There comes a time when you just can’t stand by and watch things happen; when you have to become very deeply involved in what’s going on. I’ve been in that situation several times, and I find myself in that position again.
With the exception of traveling the world with the U.S. Army and my tour of combat, I have lived in Duluth my whole life. I grew up in West Duluth when it was a manufacturing powerhouse, and I love my old neighborhood and the people there. I’m fortunate that I can raise my children here with the love of my life, Carinda.
I first learned about discipline when I was in the Army. But it took courage, sobriety, and a strong work ethic to build my own business. I am proud to say that I took boxing in the Twin Ports from nothing to regularly selling out events. Horton’s Gym was successful and helped many young people in the community who had no one else in their corner to fight for them.
I don’t think anyone could doubt my love for Duluth, but anyone who knows me knows I don’t have a lot of love for the way our town’s been run lately. It’s time to bring back common sense. Time to start bringing people back to the table to have honest and realistic conversations. I’ve sat down with the current administration in talks with tribal leaders over the Fond-du-Luth Casino contract. I was embarrassed by the way the tribe was treated.
I want to build and further our relationship with our Anishinaabe neighbors. The National Gaming Council has ruled—the money from the casino will not be coming back to the city. It’s time to understand, heal the wounded egos, and move on to a stronger partnership.
We need to find other funds to repair our deteriorating streets and infrastructure. It’s time that we stop giving away money to the people who buffalo us and string us along. Unnecessary wants and pet projects like the Norshor money pit have to be looked at more realistically. In five years the price-tag on the theater has gone from $2 million to $25 million. The big developer from the Cities is in bed with the administration, so the show goes on. The same players reap the benefits while the rest of us watch, scratching our heads to see where 200 shows a year will come from.
It’s time to invest in our youth. Time to give them strong role models who will teach them discipline and what it means to be a responsible adult. So much of adulthood is learned behavior; we need to be their teachers and be more involved in their lives and what they’re doing. The more time we spend with them, the more accountable they’ll be. That would help to lower crime and strengthen our communities, and isn’t that what we’re all working for?
I know certain projects have more appeal than others. Bike paths sound like fun and sewer issues are far from pleasant conversation. But those conversations need to take place. We can’t go on spending as if there is an endless supply of cash. Just as in running a business, if you can’t budget for it and find a way to pay for it, it’s a want, not a need. Our priorities have become skewed.
I want to be Mayor of Duluth because I can bring people together. I can restore common sense to our local government and stop the spending spree that has sent us hurtling toward a crumbling infrastructure. I am Chuck Horton, and I’m running for Mayor of Duluth because I love this community and I know how to get things done.