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Write-in candidates victories may be result of Garrison City Hall leaky roof

A leaky roof at the Garrison City Hall may have led, at least indirectly, to a victory by two write-in candidates for Garrison city posts. The write-in candidates were Pat Charlson and Sue Foster.

Charlson won the mayor’s race 59-52 against Mayor Bruce Pierson and Foster was the top vote-getter for the Garrison City Council post with 47 votes. The council candidates on the ballot were Matt Biever (35 votes) and Jimmy Naegele (34 votes).

Although the names of the write-in candidates were not listed on the Minnesota secretary of state’s website, officials with the Crow Wing County Auditor-Treasurer’s office confirmed that Charlson received all the write-in votes for mayor and Foster received all the write-in votes for council.

Foster said the write-in campaigns were started because she and Charlson believed the council was making expenditures that weren’t necessary and there was a need for change. Foster cited as an example the plans to issue a $125,000 bond to fix a roof at city hall that had been leaking for some time.

“They (city officials) just don’t listen to the people’s concerns,” Foster said.

Pierson said the plan was to issue the bond for the roof repair and then return the money that wasn’t used to reduce the principal. He said Foster and Charlson circulated a petition that led to a special election on that bond in January.

“It (the roof) has to get fixed,” Pierson said. “Would you rather pay it over 10 years or have it levied in one year?”

Sandy Post, Garrison deputy clerk, said the votes will be canvassed on Wednesday.

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