DULUTH -- Two Duluth residents are competing for a vacant seat on the Duluth City Council.
Dusty Graham and Kelvin "Kelly" Kelkenberg are running for City Council Post 4, a seat being vacated by councilman Doug Mundrick who decided not to seek re-election.
Both men agree that the local budget needs to be re-examined and trimmed down to save the city money.
Occupation: Health coach and business owner, Find Your Balance
Education: Bachelor’s degree in science from University of Kentucky
Political Experience: None
Family: Wife, Livette De Sousa
Kelvin “Kelly” Kelkenberg
Occupation: Director of Mission Support at FEMA, Region 4
Education: Master’s degree in organizational behavior from Eastern New Mexico University; bachelor’s of science from Texas A&M
Political Experience: Board Alderman in Grandview, Mo., 1976 and 1978
Family: Wife, Kimberly; children, Mary, 42, Tom, 40, Stephen, 36, Kathryn, 19
"The biggest issue facing the government at local level is there are financial constraints," Kelkenberg said. "We need to manage the finances closely. Some things we're providing (to the community), we won't be able to continue."
Graham believes the same idea and knows what could be cut back in the budget.
"We should be focused on infrastructure and public safety -- working on the budget without raising taxes," he said. "We need to look at everything on the table including the events and park recreations. If they're not turning profits, we should cut back."
Kelkenberg thinks there is a need for economic redevelopment in the community to help grow a tax base.
"Finance is the number one issue because I see we have a fiscal crisis here and I want to make sure we have a way out of that doesn't degrade quality of life or government," he said.
Graham believes that Duluth would benefit by reducing regulation of the government.
"Duluth is grown outside of what a local government should be," he said.
As a retired Air Force colonel, Kelkenberg believes he has the proper training to lead a crowd.
"I've done a lot and continue to do a lot," he said while talking about the military and previous experience in Duluth. He has never been elected in a city position, but he has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission. Kelkenberg is also an active member of the Duluth Fall Festival.
Graham has no previous political experience and doesn't believe the public should underestimate him.
"I'm tired of one small group of people running the show. I want to shake things up," he said.
This year's election, Mayor Nancy Harris and Councilman Greg Whitlock did not draw competition. Also on the Nov. 8 ballot is a referendum about allowing package sales of beer and wine on Sundays.