Editorial: Baker is the right candidate in Ward 2

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Depending on which candidate it chooses, Ward 2 of Albert Lea will send a message to City Hall.

Move forward with the momentum established by the present City Council or rail against it.

By voting for Larry Baker, Ward 2 will help the city progress with its role in attracting jobs and growth. He has a better grasp of issues than his opponent, Richard Hench, and Baker seems more responsive to their requests.

That&8217;s not to say Hench didn&8217;t have a grasp of issues. Both candidates deserve kudos for waging healthy campaigns. Both came to know their ward well.

One issue the voters in Ward 2 are worried about is the replacement of a sewer lift station. Both candidates know the city is waiting for grant funds to be released before work begins. Both would make sure the city follows through on the project.

But Baker seems like someone more willing to keep his constituents updated on every step of the issue. He has a lot of energy. At first he seems like he has too much get-up-and-go but after talking with him people find he truly cares. He&8217;s a straight-shooter. He tells it like it is. He&8217;s easy to read.

Those are good traits in a councilman. We get the feeling he will take care of people, get answers and improve communication with Ward 2 residents. That&8217;s why Baker gets our endorsement.

Hench raises good points about housing conditions in Albert Lea, and we commend him for bringing up the point. Landlords need to be held to a higher standard.

Baker agrees and other candidates have mentioned it, too. We wouldn&8217;t doubt it if the new City Council takes up the issue.

Baker is a carpenter. He can give good input for that debate.

He cares about jobs and knows that quality of life is the key to attracting companies. He supports the historic downtown, bike trails and the lakes cleanup. He has concerns about the city buying homes of longtime residents along Bridge Avenue and thinks a middle ground can be found.

He made some pretty good suggestions on ways to entice more businesses to build on Fountain

Lake to cater to boaters in addition to motorists.

Vote Baker into the Ward 2 seat.