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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Candidate profile | BW (Brent) Coggins

Candidate profile | BW (Brent) Coggins

What do you see as the greatest challenge facing Rochester at this moment? If elected, what specific position(s) would you take to address the issue?

Housing:  I will take “Pride of Ownership” in keeping this city safe and livable. With more:

Co-ops: Working with city and county staff making sure land use plan allows for more Co-ops. To create more affordable homes for seniors and students.

Rental Caps: Limiting the number of rental licenses available for single-family homes by neighborhood.

Condo Development:  Greatly improve the ability for developers to create condos with the recent change in state law thru incentives.

Mixed Housing: Encouraging single-family housing to be accessible and affordable through the use of fee reductions, density bonuses, other disincentives and incentives.

Tell us one decision made by the city over the past two years that you disagree with. What would you like to see done differently?

(Bloom Towers) The buildings could take away from current downtown businesses. It also changes the character that doesn’t fit the surrounding historic landscape. Find a different location for the towers, to expand downtown and create better land use. Change the Waterfront to a Historic-front.

Expand parking for downtown at an ideal location, thus the existing ramp could double its size. Add an artisan park with a rail station by using the spur track to connect with the fairgrounds in time. Bring back the old Time Theater with more than just movie’s by adding live entertainment and retain the theatre’s history.

The city is experiencing an economic boom. Still, many residents and business owners remain concerned about affordability. How would you work to ensure the city's growth is managed responsibly?

Create a city planning and zoning department. This will play a big part in Rochester development for the future to create a vibrant city. It’s needed to control the flow of growth to maintain balance with housing and transportation. It will bring validity and clarity, so we can trust our city more!

Slowly transfer the new planning services to the city planning and zoning department and establish a good working relationship between the city and county. Having common objectives will create a better system in land use and planning. Place more responsibilities on developers; updating sewer and water studies.

Some cities have decided to take the lead on issues such as minimum wage and paid leave. Do you feel Rochester should be doing the same, or are these issues best left to the state and federal levels?

Minimum, living, affordable or retirement wage ... where do we begin, with education and a commitment to work hard and promote those who do. Rochester demand for quality workers will help wages and not hurt small businesses.

I started at $1.25/hour at my first job, I set goals for myself. One goal was to make it without government assistant and to keep learning even if I had a learning disability. I worked for federal, state and local firms in civil engineering. I believe a good wage should be goal of a person and I have seen business fail if they don’t promote their employees.

Destination Medical Center is focused on a relatively small chunk of the city. What initiatives or policies could be adopted to strengthen our neighborhoods outside the downtown?

A person should not be afraid to live in Rochester special being out at night but needs trust, transparency and the truth to see the real picture as ‘I’ do. We must unite our values, our strength for compassion and the talents we share to make this city safe.

We need older parks updated and street maintenance to help keep the neighborhood’s vibrant. Increase neighborhood watch groups. Incentives for reporting crimes, like maybe food and housing assistants. Recognition for neighbors helping neighbors. Let’s do it right and move forward investing in the infrastructure of people!

One key responsibility of mayor is serving on the Destination Medical Center Corporation Board. As the voice of Rochester residents, what would you bring to the position?

The flood control project worked the way it was designed which prevented Rochester from being flooded again! I helped save property and lives by working on this project, there is no greater joy! I would make sure these same qualities that I brought to the flood project would transfer to DMC.

I would revisit the general development plan aligning it with the 10-year department plans. These updated plans (Park and Rec, Public Works, etc.…) are needed if we are going to improve safety, housing and transportation. Realistic department plans are needed to expand the target for all of Rochester’s agenda.

There has been much discussion about the role of mayor; specifically, whether the mayor should be more involved in matters of city policy. If elected, how would you manage the office of mayor?

My background in engineering will fit what Rochester needs in a mayor to help understand the development and growth.

With my entertaining background I can be that magical mayor in keeping Rochester a welcoming city.

I believe in “Preserving History” that has built this great city.

I have “Advocated for Responsibility” and “Strengthened Mentorships” as demonstrated in all my past positions.

I will use “Common Sense Solutions” to promote cost savings for the city budget.

I will “Promote Loyalty” to the office of mayor, making this a place where people can be heard.

As W.W. Mayo said, “No one is big enough to be independent of others.”

What else should voters know about you?

I have a passion for people!  Keep Rochester’s founding value strong, “MUM’s the Word”, meaning…

Magic of the Hoping Individual!

Unity of the Supporting Community!

Might of the Loving Family!

I believe in “TRUTH in open and honest Leadership, TRANSPARENCY in reducing barriers in technology so the elderly isn’t left behind in Communication & TRUST in People doing what is asked of them”!

My Principles in finding solutions: History, Imagination & Common Sense to achieve a “positive” outcome for safety, housing & transportation. I come from a proud family native to Rochester. Rochester has been a city with a great medical institutions and electronic businesses but retains a small-town feel.

It’s not about me wanting to be mayor, it’s about what people believe that I will do by speaking up for all classes of people!

Primary elections are on Tuesday, August 14. You can use your address to view a sample ballot on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.

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