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Brainerd Council At Large

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Chip Borkenhagen

Age: 65

Current employment: Publisher/marketing and public relations consultant

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the position you’re seeking?:

I am a business visionary with 40 years of practical and successful experience. My career has been all about using a positive attitude to build good relationships between small business owners, their employees and their customers. This is essentially not much different than directing a successful community government. I will use my recent background in building Lake Country Journal Magazine to seek the best solutions, minimize drama and rebuild Brainerd’s reputation and prestige. The community building I have been a part of over the years allows me to “hit the ground running” in turning our challenges into economic opportunities.

Mary Koep

Age: 79

Current employment: Radio talk show on 3WI in Brainerd, Brainerd City Council

Public office experience: County board, city council

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you are seeking?:

 I am passionate about Brainerd — its history is of a vibrant resourceful people, a foundation for a bright, flourishing city. My record proves fiscal responsibility and accountability. I get things done. I listen and work for a quick and helpful response. I practice, “the buck stops here.” I reach out to business. I value their investment in Brainerd. Job growth is building. I understand council policy role. I am calm under pressure. I respect my colleagues and the people with whom I work. I have the courage of conviction. I am passionate about Brainerd.

Robert “Bob” Olson

Age: 86

Current employment: Brainerd City Council, 1975-77; mayor, 1989-90; alderman-at-large, 2001-2012.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for post you’re seeking?: Will continue to serve and represent Brainerd citizens to the best of my God-given ability. Tax dollars should be used for citizen needs, not the wants of elected officials. Will continue to review city finances and inform citizens when there are discrepancies. Will continue to make financial recommendations to reduce levies paid by citizens when additional funds are available.

Because of my recommendations: 2011 levy reduced $900,000 for street construction costs; 2012 adopted budget levy reduced $235,000.

Haven’t voted for all city budgets; unnecessary expenditures weren’t eliminated.

Will continue to speak out on citizen issues.

Denny ‘Smitty’ Schmidt

Age: 65

Current employment: Retired

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

I served 18 years on the Oak Lawn town board. Just like Brainerd we had a very tight operating budget. We managed to work within our budget without diminishing services or raising taxes. Therefore my campaign slogan is “Pinch a Penny, Vote for Denny”. I am frugal by nature and even more so with other people’s money.

I have worked in the manufacturing industry in various positions since the late 80s. I still have contacts that I could use to bring industry into the city. I believe that I am the only candidate that has that experience and knowledge.

Laura Bisted

Age: 49

Current employment: Self-employed Sports Card Central

Public office experience: None

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

Fresh ideas. I am willing to take in account the changing times and changing ways and I am willing to adjust to both.

I understand small business and how to cut costs but still bring the best product for a fair price.

I believe in Brainerd's future and I am will to look at new ideas on how to get the city to grow with the times.

David Colvin

Age: 56

Current employment: Caregiver

Public office experience: None

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?: I’ve lived in Brainerd all my life. I know the problems of this town and I know what things have been done to try to remedy them. I realize that none of the solutions are easy or quick. Having lived here all my life, I know the people of the town and I am willing to listen to their problems and their ideas to fix them. I have an open mind and I am willing to try new and different ideas. In fact, if elected, I hope people will be willing to share their thoughts and concerns.

Michael Bollinger

Age: 44

Current Employment: Crow Wing County Highway Department

Public Office Experience: First time seeking public office

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

Here are the reasons I believe that I would be the most qualified for alderman-at-large. I would bring a balanced and common sense approach to making decisions that affect the people of Brainerd. I want a sensible plan to be put in place to repair city streets, using age, condition and traffic count. To set money aside from the budget, for snowplowing on weekends. Also a checks and balances system for any rezoning to be done in Brainerd, to be approved by the mayor and city council first.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889