Pat Brink, Otsego City Council
Family: Father of four children – three daughters and a son and Grandfather of two boys.
Occupation: Public Relations and Communications Executive — Owns and operates Brink PR
Previous civic and community involvement: Newsletter Editor for City Of Otsego for 1 1/2 years. Worked as Communications Manager for the City Of Eden Prairie and have assisted other governmental agencies including cities, school districts and transit providers. Covered City Councils and County Boards as television reporter.
1. What prompted you to run for the Otsego City Council?
There have been a great many changes in the city over the past year or so and residents and business owners are not being kept informed. The city cut back its newsletter from six issues to four; There is no broadcast, webcast or radio broadcast of council meetings; Topics of Work Sessions are non – existent or very broad. Communications must improve!
2. What makes you qualified to be a member of the City Council?
Otsego now has nearly 15,000 residents and my experience with larger cities including Eden Prairie, Maple Grove,and Plymouth will be very beneficial. I understand the need to “do more with less” and “to make wise investments” and I will use that knowledge to help make Otsego an even better. place to live and work.
3. What are the top three issues facing the City of Otsego?
1) Business Development
2) Community Identity
3) Communication with residents and businesses
By doing a better job of telling Otsego’s story, its benefits, its direction and its commitment to improving the city we will have more people and businesses looking to become a part of our community.
4. What distinguishes you from your opponents and makes you a better choice for the position?
Number one, I’m a nice guy!
This may seem trite, but it’s true and it’s important.
I can talk with just about anyone and understand the position they have on a particular issue; By listening to them and working with them it’s likely we will be able to reach some sort of compromise that is good for everyone.
5. What decisions of the council have you liked, and which ones have you disliked?
I’ve liked that the council is slowly becoming more transparent. However it needs to go much further.
In the last year or so there’s been a new website, new city administrator, new park and rec director, new logo, remodeled office space to house city functions and much more.
It’s tough to know what the “good” and “bad” decisions have been without more information.
6. What should the city’s role be in improving transportation in the short-term and the long term.
Continue working with neighboring communities to ensure the needs of the entire area are met, while also working to make Otsego itself an easier and more accessible place to live and work.
Begin to demand from the state and MNDOT that Otsego not be a “second class” city on highway signs in our area.”Perception is reality” and Otsego needs to be recognized.
7. There has been economic activity of late stimulating Otsego’s downtown. What more can be done to speed up economic development in the downtown area or further development elsewhere in the city.
An Economic Development person would be a key hire for the city.
Someone who’s job it is to talk with realtors, developers, businesses and entrepreneurs to put the idea of creating or relocating a business to the city. in their mind. The city administrator and mayor can do only a part of this. outreach..someone else must find the interested parties and work with them.
8. What will your approach be to balancing the city’s budget. Under what conditions would you support a tax increase.
The city council has done a very good job of keeping the budget in check. As the economy improves I believe there are some capital investments that are dearly needed…first and foremost a way to broadcast city meetings to the public ,most likely on the internet. It’s time to make the investment needed to bring city government to the people.