Familiar names in Anoka County board races

Familiar names in Anoka County board races
Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune

District 2
Andy Westerberg vs. Julie Braastad

Julie Braastad, a Ham Lake council member, says she feels the county board “is moving in the right direction.” But she says the county “must begin to aggressively decrease” its debt of $210 million. She wants commissioners to become more active as lobbyists and wants the county to “stop wasting money on losing efforts like the Northstar commuter rail.”

Braastad would like to see the county and its cities share assets — including equipment, services, even employees.

Among her proudest accomplishments: She says she stopped Met Council’s efforts to bring city sewer and water to Ham Lake, “which would have compromised the city’s financial stability.” She claims to have implemented a paperless process for City Council agenda items, saving expense and time. And she takes credit for bringing the reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to Ham Lake City Council meetings.

Incumbent Andy Westerberg has been on the County Board for less than two years. But he was a state legislator for eight years and also served on the Metropolitan Airports Commission and as a Minnesota Amateur Sports Commissioner.

He lists among his greatest accomplishments “an ability to work with people from all walks of life by listening to them and helping us find solutions to complicated problems.”

He considers himself a fiscal conservative, wanting to reduce spending and lower taxes. Public safety and transportation issues are among his priorities.

He wants the county to take “the direction that benefits everyone — moving forward without leaving some behind.”

“I enjoy the job,” he said of serving on the County Board. “I am happy with the accomplishments we have achieved.”

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