Longtime Ward 6 incumbent has challenger

Published 10:59 am Thursday, May 29, 2014

The president of an Albert Lea credit union on Wednesday threw his hat in the ring to become the city’s next 6th Ward city councilor.

Matt Maras, president of the United Employees Credit Union, will face off against incumbent Councilor Al “Minnow” Brooks, who has been on the council for 16 years.

Maras, 54, said he respects Brooks but thinks residents should be given a choice for the seat.

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“I think Albert Lea is a great city and would just love to see it continue on as a place to love and be proud of,” he said.

He said he thinks the city, as well as his own business, should be run as cost-efficient as possible.

He pointed out street problems and the underutilization of Albert Lea Lake as a few of the issues he is concerned about in his ward.

In the city as a whole, he said he would particularly like to see the development of the Blazing Star Landing.

Maras has been on numerous community boards, including Senior Resources, the United Way of Freeborn County, the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Albert Lea Children’s Center and the Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services board.

He has lived in Albert Lea for about 30 years but grew up on a farm in southwest Minnesota. He and his wife, Daphney, have three grown children.

Outside of work, he enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, biking and snowmobiling.

Brooks wished Maras good luck and said it was nice to see other people interested in city government.