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Five final-day filings for Brainerd City Council

A flurry of six final-day filings for Brainerd City Council were reported Tuesday.

Filing on the last day were Daniel Egan, Rob Garberich and Joseph Morgan, all for Ward 1; and Dondi Allen, Gary Scheeler and Howard J. Brewer for Ward 3.

In total, Brainerd has 18 candidates running for four seats.

Garberich, 48, said he wants Brainerd to continue to enhance its strengths, such as its parks. Garberich said he wanted to encourage both retail and manufacturing businesses to locate in Brainerd. He said he moved to Brainerd in March but has lived in the Brainerd area for 11 years.

A sales director for Lindar Corporation, Garberich said he has no real agenda. He took part in the Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s leadership training program. Garberich is married and is the parent of a boy who will be a senior in high school and girl who will be in ninth grade.

Morgan, 29, who works in the insurance industry, said he’ll be cautious in how he votes in relation to spending tax dollars. Keeping an eye on how people’s money is spent is important, particularly in the current economic environment, he said.

Describing himself as a people person, Morgan said he left Brainerd in 2001 for college and worked in Madison, Wis., for six years. He graduate from Brainerd High School.

“I want to assist in the continued growth of a healthy community which supports all people, businesses of all levels, our schools, parks, roads and infrastructure,” he said.

This is Morgan’s first bid for elective office. He is a member of the Brainerd and Nisswa chambers.

Egan, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2010, is seeking the Ward 1 seat because he wants to be more involved in the community. A resident of Brainerd since 1968, he has one daughter. He said he would like to see more council unity and encourage greater use of the industrial park and further development of parks and recreation programs to make Brainerd a destination for recreational opportunities. He said Brainerd should work with Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp., Crow Wing County and Baxter in order to obtain more jobs. Egan also hoped to see more development near the intersection of Highways 18 and 25.

“It’s a cooperative effort for everybody involved,” he said.

Egan, 50, coaches boys and girls Forestview tennis and is a volunteer coach for Brainerd High School boys’ tennis. He is self-employed in the construction trades.

Filing earlier for the Ward 1 seat were Sue Hilgart, Amanda Monnier and Dave Pritschet.

Allen, 35, said she hopes to bring fresh new ideas to the council if elected to the Ward 3 seat.

She had filed for Brainerd School Board and Brainerd City Council Tuesday but withdrew from the school board race when she learned she could only run for one post.

“I’m a hair stylist and live on a limited income, have four children, a husband and a dog,” she said.

“It’s time for some changes. I would like to live in a place comfortable enough let my children go to parks and playgrounds and feel safe. I’d like to see more activities that a family can do or be involved without costing a lot of money.”

While stating she couldn’t get too specific, Allen said there was city money being spent where it really didn’t need to be. She said she would like to see some sort incentive to attract small businesses to Brainerd.

Allen said there is not much representation for people of her age on the council.

Scheeler, who served on the council from 1998-2004, said he wants to stop the negative energy and stop the bashing of employees and of other council members.

“My No. 1 goal is stopping the bashing of good city employees that each and every day are looking out for the general public,” he said. “That’s going to stop.”

The 58-year-old Scheeler wants to review the city’s comprehensive plan and encourage new businesses. He also will place a priority on keeping neighborhoods clean.

A business owner for 35 years, he has owned a business since 1999 in Brainerd. He is the owner of Brainerd Country Power, a lawn and garden center. He said his business employees between eight and 14 full- and part-time employees in the summer and between six and eight full- and part-time employees in the winter.

Scheeler is married and has two children and three step-children.

Brewer, who previously ran for Brainerd School Board and Brainerd City Council, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Filing earlier for Ward 3 were Jeff Czeczok and John Magnuson.

The at-large candidates who filed earlier include Chip Borkenhagen, incumbent Mary Koep, incumbent Bob Olson, Laura Bisted, Denny Schmidt, David Colvin and Michael Bollinger. There are two at-large seats that will be decided in the election.

MIKE O’ROURKE, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860