Scheeler files for Brainerd City Council
Brainerd City Council President Gary Scheeler has filed for reelection to his Ward 3 seat. Scheeler, 61, is running for reelection because he wants to continue working on the issues the city council is handling and would like to see those project...
Brainerd City Council President Gary Scheeler has filed for reelection to his Ward 3 seat.
Scheeler, 61, is running for reelection because he wants to continue working on the issues the city council is handling and would like to see those projects and directions come to fruition.
Scheeler's experience as a leader and in management sets him apart from the other Ward 3 candidates, he said.
"I was born a leader," Scheeler said. "I'm great at management."
Some of Scheeler's strengths include his ability to put himself in other people's shoes, his time management skills, positive energy and his unwillingness to give up, he said.
"I get more done in a day than the average person because of my management skills and time management," Scheeler said. "That gives me time to spend more time with the public."
When things don't go the way Scheeler thought they would, his first step is to look inward and see what he could have done better, he said. He'll also apologize if necessary but makes sure he never carries a grudge, he said.
"I've worked with certain people today that in the past were my biggest critics," Scheeler said. "Today now, sometimes they're even an ally."
The energy on the city council now is much more positive than it was at the beginning of Scheeler's term, he said. People have approached him about annexing into the city, he said, which is a sign people want to be in Brainerd.
"Now you know as a city you're doing things right when outside of the city limits would like to be a part of what you're doing," Scheeler said.
Scheeler pointed to some of the things he's been able to do for northeast Brainerd during his term. He helped find a buyer for the old Wausau paper mill, now the Brainerd Industrial Center. He helped secure a federal Safe Routes to School grant to improve sidewalks near Garfield Elementary School. He also worked on the city's purchase of the hydro dam and the current Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport utility extension project.
"I would say northeast Brainerd's going to have the highest development in the Brainerd area now," Scheeler said.
Scheeler's top concern for his ward is to ensure the BIC continues to find more tenants and fills the old paper mill space with a variety of businesses. He also wants to work to spur development along the Highway 210 corridor along the airport utility extension project, as well as continue work on annexing the airport.
"The annexation of the airport is a big concern, I think it should be part of Brainerd," Scheeler said. "I would like to continue with that and pursue that."
Scheeler said he'd also like to continue to work with the association on Rice Lake to clean up the lake. Scheeler lives at 923 Lakeview Lane on Rice Lake.
Scheeler has served as council president since January of 2015. During his previous time on the city council, from 1998-2004, he served a stint as chair of the Safety and Public Works Committee. His time as chair showed him how to delegate, he said, as well as when to compromise. He also served as acting mayor for roughly three months after Mayor James Wallin died in September of 2015, which showed him the public relations side of being on the city council.
"Honestly, this is the best the council's ever been run in the last 15 years," Scheeler said. "We have a minimal amount of critics."
Scheeler has lived in Brainerd since 1994. He is married and his son lives in Colorado and his daughter lives in Baxter. His wife has three children from a previous marriage and they have 10 grandchildren between the two of them.
Scheeler is retired and works in real estate as a Realtor with Edina Realty. He is a Kimball High School graduate and ran companies specializing in construction, telecommunications and more. He's also a Rotarian and unsuccessfully ran for Crow Wing County Board in 2004.
Voters should choose Scheeler because he's very honest, he said, and the hardest working person there is. He does his own homework, he said, and puts in the time necessary required to serve on the city council.
"With all the experience I have and with all the turnover that could happen at the council level," Scheeler said. "I think my leadership role now is more important than ever."
SPENSER BICKETT may be reached at 218-855-5859 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/spenserbickett .