Johnson files for Brainerd City Council
South Brainerd resident Keith Johnson has filed to run for an at-large seat on the Brainerd City Council. Johnson, 40, is running for city council because he thinks he can make a difference. "Taxes are going up, the city is broke and I want to kn...
South Brainerd resident Keith Johnson has filed to run for an at-large seat on the Brainerd City Council.
Johnson, 40, is running for city council because he thinks he can make a difference.
"Taxes are going up, the city is broke and I want to know why and I want to fix it," Johnson said.
Johnson is different from other candidates because he's a small business owner and not a politician, he said.
"We've had politicians in the city council for quite some time and our town is not so good," Johnson said. "Flush the system like the toilet it is and let's replace it with some good people."
Some of Johnson's strengths include his ability to get along with a lot of people, he said, as well as the ability to make common sense decisions for the city. He's also learned to slow things down when making those decisions, he said, and to go through the process and make a decision based on the second look.
Johnson is a freemason and a member of the Brainerd Aurora Lodge No. 100. He's also a member of Shriners International, he said, so he's donated a lot of his time to public service and helping the community. This is his first time running for public office.
Johnson is concerned about where the money is going as the city raises taxes, he said. He's not sure about what control he'd have, he said, but one of his first moves would be to close Pinnacle Recovery Services, a methadone clinic on South Sixth Street. He said he'd also like to keep an eye on the finances of Brainerd Public Schools.
"They spend money like it's free, because it is to them," Johnson said. "The spending has to stop, we have to start managing money. We cannot go to the taxpayers anymore, it's gotta stop."
Brainerd is dying, Johnson said. Poor decision-making has led to crumbling infrastructure and an ugly, old downtown, he said.
"We just need some new ideas," Johnson said.
Johnson said he'd like to get into the city council and learn more specifics before he'd make final decisions on what he'd like to change. The current city council has been bullying people, he said, which helped prompt him to run.
"They think they're dictators, they rule with an iron fist," Johnson said. "They're not here to serve the people, they're here for their own interest, I don't like that."
Johnson lives at 1420 Mary St. and has lived in the community for 34 years. He is married with three children. His oldest son is 21 years old and lives in Duluth. He also has a 17-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter.
Johnson is a Brainerd High School graduate and works in the transportation and trucking industry.
Voters should choose Johnson because he's in it for them, he said, not himself.
"I'm not in it to be politically correct," Johnson said.
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