Brief personal background, education, career, bio:
I am a life-long resident of the community of Pelican Rapids.
I attended grades 1-6 at a rural country school and grades 7-12 at Pelican Rapids High School, where I earned my high school diploma.
I attended two years of college at Fergus Falls Junior College while earning my Associate of Arts Degree.
I was employed as an assistant manager at Erickson-Helleckson Vye Lumber Company in Pelican Rapids for seven years before working for the City of Pelican Rapids for over 37 years.
At the City of Pelican Rapids, I was hired as a laborer and later obtained titles as Supt. of Public Works and Utilities Supt. During this time, I was a Class ‘C’ Water Operator, Class ‘A’ Wastewater Operator, and Type IV Biosolids Operator.
I enlisted with the United States Army Reserves in 1969 and retired after 22 years as a Staff Sergeant.
My wife JoAnn Frazier and I have been married for 50 years, and we have two children and two grandsons.
I am currently a Minnesota Firearms Safety Training Instructor, and a National Archery in the Schools Instructor at Viking Elementary School in Pelican Rapids.
My wife JoAnn and I retired late this summer as managers of the Pelican Rapids High School Concession Stand after 20-plus years.
I have formerly served as the Secretary for the Pelican Rapids Economic Development Committee and a board member for the Pelican Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, where I still retain a membership.
I have served as an Advisory Committee member for the Pelican Lake, Prairie Lake, and Lizzie Lake River Restoration Projects.
I am currently a member of the Otter Tail County Planning Commission and an Advisory Committee member of the Otter Tail County Recycling Program.
I was elected as mayor of the City of Pelican Rapids in 2014 and also serve as president of the Pelican Rapids Economic Development Authority.
I have served on the Pelican Rapids Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, and current Steering Committee member of the 2024 Pelican Rapids Complete Streets Project and the Pelican Rapids River Restoration Project.
Can you list a couple of the key issues you are considering in your decision to run?
When it comes to decisions about current and future needs for Pelican Rapids, and as a former employee for the City of Pelican Rapids, I am familiar with all city departments, city infrastructure, and city utility services.
As a Steering Committee member of the; 2024 Pelican Rapids Complete Streets Project and Pelican Rapids River Restoration Project, I have been involved in the planning and design of these projects and thus would like to continue to serve as mayor to see these major projects completed for our residents and visitors.
Are you in favor of a full-time Pelican Rapids Economic Development director? Why or why not?
The City of Pelican Rapids has been in need of someone to function as the point person for Economic Development in our city and community for many years.
I am in favor of a full-time Economic Development Director if only our city budget could support such a position at this time. The city council has included dollars in the 2023 city preliminary budget to seek the services of the Community Economic Development Associates (CEDA), who have worked successfully in several Minnesota communities, and this option is less costly to the city at this time. If finances would favor a full-time Economic Development Director in the future, we could then once again consider this option.
A major highway reconstruction of highways 108 and 59 in 2024 will disrupt business and travel through Pelican Rapids. Can you offer your thoughts on how to assist businesses during the difficult construction period?
Although a short-term period for each city block, this will also be a trying time for businesses in Pelican Rapids. Business doors will be accessable, but not as convenient as now or after construction completion. Keeping the businesses and the public aware of the plans, changes, status, and projections of the reconstruction project will be the responsibility of Minnesota Department of Transportation staff, as well as city personnel, when they become aware of changing situations. As one block will be reconstructed at a time, a temporary boardwalk on Broadway will be installed for public foot traffic to the businesses.
Shopping locally in Pelican Rapids will be of more importance during this reconstruction project than ever before. We, as local residents, will need to support our businesses with our encouragement and financial resources. Please shop locally!
What is more important for our city right now: Building new homes and commercial space, or rehabbing-expanding-better utilizing existing homes and storefronts?
Although both concepts are important, single-family homes and more commercial space/businesses are the most important concept at this time. Stories abound of teachers, retirees, and workers looking and wanting to relocate to Pelican Rapids, but no single-family homes can be found in our city, so therefore these people who could be our residents, live outside our city. The City of Pelican Rapids is currently communicating with a developer to develop and construct single-family homes in the northwest portion of the city limits. Many parcels of land throughout the city are also available for single-family homes. Also, the City of Pelican Rapids and Otter Tail County currently offer incentives for first-home buyers, which will lower the sticker price of home purchases. .
If you received a $1 million grant for Pelican Rapids city to spend any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
It goes to say that currently, there are many ways to spend $1 million in Pelican Rapids with our many projects underway or in the planning stages. If I received $1 million, I would give a portion of it to the proposed Pelican Rapids Swimming Pool & Aquatics Center to complete the financing gap and make this amenity finally become a reality after so many years of planning and fundraising. The remaining sum I would use to help pay off the current debt service on our existing city hall building. This later transaction would then make dollars available for city savings or to help pay for other city project needs.
As a former employee for the City of Pelican Rapids, I feel that I am most familiar with our city infrastructure and current & future projects from their conception. As a retiree, I have the time to devote to current and future meetings and conferences at which the City of Pelican Rapids needs representation.
I have been honored to serve as mayor of the City of Pelican Rapids for the past eight years. I have been blessed to get to know and associate with so many outstanding residents, private businesses, engineering firms, other government entity personnel, and visitors to our fine city. If re-elected as mayor of the City of Pelican Rapids, I will continue to strive to put the interests of our city first and foremost.