Marin filing to give residents a choice, promote public safety

Published 11:31 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Former 3rd Ward Albert Lea City Councilor George Marin said Wednesday he is seeking another term for office to give residents the opportunity for a choice.

George Marin

“I believe elections are about choices,” Marin said. “When there’s only one candidate, the citizenry loses the opportunity for choices.”

Up until Tuesday — the last day of filing for public office — incumbent 3rd Ward Councilor Ellen Kehr, 64, had been running unopposed. Kehr’s comments were printed Wednesday.

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Marin, 44, said he does not believe a race should ever go uncontested, so he decided to give it another try.

Serving on the council from 2000 to 2008, he said he loves to serve and loves Albert Lea.

“It’s a very precious city, and the people are a valuable asset,” he said.

He noted the No. 1 goal of government is public safety, and he is concerned about the city even considering changing to a volunteer fire department.

“I believe a city our size should never view a volunteer fire department as a viable option for our city,” he said.

When he was on the council previously, he said he was always a large proponent of giving the police and fire departments what they need to do their jobs safely and effectively. He wants to make sure someone is there to respond to an issue when people call for help.

Along with that, he is pressing for progress on the Sunset Street extension, to give people near the City Arena a second road out in case of an emergency. Presently, train tracks cross Lake Chapeau Drive, which could prevent firetrucks from entering the neighborhood.

“The city is waiting on other entities to move on that, but we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make public safety a priority,” Marin said.

He also wants to continue to sponsor good decisions on the council on behalf of local businesses and to workfor an atmosphere conducive to business.

The pastor of Grace Christian Church, Marin and his wife, Jill, have two children, Suzie, 17, and Elisha, 19.

He said his family has always been involved in the city and said they have made it a goal to help build families and the community.

He is a mentor in the schools, has been a chaplain at Fountain Centers for 18 years and also has a ministry within the Freeborn County jail to help people put their lives back together.

This October, he and his wife will have been in Albert Lea for 20 years.