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Candidate Viewpoint: Newport City Council candidate Katy McElwee-Stevens

It's that time again--time to choose who will represent you in the management of the city of Newport.

After viewing the Oct. 4 council meeting it is abundantly clear we need new leaders who possess professionalism and integrity.

Please see: Click on "Old/New Business."

My name is Katy McElwee-Stevens and I am a candidate for the Newport City Council.

I am running for council because I want to restore trust and unity within Newport and its local government.

I am running for council because I see the value in the talent of the residents of Newport and I believe it is important to involve all people who wish to participate in their local government.

I'm running because I know there is great potential in Newport's residents, location and economic ability.

The city of Newport has its challenges, our physical appearance, our negative reputation among our neighboring cities and the dysfunction within our current city council's membership. However, we have many positive offerings as well, our location, the capabilities of our residents and the heartiness of current businesses.

Without a doubt we need to begin cleaning up the areas along our main roads. Our current first impression driving along Highway 61 is not encouraging to new development, business or families. In one of the candidate forums held earlier this fall the idea of Newport being blighted was brought up. If we as a city want to be taken seriously among new residents, commerce, developers and our neighboring cities then we have to take the current appearance of our city seriously.

The reputation that Newport has acquired over the years is less than stellar. In talking to residents of Newport, both adults and children, I have confirmed what I have heard and known since my children started school: Newport is considered a dirty and broken place. A contributing factor to this reputation is our appearance and how we allow it to continue. Another causative factor in our negative reputation is the businesses have been and are allowed to set up here. The junk yards of the past continue to dog us in the present and a city of our size does not need three massage parlors.

We need to intentionally seek out economic development aligned with our 2030 comprehensive plan we submitted to the Metropolitan Council. With the advent of the transit station in the northwest end of town, time is right for Newport to expend time and funds on building relationships with developers and businesses making them aware of the possibilities that lie within Newport. Newport's incredible location, with immediate access via rail, road, air (and possibly river) transportation is a valuable asset we need to build upon.

Going forward I will serve the residents of Newport with respect and integrity. I will work to better Newport, its appearance, its reputation and its economy.

Please support me and cast your vote for Katy McElwee-Stevens on Nov. 6 at Newport Elementary School, 851 Sixth Street.