Editorial: Kehr deserves Ward 3 seat

Published 8:33 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Businesswoman Ellen Kehr is the right candidate for Albert Lea City Council in the Ward 3 seat. She deserves your vote.

Kehr will hit the ground running. She knows the issues, knows the movers and shakers and possesses endless good ideas for improving the city. You can sit down with her and really get to the nitty-gritty of any topic. We like that.

We praise her opponent, Iraq War veteran Ryan Sabinish, for running. He has leadership experience as a sergeant in the Army National Guard. While his service to his country is admirable, he admits he hasn’t built a record of service to the Albert Lea community. We hope, win or lose, he finds his way onto local boards and panels. The city government and local nonprofits are always looking for people with good ideas.

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Kehr was part of the Albert Lea Listens in 2004 and likes the ideas that came out of that. She is on the board at The Children’s Center, the vice president at the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency, past chairwoman of the United Way of Freeborn County, past president of the Albert Lea Business & Professional Women and 2003 Chamber Ambassador of the Year (years before her husband became executive director of the chamber). Her name pops up in various other places, too, such as being on the board for Operation Respect, the group bringing Peter Yarrow to town and implementing an anti-bullying program.

Kehr and Sabinish are similar on many topics, but Kehr is decisive and lucid. She understands there are good reasons to get rid of the preagenda meeting — not just for the sake of getting rid of it. She gets the purpose of bringing up initial discussion at the regular meetings — two weeks before any vote — will reduce confusion and speculation that now occurs because councilors only get four days before a vote. That’s the heart of the issue.

Kehr wants the city and county to stop talking about communication and cooperative and start doing it. And she will bring her business skills to the task when it comes time to peruse the city budget. That’s a plus.

Vote for Kehr on Nov. 4.