ST. CLOUD -- Nine people are vying three open spots on the St. Cloud City Council. All three of the city's at-large positions are up for election this year.

One of the candidates is current council member Carol Lewis. This is her eighth year on the council. She says she feels like she's been a voice for the 'little guy'.

She says the biggest issue the city will be facing probably for several years to come is the budget deficit due to COVID-19.

To cut more people in this time, it's just going to be devastating to the community, and then to provide the services that the community expects, it's going to be a balancing act, it's going to be a very tough job, and I don't think it will just be this year it'll be for years to come.

The preliminary budget for 2021 will be presented to the city council by the mayor in August.

She says one thing she'd like to take on with another term in office is helping the city residents learn to know one another better.

What I think we need to do is get beyond the boundaries of our neighborhoods and start interacting neighborhood to neighborhood.  What I'd like to see is us develop a little program where neighbors from the north side for example come over to the southeast side, or vice versa, and we'll have a picnic and sit down and talk to each other.

Besides her time on the city council, Lewis also spent time previously on the St. Cloud Area School Board. She says she's lived here all her life and is invested in the community.

Last week and this week we have been featuring each of the candidates running for city council. Absentee voting for the August 11th primary is open right now, the top six people with the most votes will advance on to the general election in November.

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