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Meet the candidate: Peter Butler

Ward 2 candidate

What are your three biggest priorities if you are elected? 

  1. Repeal the Summit Avenue Regional Trail Plan.
  2. Ensure that basic city services are efficiently and effectively delivered.
  3. Represent the will of Ward 2 residents and businesses.

St. Paul has a ballot measure this year to increase sales tax in the city by 1%, with the funding going directly to improving roads and parks in the city. What is your stance on this measure to increase sales tax? What are your thoughts on the City’s current plan for how the increased funding would be spent if passed?

I am opposed. The City is asking for too much money and cannot be trusted to spend it well. City leaders have provided no information on why 44 miles of streets will cost $738 million to rebuild ($16.8 million per mile). Almost $200 million of the proposed park spending has little public return on investment ($115 million riverfront balcony, $65 million for Crosby Park visitor center).

The West End of St. Paul, and especially West 7th, have long been considered prime redevelopment areas in the city, especially with the long-planned Riverview Transit Corridor. What are your priorities related to housing and redevelopment? What is your current stance on West 7th as a major transit corridor? How do you balance those priorities with supporting small businesses in the area?

Redevelopment should not come at the expense of existing residents’ quality of life and local businesses. The City should not alter the character of long-established neighborhoods. I oppose the West 7th Modern Streetcar as hugely expensive for the marginal increase in ridership and its disruption to residents and businesses. 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has reported that St. Paul is experiencing vast reductions in violent and property crimes this year, putting crime rates on pace to be below 2019 levels. At the same time, St. Paul is seeing historic highs in unhoused populations in the city and annual increases in emergency response calls, including a 5% increase in 2022 alone, taxing already overburdened systems. What is your approach to addressing public safety in the city to address these and many other issues?

Public safety is the City’s greatest obligation to its residents, workers and visitors. We must ensure that our police and fire departments are fully staffed and funded to meet the demand of all service calls, not just the highest priority ones. My approach is to work with the people most affected: residents, downtown employers and workers and businesses.

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