Election 2022: St. Cloud City Council – Ward 3
ST. CLOUD (WJON - News) -- In the race for St. Cloud City Council in Ward 3, the incumbent Paul Brandmire is being challenged by Jake Anderson.
Brandmire is finishing up his first term on the council. He says he ran the first time on a platform of personal freedom, smaller government, and lower taxes and that continues to be his focus. He says he's proud that he was able to squash a plan for a local mask mandate during the pandemic.
Brandmire says Ward 3 is an area of growth and the city council will need to manage that growth carefully.
As the city grows and pushes further out and we fill in the gaps in the city, we need to make sure we're not infringing on the neighbors. Although I want you to be able to do everything that you can within your property rights, we have to understand everybody else has property rights too.
Brandmire says even though the statistics show the city's crime rate is not going up, residents feel like it is and he'd like to address that during another term in office along with the city's homeless population.
As for the mayor's plan to invest in the downtown, Brandmire says he also believes the city has a role in creating a vibrant downtown.
I think in order for St. Cloud to continue to be operational and functional and a great place to live and work, we have to have a vital downtown.
Brandmire says, if he's re-elected, he wants to be on the committee to help grow the downtown.
He says he does not like the direction our country is going and he believes local government is the last line of defense. He says we have a fairly conservative mayor and he wants to continue to be a conservative voice on the council.
Anderson is a graduate of St. Cloud Tech High School and St. Cloud State University. In 2012 he ran for an at-large seat on the council but came up short. He has been a member of the St. Cloud Planning Commission from 2009 through 2020.
He says he decided to run because he wants to focus on local issues and be a consensus builder. As for Ward 3, he says street maintenance is a priority, especially on 322nd Street.
Which is in the very far northwest corner, it's an old township road, we've had an extensive amount of growth out there with single-family homes. That road is in dire need of being replaced with something bigger that can accommodate the needs of that area.
Anderson also wants to focus on recruiting and retaining police officers by increasing their wages.
He says the city also needs to look at where we want to take our parks. He says the park budget typically is the first to be cut during tough times.
Figure out what that budget looks like. Maybe we can't deliver all of the things we are today, but we should at least have a better idea of what that will take. Then have an honest conversation about where we want to go.
Anderson says developing our downtown has vexed the community for decades. He says the city has made significant investments in the downtown the parking ramps and the convention center and ultimately it will be up to private developers to partner with the city. He also believes we need new blood downtown.
He calls himself an independent and doesn't want to be stuck in a certain party.