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Eleven apply for Brainerd council spot

Posted by: Jenna Ross Updated: February 27, 2014 - 12:00 PM

Eleven people have applied for the Brainerd City Council spot left vacant when the council's president Bonnie Cumberland, 67, died in her home earlier this month.

A real estate broker, restaurant owner and barista are among the applicants. Here's a quick list, based on their applications, which I requested from the city, and information in the Brainerd Dispatch.

  • JD Berns, 25, nursing staffing at Essentia Health. He hopes to "bridge the huge gap that leaves our community's youth without representation..."
  • Howard Brewer, 69, retired. He wants to "follow unfinished business Bonnie Cumberland and I have been working on for several years."
  • Jeff Czeczok, 50, unemployed. He says he is "objective, conservative and... [makes] efforts to reresent the viewpoints of the citizens of Brainerd."
  • Gabe Johnson, 31, owner of marketing consulting business. He cares "deeply about the future of the city, its businesses and its citizens."
  • Susan Hilgart, 54, team leader at Rural MN Concentrated Employment Program. She "would like to be part of growing Brainerd economically..."
  • Dolly Matten, 43, real estate agent. “I want to see Brainerd grow as much as the surrounding communities.”
  • Shane Meyer, 30, foreman/carpenter for Timberwood Construction and owner of Eye Spy Home Inspections. He wants to "actively take part in bettering our community."
  • Amanda Monnier, 29, barista at Coco Moon. She wants to "help bridge the gap between the young and older generations."
  • Keith Reidel, 56, a manager at the Brainerd/Crow Wing County airport. He has "a willingness to give back but also to become a part of and be involved in the process."
  • Matthew Taylor, 41, co-owner of Sunshine Kitchen and Moonshine Lounge. He says he would "bring a strong business sense and a youthful perspective to the council."
  • Dirk Vanderwerker, 59, financial planner. "Having no personal, long-time allegiances to any specific groups in Brainerd, I believe I am able to be circumspect and not play favorites."

The applicants will give short speeches at a special meeting on March 10. The council will then pick the new member by majority vote, according to a memo from the city.

This seat is up for election this year.

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