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The candidates for the Crookston City Council Ward 1 seat are incumbent Jake Fee and opponent Kristie Jerde. We asked each candidate to introduce themselves and why they are running.

Q: Would you please tell us about yourself?

Jake: I’m 38 years old. I’ve been born and raised in Crookston. I have an eight-year-old daughter, soon to be turning nine here. Just been part of the Crookston community for those 38 years and decided to run for reelection for Ward 1. And if reelected can hopefully continue the positive direction we’ve been going for here the last year. The first three years on the council were a little rocky for the whole community. But it looks like we’re kind of turning a corner here and moving in a positive direction. So, if reelected, hopefully, we can continue that momentum.

Kristie: I’m Kristie Jerde and I’m running for Ward 1. I’ve lived in Crookston for 14 years. I’m the mother of two wonderful children. I came to Crookston to work for the University of Minnesota. I stayed to raise a family and because of the relationships and friendships, I’ve created here.

Q: Why are you running?

Jake: Lots of different reasons. I feel like there is still a lot of work to do. We’ve accomplished quite a lot in these past four years. Whether it’s what’s going on at the Fournet Building and we got creative there with doing TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Districts and also, interest-only payments for 10 years on the loan we provided. Really kind of got that going and a few other things. But we have the Soy Innovation Center ground-breaking coming up next week. That’s a pretty exciting thing that can have a lot of spin-offs there. Just continue any development we can do on the Colborn Property.  We also have a pretty big possibility of a redo of our sidewalks downtown. That’s a thing I’ve been passionate about for four years. We didn’t make a lot of progress, but it looks like we’re kind of turning the corner on that as well. And just really, businesses are struggling right now. We all know with the pandemic it’s affected just about everything. Just kind of doing whatever we can to provide any type of assistance or support for the businesses is going to be key here to keep as many operational here, as we move forward. It’s a list of a lot of small things but there is a lot of things on the agenda to still accomplish.

Kristie: I’m running because I feel that there is a need for a new perspective on City Council. I feel that as a mother as wells as someone who’s been in multiple leadership roles whether it is in town on different committees I’ve been apart of or with my professional associations at the regional or national level that I definitely have the ability to lead. But I also think that there is a lot of need for some fresh perspectives on our City Council. My big piece that I’m most interested in and why I’ve chosen to do this is really helping to try to promote economic growth as well as transparency for the City Council.

Q: Anything you would like to add?

Jake: Just get out there and vote. Hopefully, everybody has the opportunity to do so. Good luck to everybody. It’s really a thankless job, so win or lose, everybody should be commended for putting their hat in the ring. Everybody has that same passion and wants what’s best for Crookston. So, come election day everybody should be feeling pretty proud of themselves that they put their hat in the ring.

Kristie: I would just add that I feel if I’m elected, I will be some change as well as a fresh perspective. As well as really work for our city and my ward as well.

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