Incumbents Klein and Moser won't seek re-election to Baxter council
BAXTER - Jim Klein and Rob Moser, who have both served on the city council for eight years, won't seek re-election this fall.
Both men made the announcement at the end of Wednesday's city council meeting.
"It's been an honor and a privilege," Moser said. "It definitely will be a big change, but it's time to move on. Our city staff here is second to none - that's very easy for me to say. Everything you've done has made my job so much easier and more enjoyable. I thank the staff for everything they've done. They've done a great job for the city."
After the meeting, Klein said it was time to end his service.
"I'm tired," he said. "It's been a tough eight years with the recession going on."
Klein served on the council for a term-and-a-half some 20 years ago. He's been active on the parks commission. Working on the parks and amenities for the city was a highlight of his service, Klein said.
He'd still like to see disc golf take hold in the city and is looking forward the to completion of work on Riverview Park and continue to see bike trails.
"Government works too slow for my mind," Klein said.
Once he leaves the council, Klein said he may continue to be involved.
"I still might be around."
Moser served on the council and served another 10 years on the utilities commission, including six years as chairman.
"Time's gone by fast," Moser said. "For the most part I've enjoyed my time. I truly feel it's a good time for me to go a different direction and allow others to come in and serve - new thoughts, new ideas."
He enjoyed planning, particularly for the city's transportation system and road network and budgets. He said working through the Great Recession was challenging and everyone is still feeling the effects. It was a different time than when he started and development was happening so fast "it was more like hold on to your seat." Now, he said, things are coming back but not to the level of the past boom.
He said one of the things he feels most proud of as a person who believes in being fiscally responsible was in holding the line on costs through the difficult times. The staff, he said, stepped up and took on more work as the city cut back on employees.
Moser said he looks forward to seeing the end result of all the planning on transportation and road infrastructure in the future as major corridors are developed to take pressure off state highways.
"That's going to really improve how people get around in the city," he said. "Our city is still growing."
For the larger community, for Brainerd and Baxter, Moser said it's easy to see this is a desirable place to be.
"We are so lucky to have this gorgeous area," he said. "I think progress is going to continue whether we like it or not. We need to plan for it and make it work for everybody - the people who are here and the people who are coming."
Moser said he particularly looks forward to seeing Excelsior Road improved.
"I've enjoyed it," he said of his council service. "I've learned a lot."
"It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with both of you, as well. We have done much together on this council," Council member Todd Holman said. "You gentlemen have been professional. ... We will miss your service."
Holman said there is a lot to do in the coming weeks with Moser and Klein on the council.