Candidate profile | Jordan Glynn
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?
Rochester’s greatest challenge currently is affordable housing. Until we commit to fixing our housing situation we cannot fully address other important concerns. To begin to address this, I would suggest a short-term rental limit cap on single family homes creating more opportunities for families to purchase starter homes. This short-term cap would address the issue immediately while giving the city council and staff time to implement broader changes to address the housing needs for all citizens long term.
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?
Decisions regarding transparency and public accessibility of information as of late have troubled me. Inconsistency of government, such as what we frequently see regarding TIF financing and historic preservation, also gives me concern. We should have consistent priorities and terms for agreements we enter. We shouldn’t be having simple real estate agreements coming back to haunt us months later, while simultaneously spending well over a year debating an issue such as food trucks. Ultimately, I’d like to see us take a more proactive approach instead of reacting to issues months, or even years, after revealing themselves.
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?
One of the most important steps we can take in this area is by encouraging small business and turning our focus away from major chains. It’s been demonstrated time after time again in studies and real-world examples how much more productive a multi-unit small business complex is compared to a big box store on the edge of town with a huge parking lot. To provide our city with a healthy tax base, without increasing taxes, we need to work smarter. We need to do all we can to encourage small business sustainability throughout our community.
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?
I support a living wage, though we must dive deeper into this issue before declaring a one-size-fits-all solution. If we think creatively, in addition to raising the minimum wage, benefits such as subsidies for things like healthcare and transportation could be offered. Why is a flat minimum wage increase not enough? Because working 40 hours/week at $10/hour, the 30 percent you should be spending on housing is $500/month. At $15 per hour, 30 percent is $750/month. When the only apartment you can find is $1200/month, we still have a problem.
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?
One idea I’ve suggested is a “City Hall Truck.” Think “food truck” but one that is set up to handle business. A simple converted vehicle could have scheduled stops in different neighborhoods where everyday business could be handled without having to travel downtown. This would improve accessibility for those that have difficulty traveling, or those without internet. It would make things like applying for permits, utilizing a notary, or paying a parking ticket easier for locals. Each Rochester neighborhood has its own identity and we can grow and celebrate that by being present and encouraging community activities and local businesses.
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?
My goal will be to fully utilize our local talent, not reduce them to DMC input sessions. DMC needs to work for every Rochester resident and visitor, and I hope that the housing, transportation, childcare, and other requirements needed for this project to succeed are realized before long. Our community needs to be set up for success, and as your mayor, my top priority will be to help everyone reach their fullest potential.
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?
Early in my career as a business owner, producer, and musician I realized the importance of creating an environment in which everyone can thrive. As mayor I would focus on the long-term vision while surrounding myself with the best team possible. This approach conserves resources when required, and also ensures that all voices are heard when making important decisions. We have an opportunity in front of us to create a community for everyone. As mayor, I’ll work each day to ensure everyone is provided equal opportunity to thrive in Rochester.
What else should voters know about you?
I’m running for mayor because the opportunity in front of us is tremendous and if we get it wrong the penalties could be dire. I am running because I want to raise issues and have serious discussions about where we see ourselves in 5, 10, 20, and 50 years. I do think that conversation is happening, and it needs to continue. I learned early managing my first business at the age 16 that a leader can’t do it all themselves and I’m humbled by the supportive and creative ideas so many of my supporters have brought forward. Many of you know me, for those that don’t, I bring a thoughtful measured approach to leadership. My focus as mayor will be to help all of us realize our full potential, to fully realize Rochester.
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.