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Meet the 6 who want to fill the Brainerd Mayoral position

Mayor James Wallin's untimely passing on Sept. 26 meant the city of Brainerd would have to adopt a process to fill the vacancy left by his death. The Brainerd City Council will appoint a mayor to serve until the general election in November of 2016, when a mayor will be elected to serve the remaining two years of Wallin's four-year term. Brainerd Dispatch file photo1 / 7
Don Samuelson, 1018 Portland Ave., has a long history of representing Brainerd in the state Legislature, both as a representative and senator. He represented District 53B as a state representative from 1969-1972, and District 13A from 1973-1978, and 1981-1982. He represented District 13 as a state senator from 1983-1992 and District 12 from 1993-2002.2 / 7
Kevin Stumpf, 1636 S. Seventh St., is a current member of the Charter Commission and past member of the Cable TV Advisory Committee. He also served on the Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber Business Council for two years.3 / 7
Chad McCoy, 722 W. College Drive, Apt. 103, is currently a financial adviser with Edward Jones Investments, where he has worked since 2011. He worked from 2009-2012 as a field analyst with Nemadji Research Corp. in Los Angeles.4 / 7
Kevin Goedker, 1210 Ninth Ave. NE., served on the Brainerd City Council from 2005-2012, during which time he served a stint as council president. He also sat on the city's Personnel and Finance and Safety and Public Works committees during his time on the council. He is a past member of of the Brainerd Parking Commission and the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission.5 / 7
Kevin Stunek, 15535 Sunset Way, Brainerd, has a long history with the Brainerd Fire Department. Over a more than 40-year career, he worked his way up from paid on-call firefighter to fire chief, a position he held for five years before retiring in April. He also served in the military for six years.6 / 7
Ed Menk, 721 S. Seventh St., is the owner and operator of E.L. Menk Jewelers, located in downtown Brainerd, and Parker LLC. He started as a watchmaker in Winona from 1969-1974, and started working for Bud's Jewelry in Brainerd in May of 1974. In 1979, he purchased Ron's Jewelry and in 1988 purchased the Parker Building, located on the corner of Seventh and Laurel streets.7 / 7

Six men have applied to become the new mayor of Brainerd.

Those who applied to fill the vacancy are Kevin Goedker, Chad McCoy, Ed Menk, Don Samuelson, Kevin Stumpf and Kevin Stunek.

Mayor James Wallin's untimely passing on Sept. 26 meant the city of Brainerd would have to adopt a process to fill the vacancy left by his death.

The Brainerd City Council will appoint a mayor to serve until the general election in November of 2016, when a mayor will be elected to serve the remaining two years of Wallin's four-year term.

Council President Gary Scheeler has been and will continue to serve as acting mayor until an appointment is made. Scheeler did not apply to fill the mayoral vacancy.

The deadline to submit applications for the position was Nov. 6. Applicants were asked to include a brief resume and statement of interest, and will be interviewed by the council at a later date.

The rest of the timeline for the appointment process is as follows:

  • Schedule interviews for candidates for Nov. 30.
  • Vote on and select a candidate following the Nov. 30 interviews.
  • Swear in the candidate at the city council meeting Dec. 7.

The requirements for the process are:

  • All applicants must meet criteria of election eligibility.
  • Application letter must be accompanied by resume.
  • Each applicant will be interviewed by the full council.
  • Any questions for candidates will be determined by the council.

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Kevin Goedker, 1210 Ninth Ave. NE., served on the Brainerd City Council from 2005-2012, during which time he served a stint as council president. He also sat on the city's Personnel and Finance and Safety and Public Works committees during his time on the council. He is a past member of of the Brainerd Parking Commission and the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission.

He is the broker/owner of Goedker Realty Inc., in Baxter, past president of the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors, the federal political coordinator between the National Association of Realtors and former Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., a member of the Noon Sertoma Club and a graduate of Central Lakes College.

In a letter attached to Goedker's resume, he wrote, "as a former member of the Brainerd City Council, I am very familiar with what the duties and position entails."

He submitted his application for mayor on Sept. 28.

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Chad McCoy, 722 W. College Drive, Apt. 103, is currently a financial adviser with Edward Jones Investments, where he has worked since 2011. He worked from 2009-2012 as a field analyst with Nemadji Research Corp. in Los Angeles.

He has a history of working in the public sector in Minnesota, starting as an intern with the city of Minneapolis Public Works from 2006-2007. He worked as an intern in 2007 both with Community Planning and Economic Development in Minneapolis and the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission in Duluth. He also worked as a police support technician with the Minneapolis Police Department in 2008.

During his education, he spent time at schools in China and Russia, and graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in political science. He obtained a master's degree in advocacy and political leadership with a focus on small community development from the same institution in 2007.

In a letter attached to McCoy's resume, he wrote, "my entire life I've had an interest in service."

Citing his experience in the private and public sector, McCoy wrote, "I believe this experience gives me valuable insight into the real-life issues facing the citizens of Brainerd, as well as insight into the complexities of city affairs."

He submitted his application for mayor on Nov. 4.

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Ed Menk, 721 S. Seventh St., is the owner and operator of E.L. Menk Jewelers, located in downtown Brainerd, and Parker LLC. He started as a watchmaker in Winona from 1969-1974, and started working for Bud's Jewelry in Brainerd in May of 1974. In 1979, he purchased Ron's Jewelry and in 1988 purchased the Parker Building, located on the corner of Seventh and Laurel streets.

He served on the Brainerd Planning and Zoning Commission for 16 years, during which period he spent time as chair and vice chair of the commission. He is currently the chairman of the Brainerd Economic Development Authority. He has served on the Downtown Business Association, Brainerd Mainstreet program and worked with the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce. He also worked with the city and downtown merchants and property owners for a 2009 redevelopment.

In a letter attached to his resume, Menk cited a past encounter with former Mayor C. Elmer Anderson upon his recent relocation to Brainerd.

"After that meeting I realized that the most important job the mayor had was to have a positive attitude and attempt to make others feel positive about the city of Brainerd," Menk wrote.

Menk has worked in downtown Brainerd for 41 years, he wrote, and has observed many changes over time, but still feels the city offers many opportunities for businesses, employees and residents.

Menk submitted his application for mayor on Oct. 23.

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Don Samuelson, 1018 Portland Ave., has a long history of representing Brainerd in the state Legislature, both as a representative and senator. He represented District 53B as a state representative from 1969-1972, and District 13A from 1973-1978, and 1981-1982. He represented District 13 as a state senator from 1983-1992 and District 12 from 1993-2002.

As a member of the Legislature, Samuelson secured funding for the former Brainerd Vocational School addition to the then-Brainerd Community College, now Central Lakes College. He also worked with the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce to build the visitor's center on Highway 371 south of Brainerd. He also worked at the 11th hour in 1983 to reverse a decision from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to close Brainerd International Raceway.

Samuelson now delivers meals for Meals on Wheels and is on the board of directors for the Crow Wing County Historical Society. He served on the Brainerd Charter Commission and currently serves on the Brainerd Public Utilities Commission. He is also the chair of the Minnesota Board on Aging.

In a letter attached to his resume, Samuelson wrote in past elections, citizens had encouraged him to run for mayor. He chose not to, because he felt Wallin was "always doing a great job for the city, and in fact I supported him very strongly."

As mayor, Samuelson wrote he would work with the city council and citizens to bring new business and industry to Brainerd.

"Brainerd needs improvement on housing and jobs," Samuelson wrote. "It has been my desire to see a hotel/motel reestablished in our city limits."

Samuelson submitted his application for mayor on Nov. 4

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Kevin Stumpf, 1636 S. Seventh St., is a current member of the Charter Commission and past member of the Cable TV Advisory Committee. He also served on the Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber Business Council for two years.

Since 1994, Stumpf has been the owner/manager of Country Kitchen in Baxter. During the same time, he also managed food service at CLC for six years. He is the past manager of three Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and a franchise operations consultant for International Dairy Queen.

He has a bachelor's degree in business finance from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

In a letter attached to his resume, Stumpf cited his experience with local organizations as providing insight about community needs.

"Our community needs a leader that exemplifies caring, stability and a drive to continue building this community to a stronger position within the dynamic social economic environment we now live in," Stumpf wrote.

Stumpf unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2010, finishing third of four candidates.

Stumpf submitted his application for mayor on Nov. 6.

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Kevin Stunek, 15535 Sunset Way, Brainerd, has a long history with the Brainerd Fire Department. Over a more than 40-year career, he worked his way up from paid on-call firefighter to fire chief, a position he held for five years before retiring in April. He also served in the military for six years.

Stunek has a bachelor's degree in education from St. Cloud State University. He worked as a chief negotiator for the tactical response unit for the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office.

In a letter detailing his application for mayor, Stunek wrote he has seen city staff work together to achieve attainable and reasonable goals. As fire chief, he said he worked frequently with the mayor, city leaders and the community.

"I believe many things can be done to revitalize our community," Stunek wrote. "One goal of mine would be to allow Brainerd to be more visible."

Stunek said as fire chief, he was in the public eye at all times and participated in many community events, much like the mayor does.

"I have strong people skills and am a good public speaker," Stunek said. "These I believe are all assets of a mayor for the city of Brainerd."

Stunek submitted his application for mayor on Nov. 6.

SPENSER BICKETT may be reached at 218-855-5859 or spenser.bickett@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/spenserbickett.

Spenser Bickett

Spenser Bickett covers the Brainerd City Council and education. A native of the Twin Cities, Bickett attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he majored in journalism with a minor in political science. After graduation, he worked for the International Falls Journal as a staff writer before coming to Brainerd.

 
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