by Joni Astrup
Barb Burandt has been elected to the Elk River City Council, edging Mike McDonough by 217 votes.
The unofficial total is Burandt, 1,342 or 54 percent to 1,125 or 45 percent for McDonough.
“It’s a humbling experience to have all those people support me,” Burandt said. “I will really try to work hard for everybody, that’s for sure. I know it’s going to be a learning opportunity for me.”
Burandt and McDonough were running for an open four-year council seat in Ward 3.
Burandt, meanwhile, said the campaign was a growing experience for her.
“I walked pretty much the whole ward and knocked on doors myself. I had the opportunity to meet a great many people and some people had quite a bit to tell me,” she said.
While campaigning Burandt noticed a number of vacant houses and met some people who are struggling. She said it’s very important to maintain city services, but also to keep costs low so taxes don’t go up.
Burandt grew up on a dairy farm in Anoka County. She moved to Elk River more than 40 years ago after marrying David Burandt. They live on a farm that has been in his family for about 100 years.
They have three children and three grandchildren.
Burandt got her bachelor’s degree in nursing in the 1980s and worked as the first Early Childhood Family Education coordinator in Elk River. The position required a degree in education, so she went back to school to get a master’s degree in adult education.
Then, at age 50, she went to law school and graduated from William Mitchell College of Law. Today she works as the quality specialist for Allina home and community services in the hospice program. She also practices law.
McDonough is a dispatch manager at Long Haul Trucking in Albertville.
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 has lived in Elk River for six years. His wife, Chelsey, is a graduate of Elk River High School. They have one daughter.