First, could you provide a bit of background information, i.e. your age, family, career and educational background, etc.?
I am 62, my wife Sheryl and I both grew up and graduated from school in Fosston MN. We have been married for 36 years. our son and daughter are both married, and we have three grandchildren. I enlisted in the US Air Force in 1975 and trained as an air conditioning and refrigeration specialist, followed by further schooling for Johnson and Honeywell pneumatic controls. After my years in the military I was hired by the US Postal Service in Crookston as a Letter Carrier. After many years with the Postal Service, I retired and since that time have worked at UMC doing security and parking enforcement.
Please list, in order, what you see as Crookston’s three biggest assets, and explain your rationale.
I feel our three biggest assets are our educational system, including UMC, our medical facilities, and our business/manufacturers. You want a place nearby where you and your family can go for medical care. You want good schools/colleges where your children will be able to get a good education. You want a community where there are jobs available, along with shopping, restaurants, entertainment choices, exc.
Now, on the flip side, please list, in order, what you see as Crookston’s three biggest challenges, or shortcomings.
The three challenges, 1. Bring in more business/manufacturers. 2. Maintain the business/manufactures we have. 3. Keep and bring more business to the downtown area.
The word “dysfunctional” is being tossed around frequently this campaign season, as people describe the current makeup of the council and mayor and how they communicate and work together. To what level do you agree with that assessment, or disagree with it? Please explain.
Rather than dysfunctional, I would say that we don’t always agree on things, and that isn’t all bad. Always agreeing on everything can also mean different thoughts and solution might not be considered or tried. After working with a number of different mayors and council people through the years, willingness to listen and respect each other is key to being “functional”. It is unfortunate that a few have had several disagreements that extend into personal attacks. However, rather than dedicating more time to the few and their actions, I would prefer to move ahead, expect the best in each other, and get back to the work everyone was elected to do.
You mentioned at the candidate forum that you were not planning to run again until you spoke to people who talked you into it. Can you explain why you chose to run for an at-large seat instead of another term in Ward 6?
It’s true, when Cindy put her name in I had not planned on running again. I felt she would do a good job and I was, and am 100% behind her to represent Ward 6! However, the more I talked with people in person and on the phone, they felt I had served the city well and should run again. Cindy had put her name in for Wad 6 and I felt she was a good choice, and I wasn’t going to run against her. Many of those who contact me and I visit with throughout the year are outside my ward, and I felt that if I was going to run again, I’d run for the at-large-spot and serve the whole city.
Could you list some favorite hobbies or other things you like to do in your spare time?
Our family enjoys being at the lake, and we’ve had our camper and pontoon at Polk County Park for many years. With our kids grown, we like to spend as much time as we can with them, their spouses, and our grandchildren. Sheryl and I like to travel and take a road trip whenever we can. Since I retired, we’ve had some great trips, and visited almost all the states in the USA.
People like to toss the word “hero” around a lot, but could you list three people that you really admire, or look up to, and explain a little why you’ve picked these three?
Rather than three people, there are three groups that I consider heroes. 1. Military/Veterans. 2. Those that serve in law enforcement. 3. The families of military/ veterans and law enforcement. These first two groups are the defenders and protectors of every one of us and our country. There could never be enough thanks for what these folks do /have done for us. Then there are the families that stand behind and support them while knowing every time their son, daughter, spouse, mom, dad, brother or sister leaves, they might not come back, or might not come back whole.