There are two candidates running for the Anoka County Board of Commissioners in District 2. District 2 includes Bethel, East Bethel, Ham Lake and portions of Andover and Blaine. You can learn more about the candidates below, or watch their debate.
About: Julie Braastad is a life-long Anoka County resident who calls Ham Lake her home. She is currently serving her first term on the Anoka County Board. Prior to serving as a county commissioner, she served 6 years on the Ham Lake City Council, and 2 years as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner. As part of her duties as a county commissioner, Braastad Chairs both the Public Safety Committee and the Inter-Governmental & Community Relations Committee. Braastad is the past Sr. Vice President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW Post 10796 in Ham Lake and has a passion and deep commitment to support veterans and their causes. She is also the organizer of the Toys for Troops drive, has worked with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk, and is a member of both the Ham Lake Area & East Bethel Chambers of Commerce. Braastad and her husband Rick have two adult daughters, a son-in-law and 2 Granddaughters. Braastad is a certified paralegal and also assists Rick in his electrical contracting business. They have been attending Constance Free Church in Andover for approximately twenty four years. Braastad is extremely involved in the community.
Important Issues: My top priority continues to be to ensure that all taxpayer dollars are being spent in an efficient & effective manner. I am committed to keeping taxes low and will continue to focus on “needs vs. wants”. Because of this way of thinking, we have been able to reduce the county’s debt by $50 million! We intentionally did not bond or borrow one cent for 4 years so that we could work on paying down the outstanding debt. This is what I call being fiscally responsible! It is not an accident that Anoka County is the lowest taxed county in the metropolitan area. The majority of the current county board is committed to maximizing taxpayer value by delivering only necessary government services in the most cost-effective and sustainable manner possible. We have made Anoka County great and I am committed to keeping it that way!
Goals if Elected: I will continue to:
- Insist on a government that reflects wise budgeting and fiscal responsibility, not spending money it does not have.
- Believe that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are God-given rights for every individual (not privileges dispensed by government) and respect the rights of others.
- Encourage individual effort and entrepreneurial success.
- Protect the rights of personal property.
- Insist on constitutionally limited government in both size and authority.
- Insist on limited and fair taxation.
- Believe in a government by, for, and of the people.
- Believe that government and its leaders should live by the same rules as everyday citizens.
- Keep taxes as low as possible by making sure we spend on “needs” and not “wants”.
- Continue to invest in public safety, roads & bridges, and our Veterans.
- Work hard to “Keep Anoka County Great!”.
- Michelle Benson, MN Senator – District 31
- Peggy Scott, MN Representative – District 35B
- Rhonda Sivarajah, Chair of the Anoka County Board
- Matt Look, Anoka County Board
- Scott Schulte, Anoka County Board
- Robyn West, Anoka County Board
- Sheri Bukkila, Andover City Council
- James Goodrich, Andover City Council
- Brian Kirkham, Bethel City Council
- Russ Herbst, Blaine City Council
- Dave Clark, Blaine City Council
- Jason King, Blaine City Council
- Tim Harrington, East Bethel City Council
- Brian Mundle, East Bethel City Council
- Tom Ronning, East Bethel City Council
- Mike Van Kirk, Mayor Ham Lake
- Jim Doyle, Ham Lake City Council
- Al Parranto, Ham Lake City Council
- Ellen Christopherson, President of Ham Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
- Voices of Conservative Women
About: Maris Schilling is a candidate for the Anoka County Commissioner District 2 position. He has been a resident of Anoka county since 1980, and has been a self employed small business entrepreneur the entire time. Currently an Associate Real Estate Broker with Bridge Realty, he also, with his wife Barbara, owns and maintains investment properties, all of which are in Anoka County.
Maris Schilling understands what it takes to be resourceful- his entire professional career has been hinged on his ability to allocate money and resources properly, and with foresight. Just as important, Maris recognizes that effective delegation is a talent required of any leader. Maris has employed and invested in the talents many people over the years, all the while keeping a financial reserve available to take care of future plans as well as unforeseen expenses.
Maris is committed to maintaining a standard of transparency on the Board of Commissioners. He is passionately a man of the people, in this way, and with his years of experience in small business management within Anoka County, Maris will provide a much-needed change of perspective to the residents of Anoka County.
Important Issues: Maris believes one important issue with Anoka County is transparency. He will commit due diligence to get all information to the residences of Anoka County. All meetings should be open to all who live in Anoka County – There should be no hidden agenda.
Another area that Maris is concerned with is the health and future of Anoka County’s businesses, and all of the transportation issues which accompany it. In order to raise employment rates in Anoka County the business base must be increased, which requires listening to the needs of the business leaders who invest or may someday invest in Anoka County. Planning for this future must involve anticipating and planning for the financial undertakings which will facilitate future growth.
Goals if Elected: Maris believes the goal for anyone that would venture into the responsibility of the Anoka County Board of Commissioners is to do so understanding that this is not a partisan position. He recognizes that each commissioner must work without party affiliation or singular outside influences. Each District will have its own issues and the Commissioners from each District Commissioner must view those issues in the interest of their constituents.
Maris’ intent is to work cooperatively with the other Commissioners to understand and solve all issues to benefit of the entire county. He wants to see fair and open meetings to achieve what will be the best outcome for the future of Anoka County.
Endorsements: None listed.
ANOKA COUNTY BOARD
SPRING LAKE PARK
CENTENNIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
ANOKA CONVERSATION DISTRICT
NORTH SUBURBAN HOSPITAL DISTRICT