The candidates for the Ward 2 Brainerd City Council seat agree Brainerd's growth needs to be managed.
How that growth should be managed is a point of difference between candidates Kelly Bevans, Ed Shaw and Jan Lambert.
At Tuesday's debate at Brainerd High School's Little Theatre, the candidates discussed the growth of businesses and the city limits, and the role city government should play in each.
On businesses, a specific issue was superstores and the role they'd play in the future of Brainerd.
Bevans said retail development is a part of the natural growth of the city and he believes the city council should work less on keeping businesses out and more on encouraging more family-owned businesses to locate in the city.
Lambert said each business, regardless of size or what they offer, should be looked at on an individual basis. She also said there should be no moratorium on businesses.
"We can't refuse a business based on its size," said Lambert.
Shaw, a member of the Coalition for Responsible Development, supports a moratorium on superstores in order to protect local businesses.
On annexation, Lambert said expanding Brainerd's boundaries is important to broaden the city's tax base and growth potential.
Bevans differed in his view of annexation, saying if people want to be part of the city they should be, but the city shouldn't expand simply for the sake of expansion.
"We need to focus on what we have," said Bevans.
Shaw agreed with Bevans, saying the costs to Brainerd taxpayers associated with annexation would be better spent improving what's already in the city.
"It's like putting an addition on your house when the roof is leaking," said Shaw. "Let's fix the problem first."
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