ECCO — Minneapolis Planning Commission member Lara Norkus-Crampton announced her candidacy for the open Ward 10 City Council seat Thursday.
The ECCO resident said she would rely on her knowledge of land-use issues to promote thoughtful and sustainable development in the city.
Mayor R. T. Rybak appointed Norkus-Crampton to the Planning Commission in 2006 and again in 2008. She also served on the steering committee for the Uptown Small Area Plan and was ECCO Zoning Committee chair in 2005–2006.
“Now, I feel like I have a foundation I could really build on and make a contribution,” she said.
Norkus-Crampton said she would promote openness and transparency in city government. She promised to invite citizen participation in the model of Rybak’s recent community meetings on the city’s $13 million budget shortfall.
“Sometimes it feels like there’s a break-down in communication between the city and communities,” she said. “I’m not blaming one group or another — it’s just there, and we need to do something about it.”
She pledged to attend every neighborhood board meeting in Ward 10.
Norkus-Crampton said she would make environmental preservation a priority. She said Ward 10 residents have a “unique responsibility” to be stewards of the environment because of their proximity to the Chain of Lakes, the crown jewels of the Minneapolis parks system.
“It’s amazing you can go to Barbette for dinner, walk down to the lake and see and eagle fly over the lake,” she said. “… It’s such an amazing mix of things here.”
Norkus-Crampton listed public safety and dealing with the ongoing foreclosure crisis as other priorities.
Current Ward 10 City Council Member Ralph Remington announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election. Meg Tuthill, a longtime Lowry Hill East resident and local business owner, is also running for the Ward 10 seat. So is Progressive Majority state director Matt Filner, who also lives in the Wedge.
Tuthill welcomed Norkus-Crampton to the race, saying “the more the merrier.”
Norkus-Crampton is a registered nurse at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. She and her husband Tim Norkus-Crampton have owned an ECCO duplex since 1994.
She was born in Ohio and first moved to Minneapolis in 1976. She lived for a time in California and Seattle, but eventually returned here.
“I love Minneapolis,” she said. “It’s a great city. This is a great area, and it’s been really nice to have opportunities to contribute.”
Norkus-Crampton said her campaign website (www.lara4ward10.com) would be up and running Thursday afternoon.