Five Mayoral Candidates Support BCS


Better City Superior Favored by All Candidates

In anticipation of an upcoming Mayoral Candidates Forum to be sponsored by Explore Superior on Thursday, January 19th at the Superior Library, we reached out to the announced candidates to ask their opinions of the Better City Superior initiative. 

Note: Jeff Monaghan dropped out of the race after this article was published

Their responses are reprinted here exactly as submitted with no editorial comment or editing. Candidate comments are listed in alphabetical order by last name in this article. To be fair, we will mix this up in future stories.

Brent Fennessey

Brent Fennessey

This will do more than just rebuild our downtown.  The spin-off of this project will be massive, for both immediate gains and it will also set the stage for a booming Superior. 

Downtown Superior is already starting to rebuild on it’s own; we are currently seeing local business owners pour resources into creating a quality downtown.  BCS will not only add the needed support to the downtown businesses, but the entire city of Superior. 

The BCS initiative will complement the tourism efforts of Duluth, resulting in benefits for both communities and building the overall Twin Ports tourism efforts.  I strongly believe that the next mayor needs to build up relationships with Duluth as a way to collectively draw tourism in, rather than the two cities competing with each other. 

The BCS project will be a viable way for us to contribute to the overall Twin Ports tourism.  When Superior expands it’s tourism dollars it benefits every resident and business in our area.   

Kalee Hermanson

Kalee Hermanson | Superior Mayoral Candidate | Explore Superior

Kalee Hermanson

I have followed BCS since it’s original inception in 2012. I have met and talked to the CEO of Better City US, Matthew Godfrey, on several occasions. The work that has been done to form Better City Superior is flawless, and I trust those leading the initiative have put together a plan that serves in the best interest of the City and those that live here.

The issues we face as a City are all encompassing, and BCS is just one necessary component to moving us forward. In order to bring in big industry to Superior, they are not just looking for a location in which to build, they are also looking for a location in which their business and employees can build a life in.

In order to develop new housing and rehab many of our existing, requires the desire for others to want to move here. Jobs and an entertainment are key to establishing that desire.

Our local businesses bring a unique presence into this community. Every day our local businesses display their dedication to the future of Superior.

The owners have invested their time, money and talents into our community, knowing it is a beautiful place to live, work and play. But, we must also invest in them and increase our foot traffic through our downtown and neighboring business districts in Superior.

BCS is just one piece of the puzzle, but it is a large piece. The initiative offers to put us on the map; not only for tourism related purposes, but for the future creation of jobs, homes and our local businesses.

We have seen Duluth transform since the creation of their exposition district, and while we will never directly compete with Duluth, BCS gives us the opportunity to become an accent of the Twin Ports.

Mike Herrick

Mike Herrick | Superior Mayoral Candidate | Explore Superior

Mike Herrick

It was good to see the results from the November referendum for public support for the Better City Superior initiative.  Not only will it rebuild the usefulness of our downtown, create living spaces and entertainment, the city will benefit from Duluth’s continued tourism growth. 

It could also introduce businesses to Superior that may not realize that we our just across the bridge from Duluth. 

Better Cities have proven in other communities that had downtowns in dire circumstances that they could and have been rebuilt to become thriving and successful components of that city.

Superior has taken a first step by improving the current look of the downtown area.  Businesses have put new face fronts on their stores and other entrepreneurs have chosen the downtown to start their businesses. 

Better City Superior will complete the goals and reality of a living and thriving downtown.

Jeff Monaghan

Jeff Monaghan | Candidate for Mayor of Superior | Explore Superior

Jeff Monaghan

The BCS Initiative is a welcome and historic achievement for our downtown.

Setting the table for a convention center, multipurpose indoor arena, and more, we could see a significant business renaissance in Superior.

I applaud the efforts of business leaders who continue to make Superior a great place to work.

We have great leadership in our governor & legislature which I expect will approve what is clearly a mandate by the voters to move things forward. Attracting tourism dollars is vital for our city’s economic well-being.

Jim Paine

Jim Paine | Superior Mayoral Candidate | Explore Superior

Jim Paine

I think that Better City Superior is a bold initiative that has the potential to transform Downtown Superior into a destination across the upper mid-west. The overwhelming support that BCS received in the recent referendum shows that this community is ready to move forward with exciting new development. 

I am a firm believer in the concept of “place building”. I believe that when visitors and residents can readily identify a small space as a multi-experience destination, they will visit more often. Better City Superior, tied into a growing and vibrant downtown, can create a space that rivals Canal Park and “The Hill” in Duluth. 

I think this is important for visitors because it makes Superior one of the “must see” places in our wider metropolitan area and can add to the attraction of visiting the Twin Ports area and lead to longer stays. 

But I think the real value of BCS is bigger than tourism. Better City Superior represents a change in the reputation and perceived value of Superior, especially for residents. While we certainly want people to visit (and spend money) in Superior, we really want them to make the big investment and choose to either move here or stay here.

Residents are the taxpayers that keep the city afloat and the regular customers that keep businesses open and thriving.  A city with multiple retail and entertainment opportunities and a strong sense of growth inspire people to choose Superior every day.

I’m proud that Superior chose to take a chance on Better City and I’m excited to get to work.

Explore Superior Mayoral Forum

Explore Superior will host a candidates forum at the Superior Library at 1530 Tower Avenue on Thursday, January 19th in the large meeting room. All five candidates above have agreed to participate.

Should additional candidates come forward, they will also be welcome provided they have registered and will appear on the February primary ballot.

The forum will begin at 5:30 p.m. with opening comments from each candidate, and will be recorded for later showing on Public Access TV, and on Explore Superior. We will also broadcast the forum on Facebook Live via the Explore Superior Facebook page.  

If you plan to watch the event on Facebook Live, please go to our page and Like it today so that you will receive a notification once we go live. (While watching, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to send smiley or frowny faces!)

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