Baxter City Council: Lyscio hopes to continue using her free time to benefit community
Incumbent Connie Lyscio, a retired teacher, is looking for reelection against newcomer Amy Bogart, a small business owner and fellow incumbent Zach Tabatt, former police officer and financial advisor.
BAXTER — Connie Lyscio wants to use her retirement time to keep working for the community she loves.
The retired physical education teacher from the Brainerd School District is not ready for retired life yet, she said, and wants to use that time with another four-year team on the Baxter City Council. Lyscio taught for about 34 years before retiring and described her career as “the best job for me that I ever could have imagined.”
Even though she loved teaching, she said she knew her priority was to be a mother. Lyscio is married with two adult sons and two grandchildren, who she said she adores.
“We chose to move to Baxter like 18 years ago to specifically raise our youngest son, because there weren't any more kids in the neighborhood where we live prior,” Lyscio said. “I think he had a magical childhood. Honestly, the neighborhoods are awesome, kids outside playing. So yes, I'm retired but still engaged and I hope I always can be and will be.”
Before living in the Brainerd lakes area, Lyscio grew up in Two Harbors. However, every summer Lyscio and her family would come to the Brainerd area to a camp her dad worked at. Even though she isn’t from the area, she said she has always considered it a second home.
If reelected, Lyscio’s main priority would be keeping taxes as low as possible while growing the community to the best of their ability.
“I think focusing on doing the absolute best for the people that live here as far as keeping taxes as low as we possibly can while at the same time helping grow the city in a manner that we all expect and are accustomed to,” Lyscio said.
Lyscio also said she wants to prioritize the parks system in Baxter. She is a big advocate for a dog park somewhere in the city and would like to continue to provide the community with outdoor recreational space.
““If we learned anything during the pandemic, we learned how important it is to have easy access to quality parks and social, emotional mental health is improved when you're able to get out in green space,” Lyscio said. “I talk about this a lot, but my goal is to have a fabulous dog park not only for the animals, but people socialize when they're out with their animals. So it's just an icebreaker. So yeah, I would love to see that develop.”
When Lyscio first decided to run, it was the same year she was retiring from teaching. She said she remembers people asking her if she was crazy or if she was unhappy with Baxter.
“One of the first questions I got was, ‘Are you crazy?’ And the second question was, ‘Why? Are you unhappy in Baxter?’” Lyscio said. “I was surprised at that because I didn’t feel that way at all.”
Lyscio’s previous term on the city council also provided her some experience she said will benefit her if reelected. She knows how the council works and knows how to work with them, even if they don’t always agree.
“I have great respect for people who are knowledgeable and their opinions are based on facts,” Lyscio said. “I'm also willing to admit that it's OK to change my mind. There's been times when I've gone into a meeting thinking I was going to vote one way and I heard different opinions and different facts and different testimonies and my thought process changed and that's OK.”
Lyscio said she sees herself as a person of integrity and hopes to serve the community of Baxter for another term.
SARA GUYMON, Brainerd Dispatch, staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5851 or