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Prior Lake candidates differ on pricey streetlights, other issues

Tax hikes, Met Council, city transparency also among issues at candidate debate.

Prior Lake should stay a small town, and one that isn’t paying much more in taxes than it is right now. That was the consensus at last week’s debate between three candidates vying for two seats — one open, one incumbent — on its City Council.

But as they fielded questions, candidates Andy Gonyou, Annette Thompson and incumbent Mike McGuire also outlined clear differences on issues ranging from a levy increase of up to 10%, the Metropolitan Council’s plan for the city to double its population in coming decades, and the proposed fix for Hwy. 21’s downtown intersections at Hwy. 13 and at Main Street.

The two challengers took turns dinging incumbent McGuire on his support for purchasing digital signs and upgraded streetlights for downtown ambience, as well as the price of a new intersection and what they said was a lack of transparency at City Hall.

Thompson, an IT project manager, hammered the city’s decision to upgrade from $6,000 to $8,000 models on 144 city streetlights.

“I don’t have a calculator with me, but that’s a lot of money,” she said. “If we could curtail our spending, we wouldn’t have to raise taxes.”

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