ST. CLOUD -- Steven Schiller is running to become the next mayor of St. Cloud. He says if he's elected economic development would be a top priority for him in his first term.

Schiller says in talking with the downtown business owners they tell him they have been forgotten.

The city does nothing to clean up and beautify the downtown area, which is actually done by the St. Cloud Area Business Association.  They actually have to pay an HOH fee - in a matter of speaking - to be able to put flowers out.  Dave Kleis has really lost touch with the business owners in this community.

Schiller says he also wants to focus on manufacturing and try to bring better higher-paying jobs to the community.

As for balancing the city's budget over the next several years, which is expected to be impacted by COVID-19, Schiller says it would be a team effort with the help of the administrative staff.

He says if he is elected renovating the former Technical High School into City Hall is not something that he would support.

Tech is a very very old facility so what renovations are going to be needed in order to bring that thing up to code so that we can occupy it, and what's the amount of dollars it's going to take, and are those dollars going to be taken away from other projects in the community.  I don't really think that's a good use of our money right now.

Schiller says he does not want to defund the police but he does believe in restructuring the police department and go to community-based policing. He says the city's Community Policing Agreement that was first signed in 2004 was not updated until 2017, he thinks it should be reviewed every year.

Schiller is challenging Dave Kleis who has been the mayor of St. Cloud since 2005. Kleis and Schiller were the top two vote-getters in the August primary.

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