Times 2020 Election Candidate Profile: Bobby Baird, incumbent City Council At-Large
Tell us about yourself, your family, education, career and political experience.
I grew up on a farm here in Crookston and I’ve been here all my life. I’m married to Natalie, I have a son and a daughter, and three step sons as well as two grandchildren. I went to Central High School and graduated in 1974 then straight into work from there. I currently work at Best Used Trucks and have been a council member for four years.
How long have you served as a Crookston City Council member?
I was elected in 2016 so four years.
What do you hope to accomplish if elected for another term?
There’s a whole list of things, the first thing is to get the downtown sidewalks replaced. The second is to get our businesses support where we can. We need to make sure they can stay open and we’ll do whatever we can. We also have Epitome coming and hopefully some downtown development. With those projects, we will get additional employment, economic development and jobs. We need that, plus that will bring people to town to stay in the hotels and spend money. The city needs to have another conversation about snow gates, too.
Do you feel you’ve been open enough to the members of your ward and the community to speak on their behalf?
I feel I have been. The biggest thing I’ve always said is I work for the taxpayers, if there are issues you have to come to the mic and I’ll always support them. I want to hear it from them. I’ve been pretty upfront and some people don’t care for that.
Many people in the area feel that communication is the Council’s weakest point - both with other council members/mayor/staff, and with the community. Do you feel you can fix that if elected to another term? How? Give examples if you’d like.
That has been a major issue and I don’t know how many times the Council has said we need to communicate more. If communication continues to be an issue we’re going to have to make some changes where and with whoever is causing problems. People should be called out on it as everyone is wise to it.
In regards to the handling of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, name one thing you agree with that Governor Walz has done for the state of Minnesota. Explain.
Communication was okay, they kept us informed for quite a while.
In regards to the handling of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, name one thing you disagree with that Governor Walz has done for the state of Minnesota. Explain.
I don’t think they should have looked at every small business owner in every city the same especially ours and how much this affected them. I felt they should have left it up to the business owners and used more common sense. We need our businesses to stay open.
What do you like to do for fun? Hobbies?
I like to work, race, and spend time with the family. Family is the biggest thing. I used to like to snowmobile but had a back injury that stopped me. I also like volunteering and helping people.
What is your favorite place to visit in Crookston? How about in Minnesota?
All over. I like going downtown to the businesses, I like spending time in my yard, I like walking on the trails, so many places here. Crookston is a good place to visit and there are many places to go here, and people to visit with. I could spend a whole day just walking around and visiting with people in the community. I enjoy that. In Minnesota, it would be Duluth and North Shore drive. My wife and I really like going up there and the Grand Marais area.
What is your favorite restaurant and where is it located?
I really like the Crookston Inn and the Shanty. We don’t get to go out and eat much anymore.