Albert Lea City Council 5th Ward

Published 9:23 am Friday, October 17, 2008

Larry Anderson

Age: 53

Address: 824 Jefferson Ave., Albert Lea MN 56007

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1. What is the best thing the city can do to attract businesses?

Retain current business while doing our best to make Albert Lea attractive to future business. Our community and citizens are a great testament to how we are a place to grow with great health services right here.

2. What steps should Albert Lea take on its downtown business area?

Pursue Artspace Inc. Help Albert Lea Economic Development Agency seek business and possible hotel or restaurants that utilizes historical buildings. There are attractive locations downtown with foot traffic to the lake, park, theater, library and fine dining.

3. Do you think the preagenda meeting is necessary? Why?

Yes. The time is valuable for the counselors to request facts and any additional information on items being brought before the city for consideration. The council needs this time to review the information to make good business decisions for the taxpayers of Albert Lea.

4. How do you rate the city manager’s performance over the past five years?

This is not an issue for public debate. It is a staffing issue that should be handled by the Human Rights Department and staff that is required to do so.

5. What changes would you make concerning the relationship between city officials and county officials?

I am an appointed member of the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Shell Rock River Watershed District, where I have been the elected chairman the last two years. It is apparent that we all need to do a better job of communicating with each other. To do this, I think we need joint workshops with City Council, county commissioners and SRRWD managers so we have a better understanding of priorities. If one member from each group attended the other groups regular meetings, it would help.

6. What are your plans to improve the quality of life in Albert Lea over the next four years?

I am currently working with a company to see if it is feasible to upgrade our current aerators on Fountain Lake with more energy efficiency while improving water quality through better oxygen absorption to promote healthier lakes.

I also feel that if we all work hard at bringing more businesses large and small, it will help keep people here while earning a livable wage locally.

7. What changes would you make in the city budget and/or in tax rates?

In an order to keep our local taxes at the current level or less, we need to make every effort possible in lobbying the legislators and governor to support our community and county. If we can clean our lakes and promote tourism with the PGA-class golf course, we will be bringing people who work in upper management and have the ability to recommend having expansion in Albert Lea.

8. What is your track record of community service?

I have volunteered all of my life to help others.

I am a 20-plus-year member of the Fountain Lake Sportsmen’s Club (current president), 20-plus-year member of the Albert Lea Eagles Club, eight-plus-year member Albert Lea Elks Club and three-plus-year member of Shell Rock River Watershed District Citizen Advisory Committee (current chair for last two years).

I have volunteered for lake cleanups and planting trees. I have been actively seeking out people for their comments on how to improve Albert Lea.

9. Please tell us why voters should pick you:

Because I care! I challenge the people who devote time in finding fault and problems to put that same amount of time and effort into finding good.

If we all made the time to look for the good and promoted the community with that good you will see a better and stronger community as a result.