(Editor’s note: Four candidates — Chad Wurm, Michael McDonough, Ryan Holmgren and Barb Burandt — are running for an open Elk River City Council seat in Ward 3. The top two winners in the Aug. 14 primary election will advance to the general election in November. Click on their names to read about each candidate.)
by Joni Astrup
Michael McDonough grew up learning the ins and outs of a large family business, McDonough Truck Lines based in Faribault.
By age 17, he was dispatching full time for the business, and continues in that field today as a dispatch manager for another company — Long Haul Trucking in Albertville, which sends 265 trucks all over the United States and Canada.
“I feel like I have a strong connection to business and that’s something that I can bring to the table,” said McDonough, who is making his first run for public office.
He said he’s been around during five start-up companies and knows what it takes to start doing business in a community. His family has been in business for more than 50 years.
“I believe that a guy like me can break down the walls between politics and business, and I like to get things done from a real common-sense approach,” he said.
If elected to the council, he’d like to use his business background to encourage more companies to locate in Elk River and provide more jobs locally.
He also would like to see more public-private partnerships, encouraging community booster programs, business sponsorships and fundraisers for programs from police to public safety to parks and recreation.
He sees that as one way to foster more community involvement and pride.
Overall, he’d aim at decreasing the city’s budget. “I have a number of ideas, but the private sector partnerships would be a big part of this,” he said.
He also would seek to continue the trend to cut property taxes.
On other issues, he favors responsible funding of entities like the city’s parks and recreation program. The city can provide things, but he’d like to look into the possibility of community booster programs for things like softball fields. He also is interested in the possibility of local businesses having sponsorship at the fields, and maybe at the city-owned Pinewood Golf Course.
He’d also like to beef up communications and get people more involved.
A native of Faribault, McDonough is a graduate of Bethlehem Academy in Faribault. He went to Mankato State for three years and completed a two-year small business management program at vocational school.
He’s lived in Elk River for six years. His wife, Chelsey, is a graduate of Elk River High School. They have one daughter, who is 4.