Times 2020 Election Candidate Profile: Casey Anderson, City Council Ward 5 challenger

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

First off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your family, education, background/previous stops, career, etc.?

    I was born in Crookston, MN, at Riverview, to Mark and Sue (Sprague) Anderson. I have lived in Crookston most of life, other than a couple of years to attend college.

    I have two younger siblings and a two year old nephew. I myself have two kids, one is 20 and living in Ohio, the other is 15, he is still at home and attends Crookston High School.

    I adopted a 3 year old dog in January of this year as well, she is a perfect fit for my family.

    I graduated from Crookston High School in 2011. Graduated from Bemidji State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in psychology. I completed my course work for my Masters in Social Work and am scheduled to graduate from the University of North Dakota in December of this year.

    I worked for Tri-County Community Corrections for two years (2014-2016) as a Corrections Officer/Training Corporal. I have worked for Northwestern Mental Health Center since 2016. I have worked in various positions/programs within the agency but am currently working as a School-Based Mental Health Practitioner/Clinical Trainee at Crookston High School and WAO Secondary school.

Why are you running for Crookston City Council?

    I want to see the city of Crookston move forward. I want Crookston to feel like home again, not just for everyone who already lives here, but to all of those who may come to visit or live. I can’t expect to see change and not actively try to make change. That is why I am running.

Can you list what you think are the three best things the Crookston community has going for it at this particular moment in time, and reasons why you chose these three things?

    The PEOPLE, whether through personal experiences like my father’s benefit at the Eagles ten years ago when he lost his eye sight, the people in the community showed up, and helped us, not only through donations but through love and support-I saw the same thing happen when my father passed away this year, the people rallied around my family. My work in the schools in the community has also allowed me to witness how many members of the community care about the well-being of their neighbors and are willing to donate funds when they are able to. POTENTIAL, there is so much room for growth within the community. RESILIENCY, business owners in town have done everything they can to meet our needs and stay open, even during a global pandemic. They fight tooth and nail to keep their businesses going, I believe the people and the city should do the same. Floods, pandemics, tragedy, no matter what happens this community always finds a way to rally, the people and the businesses.

On the flip side, what trio of challenges facing the Crookston community are the most daunting, in your view? What can/should/needs to be done to tackle these challenges?

    We need to focus on what we have and adding more so people want to stay here, stop for a visit here, or invest here. In my opinion, the City Council sets the attitude for the community. I think the appearance of discord has negatively impacted the people and their desire to get engaged in making change. There needs to be a spark of energy and positivity to revitalize the community. I also think more transparency from the decision making team can help folks feel safe and build trust with the city leaders, creating a symbiotic relationship between the council and the people, which, in my opinion, can allow for better decision making and more engagement.

Please describe what you envision downtown Crookston will be like in 10 years.

    Thriving, energetic, welcoming, and even more unique than it already is.

If you had to grade the performance of the Crookston City Council, mayor position and City administration over the past five years, what grade would you give? Please explain why you chose the grade you did.

    B- The seemingly lack of transparency, public displays of conflict between council members as well as the turnover within the city’s top positions have impacted the appearance and overall functioning of the decision making team. However, I do believe they have been able to make strides towards change and can recover from the tumultuous last few years.

Please finish this sentence: The Crookston community is…

    ...resilient and full of growth opportunities.  

Can you list two people in your life that have particularly inspired you, or two people that you especially admire and try to emulate? Please explain your choices.

    My parents, both born and raised in Crookston. They showed me what hard-work and compassion can do. My dad, who passed away in late May of this year, loved this community and did all he could to give back and to make others feel welcome in Crookston, his endless generosity and desire to create joy for others with his sense of humor and big heart made everyone feel like they had a friend-that is inspiring to me. My mom is a resilient, hard-working, and kind individual, who holds no judgment against others, these are traits I hope to emulate throughout my life.

Casey Anderson