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Write-in candidate seeks seat on Farmington City Council

Joshua Hoyt is running a write-in campaign for a seat on Farmington City Council. He seeks answers about questions that led up to the settlement agreement with the city and former Farmington Police Chief Brian Lindquist. Kara Hildreth / Contributor

FARMINGTON — Joshua Hoyt planned a campaign to seek a Farmington City Council seat in 2020.

But a month ago Hoyt launched his grassroots write-in campaign to seek a seat on Farmington City Council in this November's election.

Hoyt decided to run sooner after witnessing the outpouring of community outrage at the Aug. 20 City Council meeting in response to the approval of the separation agreement between the city of Farmington and former Farmington Police Chief Brian Lindquist.

After reviewing the council meeting agenda and minutes, Hoyt was puzzled even after information came out that there was a joint settlement agreement voted upon by the council.

"It did not pass the smell test and it seemed like there was something missing," Hoyt said. "So I read up on it and did a little digging and I decided I needed to hear a little more about what is going on."

Along with 24 Farmington residents, Hoyt spoke during the council's open forum against the council's approval of the separation agreement. He spoke how he was disappointed with the council's decision to part ways with the police chief. Hoyt said residents deserve to better understand the reasoning for the decision.

Understanding how council members are unable to respond to constituents' concerns during the open forum, Hoyt said he was unhappy that the council did not take a pause on the vote Aug. 20 to consider the public outcry against separating way with the police chief.

"I was kind of taken back and disheartened about how passionate everyone was to say we are missing something," Hoyt said.

Hoyt said from what he understands there was not an adequate performance improvement plan put in place for the police chief.

"In my entire career, I have served with, managed or worked with people I have not liked and there are personality conflicts," he said. "I felt like there were clearly not enough things done on the council's behalf to keep the chief accountable."

As a U.S. Marine veteran, Hoyt currently works as the owner and operator of his own design firm as a licensed general contractor. But he is also busy campaigning and listening to residents.

Ready to provide true citizen representation, Hoyt contends he holds no political party affiliation.

"I believe that a misconception within politics is that the municipal level is not as important as it is," Hoyt said. "I think a lot of people get caught up in the state and national level, and they forget that the municipal level has such a huge impact on their day to day."

Hoyt openly said in recent weeks he has reached out to talk with City Administrator David McKnight, Mayor Todd Larson and all City Council members. He wants to build trust and work to understand all perspectives.

"You have to keep getting involved," Hoyt said. "It would be unfair and not doing the community its proper service to only reach out to a few council members or only ask the questions you know a certain council members are going to answer — you have to do it unbiased and objectively."

Since he missed the filing deadline, Hoyt is not able to formally participate in the City Council candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Farmington City Hall that will be moderated by Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Hoyt plans to be present in the audience and will answer questions posed to candidates in real time and post his answers via social media on his Facebook page, "Write-In Joshua Hoyt for Farmington City Council 2018."

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