[Editor’s note: In the Anoka County Board race for District 6, incumbent Jeff Reinert once again faces Cindy Hansen, of Lino Lakes. Reinert defeated Hansen in a special election for the seat in February of this year, and the two advanced from the August primary after beating out third candidate Kevin Ryan. Both Hansen and Reinert responded to questions for The Times’s primary election voters guide. Those responses are available at tinyurl.com/y6ay354b.]

Name: Cindy Hansen

Age: 63

Education: BA/Double Major: Art/Business Administration

Occupation: 20/years School District #621

Years lived in district: 7 year Lino Lakes homeowner. Since 2013, I spent 49% of my time living in District 6 honoring my obligations as Mayor of Spring Lake Park. In June 2019, I became a full-time resident of District 6.

Community involvement (top 3):

9 years Spring Lake Park Mayor building positive relationships with state, county, city officials and staff. Brought $55M redevelopment to Anoka County including its first Hy-vee

9 years strongly supporting Anoka County Joint Law Enforcement Council

9 years successfully working in a 2-county, 3-city Fire Department collaborative

Evaluate the county’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. What should be its approach going forward?

The Board is handling COVID as well as can be expected during this very unpredictable time. Staying financially strong is extremely important. Since 2010 and before the special election on 2/11/20, the County Board reduced debt by $122M and created a fund to pay large bills, thus eliminating borrowing. Continuing that fiscally responsible trend allows us to maintain services our taxpayers deserve. 

As Mayor of Spring Lake Park, I reduced the tax rate by 5.7%. Through cooperation with multiple government agencies, I restored roads, parks, trails, and improved services. I have a reputation of successfully collaborating with state, county, and city officials, residents, and businesses. This will be crucial in reopening COVID closed businesses and establishing new businesses.

While talking to hundreds of people at their doors, they have told me that COVID’s isolation is overwhelming. We need to be able to safely socialize. It is imperative that we safely open schools and open businesses and open places of worship … so we can get back to work!

 

What issues do you see as priorities for your district, and how would you address them?

• Infrastructure: Our families demand the completion of better roads and bridges and improved connectivity. I have established relationships with Anoka County, successfully working on projects WITH them. Great transportation brings fantastic business and employment which creates a more diverse tax base. Lack of connectivity in our District is unacceptable. I will represent all communities in the district, not just Lino Lakes where the current commissioner sits on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Does he want to be a City Council member or a Commissioner? 

• Public Safety: I will use my positive relationships with law enforcement and fire to ensure they have the support they need to keep us safe and our communities secure. I strongly support listening to our Sheriff and will take his requests very seriously.

• Voice of Voters: I have experience identifying needs and initiating plans in partnership with County and State officials, residents, and business owners, working toward a common goal. I will ensure tax dollars and services are used ethically and wisely. You learn your community’s needs by … being with them … listening to them … not just residing there for 45 years.

I am not a career politician, but a public servant. Upon taking office, I will retire from the school district, to give the taxpayers what they deserve … a full-time VOICE!

 

Name: Jeff Reinert

Residence: Lino Lakes

Age: 60

Education: UMN Mankato/UMN Minneapolis 

Occupation: Anoka County Commissioner, District 6. I am also a business owner of MNPHARM, manufacturer of biomaterials for therapeutic research. 

Years lived in district: Moved to Lino Lakes 45 years ago in 1975

Community involvement (top 3):

20 years - Elected 8 times to serve on the Lino Lakes City Council, served the last 10 years as Mayor of Lino Lakes with average of less than 1% tax increase per year. 

Helped rescue Chomonix Golf Course from closing. It is now operating in the black. 

Brought accountability to the Rice Creed Watershed District. 

Evaluate the county’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. What should be its approach going forward?

As an Anoka County Commissioner, I not only had a front row seat, I was in the game. One of the first things we had to work on was dealing with the 2,000 employees that work for the county. We needed to keep them safe, while making sure the services that we provide to the residents were still delivered at a top level. 

We assessed which of the 2,000 employees could work from home and which ones were essential and would have to come into work. After this was done, we gave them the right equipment to make sure everyone could properly do their job from whatever their location was at the time. We showed up when we needed to and worked remotely when we could. Most meetings continued to take place and the work never stopped. I am very proud of the work we did and am very impressed with how county staff reacted to this challenge. It was a lot of extra work for everyone but in Anoka County, we kept it going. 

What issues do you see as priorities for your district, and how would you address them?

Public Safety has always been a top priority for mine. Over the years I’ve always supported public safety. We also worked to develop a hybrid public safety department model where the police are cross trained to also have the ability to respond to fire and medical emergencies. This innovative public safety model reduced cost and reduced response times below 4 minutes which has certainly saved many lives over the years. 

Health care costs have doubled over the last decade. During my last election for county commissioner, I talked about saving dollars in health care by self-insuring and providing services from within the county. Since I’ve been serving as your commissioner, I’ve been able to build momentum on an existing program at the county by bringing the expertise of others on board to improve our county program. 

The cities and township on the east side of Anoka County do not always get the attention they deserve from the county. I’ve lived in our area 45 years and care deeply about what happens here and have the right experience to make sure we are properly represented. As your commissioner, I will continue to be a strong advocate for all of the cities and township in District 6. Reelect me and I will continue to serve our area correctly.

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