(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 Barb Burandt, Ryan Holmgren and Michael McDonough.)
Click here to see a map of Elk River’s four wards.
Previous experience in elected office, if any: Although I have not been elected to public office, I spent much of my time being involved at city council meetings. It has given me a lot of insight and experience into city council matters.
Previous civic and community involvement: I volunteer as much as I can at my local church. I am a member of the Jackson Avenue committee downtown task force. I work with people who have alcohol and drug addiction issues. One of my most enjoyable volunteer ministries is working with inmates at the Sherburne County correction facility.
What skills and abilities do you have that would help you be a good council member?
I can be financially frugal when times are tough, and am able to see that single budget items add up in a hurry. I can see the public’s ideas even when the city council decides they know better. I vote with the conscience of public interests.
What do you hope to accomplish if elected?
I want to get people involved in the decision-making process. One of our local elected officials said to me “regardless of what property values are, if the city needs a dollar the city gets a dollar.” I want to be involved in changing this mentality, that we owe them.
What recent decision or decisions of the Elk River City Council have you liked or disliked and why?
I strongly disagree with the city’s new public works monstrosity. I believe we should have financial restraints during this time of American economic adjustment.
What are the three biggest issues facing the city and how would you address them?
1. Over the years with increased property values, property taxes have skyrocketed. On the down slope of property value decreases, we have seen peanuts.
2. We are going to have to look further outside the box on current budgets. We need to align with the current economic adjustment we are in. Quite possibly, we have not hit the bottom of our economic downturn. We need to continue planning for tougher times ahead.