January 27, 2020 West St. Paul City Council Meeting

2020 West St. Paul Mayoral Primary: Controversial Meetings

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West St. Paul voters will take to the polls on August 11 (or earlier) to decide who will compete to be mayor in the November general election. There are three candidates contesting the mayoral primary in 2020, and the top two will advance to November.

We’ve asked the candidates a series of questions to see where they stand on the issues. We’ll share one question and the responses at a time leading up to the election. We’ve already covered the biggest challenge facing West St. Paul and what the candidates hope to accomplish in their two years in office. Here’s the third one.

In the last few years, West St. Paul has had a few packed and controversial City Council meetings. How will you handle that kind of highly charged situation?

We posed this question to all mayoral candidates (Jeramie Torkelson has dropped out, though his name will still appear on the ballot). Here are their responses:

Jonathan Diamond

(no campaign site)

Residents have the right to attend the meetings and speak. We need to listen to the good and bad—it’s their city and they should have always have a say.

Kimetha “KaeJae” Johnson

(campaign site)

I will address any safety concerns and ensure the voices of West St. Paul residents are heard by offering priority seating and the opportunity to speak first, especially on highly charged issues that will impact the community.  

Dave Napier

(campaign site)

We love to see large turnouts at our meetings and encourage them to continue. It demonstrates the passion and commitment our residents have for our community, which helps us move forward together. I will continue to be true to the process. We cannot let a specific issue allow us to stray from the process that is in place. We may determine that a logistic change is necessary to create a more inviting and more efficient meeting. However, I believe consistency will produce the best outcome on any given topic, or issue. I will continue to provide the strong leadership necessary to facilitate these highly charged situations.

Vote on August 11

The primary election is on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. The West St. Paul city website has details on where and how to vote. You can also vote early with an absentee ballot, either by mail or by stopping at the Dakota County offices.

See our 2020 election coverage for more on where the candidates stand.

Thank you to the candidates for taking the time to respond to my questions.

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