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Election Profile: Fresh perspective or classic continuity for Rochester City Councilmember at Large

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Randy Staver Randy Staver
Sean Allen Sean Allen
ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

When it comes to local leaders, the Councilmember at Large (or City Council President) is one of the most powerful political figures in Rochester.

"I believe very much in consensus decision-making and engaging everyone in our community, it's something that I strive to do," said current Rochester City Council President Randy Staver.

This year's candidates are Staver, and his opponent Sean Allen.

"We are a fantastic international city that is awesome just because of the people that we are, the communities that we have, that everybody is heard and feels part of something," said Allen.

One make or break issue this election is Destination Medical Center (or DMC), in which Staver held a role in some of the planning.

"Now we're moving even more into execution side and I think some continuity, that knowledge, that leadership is really imperative as we start to move forward with actual plans," said Staver.

On the flip side, Allen doesn't think DMC is quite on track of where it should be.

“We don't have a long-range plan for what our community is or an aspiration for what we're going to be. And we have all of this out of date planning, so that's why when DMC came in it felt like it was bigger than Rochester. And it's not. Rochester is much bigger and how we're going to grow is much bigger than DMC," said Allen.

Staver's list of accomplishments in office include DMC legislation, and a 2012 sales tax referendum from which other projects stemmed.

"Transportation, the c-tech program, arts and recreation. So, those two things together have been very formative in terms of our plans and growth over the past few years," said Staver.

If elected, Allen hopes to make Rochester not only a destination for medicine, but a destination for fun.

"I really want Rochester to be a place where people come to and they say, 'This is a special place because of these things...' and not just the Mayo Clinic. We need to be special because of our art, because of the culture and the history here," said Allen.

As far as life outside the government goes, Staver works in information technology at Mayo Clinic, has a wife, three daughters and three grandchildren.

He also has quite the interesting list of hobbies.

"I like to do cabinet making, that's something I do when I can find the free time. And then we have a street rod that we take to shows and so forth," said Staver, who said he loves how Rochester can provide the amenities for city life, as well as country life at the same time.

Allen is a real estate developer and a co-owner of Forager Brewery with his wife and some friends.

"I love fishing, I've been a track coach for over 20 years, so I'm a high school track coach and I love that in the spring. My wife and I just like to spend a lot of time in Rochester and we travel quite a bit too,” said Allen.

No matter the candidate's views, two things remain constant across the board: Passion for the job and love for the city.

"Every candidate puts their heart and soul into this and for those of us that grew up here, we very much want to see our community grow and prosper and continue to be the wonderful city that it is," said Staver.

So, come Tuesday, you decide: A fresh perspective, or classic continuity for the next four years of leading our community.

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