The results of the Nov. 3 general election reveal Jordan voters are ready to move in the direction of something new, said Mayor-elect Mike Franklin.
During his campaign, Franklin promised to focus on attracting new business owners to Jordan.
“We need a red carpet approach to business, and we need to get rid of red tape,” Franklin said after the win was unofficially confirmed Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Franklin came out on top of current Mayor Tanya Velishek with a lead of 638 votes — totaling 52.01% over Velishek’s 32.6%, according to unofficial, incomplete results from the Minnesota Secretary of State. Terry Stier, who sat on the Jordan City Council while he ran for the mayoral seat received 15.05% of the vote.
“(The win) confirms what I have seen throughout my campaign and in the City Council races,” Franklin said. “Jordan wanted some change.”
In addition to a new mayor, the city will see a few new council members in the upcoming term.
Councilmember Jeff Will was not re-elected. Three seats were open this year, and will be filled by Jerry Monyok, Matt Schmitt and incumbent Robert Whipps.
Along with the completion of the Highway 169 construction project, several of the recently-elected councilmembers echoed Franklin’s call to attract more industry to Jordan.
“There has been quite a bit of residential development within the past year,” Monyok said. “Now, we need some new businesses to come in to help new residents be able to work in town.”
City Administrator Tom Nikunen said in spite of a pandemic on top of the “red tape” involved in opening up a new business under normal circumstances, several new storefronts, including Sparkling Mousse Winery and Dollar Buys, have come to Jordan in recent months.
On top of CARES funding, the city was able to give out six $12,500 loans to small-business owners, a total of $75,000. Nikunen said he’s only aware of one business that has closed its doors permanently.
“It’s been a terrible, terrible year for it,” Nikunen said. “But some businesses have still opened. That’s always something we’re trying to focus on.”
One of the best ways to support the local economy is to follow COVID-19 health precautions so businesses like restaurants can safely stay open in the winter months, Nikunen said.
“If you’re not scared of dying from it, at least (wear a mask) to show that you’re scared of shutting down a small business,” said Nikunen. “Shutting down for 14 days because of a quarantine, that really affects everyone.”
Despite voters’ calls for change, Franklin says without the framework laid by the current council, moving forward would be much more difficult.
“None of this would be possible without the previous work of Mayor Tanya Velishek and Councilman Terry Stier,” Franklin said.
The mayor-elect asked Jordan residents to hold him accountable to the promises he made during his campaign.
“I’m always going to be receptive to constructive criticism,” Franklin said. “You have a voice beyond Election Day, so please work with me and with the council to enact what we think you voted for.