Barbara Burandt: Restore civility to meetings, expand tax base, add jobs

(Editor’s note: Four candidates are running for an open Elk River City Council seat to represent Ward 3. The top two finishers in the Aug. 14 primary election will advance to the Nov. 6 general election. Below are the answers to questions posed by the Star News. To see the other candidates’ answers, click on Ryan Holmgren, Michael McDonough and Chad Wurm.)

Click here to see a map of Elk River’s four wards.

Barb Burandt

Barb Burandt

Occupation:  Registered nurse/attorney who has worked in health care (primarily home care and Hospice) for over 30 years.

Previous experience in elected office, if any:   None

Previous civic and community involvement: •Past member of Minnesota Department of Health Rule Writing Committees: Hospice, Assisted Living, and Home Care Regulatory Framework

•Member, American Bar Association (ABA)

•Member, Minnesota Bar Association (MSBA)

•Member, Health Law Section, MSBA

•Member American Nurses Association (ANA)

•Member, Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA)

•Previous board member/past chair, Minnesota Home Care Association (MHCA)

•Past chair/member MHCA Legislative  Team

•Member , MN Network of Hospice & Palliative Care(MNHPC)

•Current chair MNHPC Public Policy Committee

•Previous member, Sherburne County Community Services, Health Advisory Board

•Previous member, Guardian Angels†Elim Home Care, Advisory Board

•Previous member, Guardian Angels Care Center, Health Board

•Previous member, Parish Nurse Steering Committee, Centracare Health System

•Previous member, Quiet Oaks Hospice House Board

•Previous 4-H leader, project leader, Sherburne County

•Actively involved with church and RSVP volunteer .

What skills and abilities do you have that would help you be a good council member? With over 30 years of experience in business management, primarily in health care, I bring expertise in budget, strategic planning and operations. I also have a great interest in the legislative process and have worked on committees to produce language for legislative review.  Teamwork to achieve goals is one of my greatest strengths.

What do you hope to accomplish if elected?

•Restore civility to council meetings. Anyone coming before the council should be listened to carefully, treated respectfully and thanked for sharing their perspectives.

•Economic development. We need to expand our tax base and add jobs for our residents. Why do businesses go elsewhere? We are a great city. But we need to grow!

What recent decision or decisions of the Elk River City Council have you liked or disliked and why? 

Recently the City Council discussed a possible unfunded mandate that would require both testing and dredging of holding ponds that test high for contaminants including PCBs. They voted to set this aside until the mandate is enacted. I suggest continuing to search for economical ways to protect residents from waste water runoff. The health of our city is at risk. Preparation through careful planning is required.

What are the three biggest issues facing the city and how would you address them?

Now that there seems to be an upturn in the state economy, we need to look at increasing our tax base and adding jobs. Second issue is parks and recreation.  We need to maintain and grow these areas to enhance the quality of life in our community. Third issue is to clean up our city though redevelopment of blighted areas.