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ST. PAUL, MN-Mayoral candidate Jay Benanav this week emphasized development along major commercial streets in neighborhoods, not public subsidies for stadiums and downtown department stores, as one of his major goals if elected. Benanav and state Senator Randy Kelly are competing for the job soon to be vacated by Norm Coleman, a longtime St. Paul mayor who is running for U.S. Senate.

The election will be held in November.

Benanav, now a member of the city council, plans to focus on fixing up suchcommercial districts as University Avenue, West Seventh Street and Phalen Boulevard. Phalen, now under construction, will be the core to Phalen Corridor, with its string of new industrial parks to increase jobs and the tax base. Other corridors, such as Rice and Arcade streets, could also be built up, according to Benanav.

“Public funds should be used for economic development to increase the city’s property tax base and create good paying jobs,” Benanav says.

He recently voted against a subsidy for the Downtown Dayton’s store, arguing that its parent company, Minneapolis-based Target Corp., refused to adhere to the city’s living wage policy and because the plan to downsize the retail outlet will produce lower property taxes. He also opposed the stadium tax proposal on the 1999 city ballot.

He does support economic development like the Port Authority’s subsidy of brownfield cleanup, which he says has attracted many businesses, good paying jobs and increased property taxes.

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