Woman returns to hometown, hopes to have positive influence on council 

Published 3:36 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2022

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Sherri Rasmussen grew up in Albert Lea before she left after graduating. Now she’s back and running for councilor for Ward 4, the same ward she grew up in.

Sherri Rasmussen

“I pretty much decided I wanted to be in city politics when I moved back in August of last year,” she said.

Rasmussen lived in New York before returning to care for family.

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“My dad was very involved with Albert Lea and the community and always kept track of what was going on with city council so I kind of knew what was happening back here,” she said.

After returning last year, she wanted to get involved and have a positive influence. 

“I grew up here,” she said. “I know what this town used to be, and I know that there have been a lot of things that have influenced how things are now.

“There have been a lot of hard hits to the community with losing some of the really, really major businesses, which has affected employment, and it has affected everything.”

She also said the loss of businesses has affected the vibrancy of the area.

She wants to be a part of building back the community to a strong place, and said she thought the council was doing a great job.

“But I think it’s good to have new blood, new perspectives and new opportunities and ideas come into city council to try to help continue to grow the community in a positive way,” she said.

Rasmussen thought running for Ward 4 was a good place to start.

“Because I’m new back to the community it would be better to start as a councilperson and to get to know the inner workings of the city government better first, and then hopefully be able to grow into a different position as time allows,” she said.    

Rasmussen worked with elevators for 31 years and required organizational skills and the ability to work with a number of moving parts. 

“When I worked in the elevator industry I was responsible for going into a facility and figuring out what would work for them in terms of equipment in the building and where it would fit and how it would fit, how much they needed,” she said. “Then I would have to go in and put the proposal together, sell it, coordinate the buying of all the materials, coordinate delivery of the materials, coordinate installation of the materials and follow up on that to the final inspection portion and turn it over to the client.”

She said she also thought she could bring her ability to work with multiple parties, and said when she presented she often had to work with different people and ideas or opinions. She felt that was common in city government.

“My diplomacy skills there will become a real asset,” she said. 

Prior to that she was an accountant and in IT management development.

And she said she thinks all those experiences and skills made her a good candidate able to see different sides of a problem.  

If elected, this would be her first time in local politics, though she worked for her church’s board of trustees.

“I got used to working with a group of people, trying to come up with ideas and solutions and staying within budgets,” she said. 

Because of her previous experiences, she said she was used to managing multi-million dollar budgets and ensuring everything worked together.

“I’m very outgoing and I’m kind of a passionate person, so if I really believe in a cause, I really will stand up for it,” she said. “I’m not afraid to speak my opinion. I don’t feel like I need to just agree with the team because it’s the way the team’s going.”  

If elected, she had a few projects she wanted to see happen.

The first was the beautification of the town.

“It has been surprising to me, as I drive around town, to see the condition of some of the homes,” she said. “It’s alarming and upsetting honestly because, after living in New York for 21 years with a multi-million population that’s just not something that we saw because it wasn’t allowed, I really want to see us devote more time and energy to having more pride in our community.”

For her, it affects everyone, their property values and businesses that were considering moving to the area.

Rasmussen would also like to add more flowers, string more lights and do more to make the community charming, beautiful and where people want to be.

She’d like to find ways to keep students in the area after graduation. To that effect, she’d try to find companies with high-paying jobs.

“Let’s get engineers, let’s get some computer companies, let’s work on getting more accountants and attorneys and high-level positions back in town that our kids can maybe go to school and come back for,” she said.

And caring is why Rasmussen thinks she should be elected.

“This is my town,” she said. “… This is where my heart is, and I really, really care.”