for the next ten years, giving Bloomington Public Schools the greatest opportunity to maintain its excellent programming. In 2007 the voters approved what was then the maximum amount, and the District is asking for their support again.

An increase is necessary to bridge the gap between what we receive from the State in funding and our increase in expenses. The Bloomington Public School (BPS) District receives approximately 70% of its funding from the State.  While the state typically gives a 1-2% increase to the funding formula each year, that increase does not keep up with inflation. The state did increase their school funding formula to 2% this year, but this still resulted in only a 1.4% increase relative to the BPS District budget.

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Larry Frost for Bloomington City Council - Introduction

Larry Frost, candidate for Bloomington City Council, provided this brief introduction and summary key issues.

Larry and his wife built their dream house in Bloomington and moved in five days  before 911.  For the next two years, Larry was rarely home because he was stationed at Fort McCoy, responsible for ensuring that Reserve and Guard units mobilized for war were as ready for combat as humanly possible.

Larry retired from the Army in 2004 after 27 years in the Marines and Army. He served as an enlisted man and Non-Commissioned officer in in both services, and was commissioned in the Army. He served in the Infantry and Air Defense Artillery, but most of his career was spent as a military intelligence officer.

After retirement, Larry attended the University of St. Thomas Law school, graduating in 2009.   His earlier education included the army Command And General Staff College as a resident, something only about 5% of officers are allowed to do. His undergraduate degree is in Strategy.

Larry has served on the Minneapolis Civil Service Board;  the Bloomington Schools Curriculum committee (5 years, and one as chair). He currently serves as the Federal Legislative Liaison for the Military Officers Association of Minnesota. He volunteered for the Bloomington Human Rights Commission this year, but was not selected by the current City Council.  Larry’s law practice includes pro bono (free) representation of active duty, reserve and retired military in a variety of matters.

Larry has been married to Anita for almost twenty-three years. Both his boys attended Bloomington schools K-12;  his youngest son is a senior this year, his oldest boy is a junior in mechanical engineering at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul.

Campaign Issues :

Hyland Park:  I don’t have any position on whether the park remains a golf course or is used for some other park purpose, but I adamantly oppose selling any green space in Bloomington. It is not replaceable. Selling land for even a large price is short-sighted.

Minnesota River Paved Trail:  The idea of paving the Minnesota river bottom is just plain silly.  Doesn’t the Council know if floods, often 20’ deep, every year?  Asphalt paving will be washed away, and collected oil from use will soak into the river.

Rule of Law:  The City Council has put Bloomington at hazard by remarkably favoring some land users over others.   This can lead to lawsuits and expensive Federal penalties.   Our city government should treat everyone by the same rule of law.

Governance:   The Council needs to get its information from a much more robust system that doesn’t depend only on senior paid staff.  If I am elected, I will push immediately to have a formal representative from city workers attend Council meetings.  I value our professional city staff – but I value all of them, not just the highly paid senior staff. As a councilmember I want to hear from the rank and file workers, in a way that does not subject them to retaliation.

 


Beth Beebe for Bloomington School Board - Introduction

Beth_Portrait_002.jpegBeth Beebe, candidate for Bloomington School Board, provided this brief introduction and summary key issues.

Her campaign website is Beebeforschoolboard.com

My educational background experiences and perspective,  my investment in families and the community,  bring relevant expertise to the school board.

Married to John for 27 years

Bloomington resident for 17 years.

Have two grown sons who attended Bloomington Schools

Have 15 years of classroom teaching experience Preschool thru Jr. High

Parent Educator - Spoken to 50 +  Mother's of Preschoolers (MOPS) groups

Lived in Japan for 3 years as an English Teacher

Involved in the Bloomington Community as a Neighborhood Watch Block Captain, Election Judge, Premarital Counselor and Marriage Mentor with my husband, and working with At-Risk Children and Families.

Education - Bachelors in Social Work                                 Bethel University

                  Bachelors in Elementary Education                  San Jose State University         

PLATFORM

INCREASE MATH AND READING SCORES

  • Math and Reading scores remain around 54% of students at grade level, unchanged year after year. 
  • With emphasis on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) methods and curriculum need to be changed. 

INCREASE ENROLLMENT

  • Families are leaving Bloomington schools for other options  They state they are not satisfied with the curriculum, classroom discipline, and handling of bullying issues among other things.
  • Funding is tied to enrollment, the district needs more funding, therefore the district needs to attract families back to the district through innovative changes that address reasons families have left.

INCREASE EDUCATION OF CAREER OPTIONS

  • Host Job and Career Fairs with area employers  outlining requirements for jobs.
  • Expose students to opportunities in the trade fields that will increase as 35% of the workforce will retire by 2020.  Students with hands on abilities need to be encouraged to pursue these jobs.
  • Build relationships with corporations that can provide entry level jobs and provide training and scholarships for employees toward a degree.
  • Encourage dual enrollment in current Bloomington programs and add new career fields to current Criminal Justice, Cosmetology, and Automotive Mechanics programs. 

 

 


Bloomington Primary Results

Fewer than 7% of Bloomington’s 55,602 registered voters  (3685 of 55,602) took part in the August 8 primary election that determined which City Council candidates will appear on our November ballot. 

Eldon_Spencer_for_Aug_14.jpgCongratulations to Eldon Spencer for his decisive (41%) first-place finish for District II.  He’ll face Shawn Nelson (23%) in November.  Lower votes for the other 2 candidates – Cheryl Lewis (15%) and Lenny Klevan Schmitz (21%) - ended their campaigns.

For the At-Large seat, Nathan Coulter (35%) and Michael Arulfo (25%) will compete in November. 

-       Nathan Coulter is a DFL Legislative Assistant in the MN Senate

-       Mike Arulfo was a National Pledged Delegate at Large, Democratic National Committee and delegate to the DNC National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016

Appointed incumbent Kim Vlaisavljevich (18%) and life-long Bloomington resident Susan "Hofmeister" Woodruff (22%) will not be on November’s ballot.

To see the vote counts and to drill down for results by Precinct, see the MN Secretary of State Election Results page. Click Here



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