Koscielski runs on ‘common sense’ mayoral platform

Brock Safe

Editor’s note: This article is part of The Minnesota Daily’s series of profiles on Minneapolis’ mayoral candidates.

Less is more when it comes to governmental control of daily issues in Minneapolis, said mayoral candidate Mark Koscielski.

Koscielski, a local gun store owner, announced his candidacy for mayor on the Independent Fiscal Conservative Party ticket. “I’m the only one running for mayor that has common sense,” he said.

“This city’s government is out of control right now,” he added.

But Koscielski will face much competition – the most formidable of which might come from City Hall – when the votes get tallied during mayoral primaries in September.

One of the top candidates is current Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, who has been in office for the past eight years and is running for her third term.

“Sayles Belton’s chances for re-election are pretty good, which is the advantage of an incumbency,” said Tom Scott, University political science professor.

Some of Koscielski’s ideas run in direct opposition to the incumbent’s.

Koscielski said he strongly opposes big corporate subsidies, claiming the government taxes the people of Minneapolis far too much.

That statement covers the tax dollars that would partially fund a possible new stadium for the Minnesota Twins, an idea with which Koscielski said he vehemently disagrees.

“We give the government this money in our city and they don’t pay us back,” said Koscielski. “We should not subsidize big corporations because of this. Trying to get the truth out of the city’s government is impossible because if the public knew how they misuse our taxes, there would be an outcry.”

Despite his ties to the industry as a gun store owner, Koscielski supports gun control in Minneapolis.

Koscielski said the police either selectively enforce or outright do not enforce existing gun control laws.

Koscielski also argues that citysewers, roadways and water mains are in dire need of renovation.

“Many of our drainage systems and bridges were supposed to be repaired and replaced four or five years ago, but money is going to other things,” he said. “And due to this, eventually it will create pollution of our water, and bridges will collapse,” he said.

A proponent of the University, Koscielski said if he were mayor he would have publicly opposed the recent 13.8 percent tuition hike.

“I did vote for (Gov.) Jesse (Ventura), but when he decreased the budget for this University so dramatically, he did wrong,” said Koscielski. “As mayor, I would have been there saying, ‘Let’s find a compromise because the University of Minnesota is extremely valuable to Minnesota in so many ways.'”

Koscielski said the less government control Minneapolis endures, the more it will thrive as a whole.

The 47-year-old Koscielski remains confident his platform will appeal to voters.

“I can do a lot more good on the inside than the outside.” Koscielski said. “I have been taking on City Hall and the Department of Defense for years, and I never lose. It’s time to get on the inside.”

 

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