Election 2012: Bridget Anderson, Wayzata City Council

Patch will highlight candidates from communities throughout Lake Minnetonka in the coming days. Look for your comprehensive election guide coming soon!

Bridget Anderson is running against Alex Plechash and Andrew Mullin for one of two Wayzata City Council seats.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Share something most people don’t know about you.

I have lived in Wayzata for 14 years along with my husband and son who is almost eight. We have two dogs that we rescued and a hermit crab. I grew up in a couple of small towns in southwestern Minnesota, and my family moved to Eden Prairie when I was in junior high.  

I have an active family and we enjoy biking, boating and skiing, as well as walking around Wayzata with our dogs. What people may not know about me is I have a fraternal twin sister and she lives out in Kentucky.

What sorts of thoughts come to mind when you think of Lake Minnetonka?

Lake Minnetonka is a beautiful, state treasure that we are fortunate to have located in our backyard. Lake Minnetonka conjures up thoughts of how many great memories it has produced for my family and so many people, not just in Wayzata, but worldwide and throughout time.  

It is an asset that needs to be preserved, both environmentally and historically, for future generations. By tapping its potential through the balance of recreation, environmental needs and business we could better serve the lake through enhancements and open it up for more memories to be created. The residents need to be the voice in the next direction of our shores, and I hope to be a channel for residents to express their views.

Are invasive species a local, state or federal issue? Or is it a mix? Describe your views.

Invasive species is an issue at all three levels of government. Aquatic invasive species is an extremely important issue for preserving one of Minnesota’s greatest assets—its many waterways. It is a new challenge that needs to be discussed at the local, state and federal levels with a coordinated effort put forth, since we are already behind in terms of solving the problem.  

Whether on land or water, all invasive species, with no natural enemy, have a tendency to become dominate, choking off everything else around it. All communities need to set up programs for eradication since many of the natural "carriers" do not stay within local borders. It is a topic that will need to continually be addressed.

What is the most common issue people talk with you about while campaigning? What do you tell them?

First and foremost, the residents that I have talked with are happy with choosing Wayzata as their home. They choose Wayzata because of its small town character and sense of neighborhoods rather than the alternative of a development.  

Many people would, simply like more communication. Whether it is a minor issue dealing with a localized matter on their street to budgetary issues facing the city, the residents would like to have information that is conveniently accessible to them when they want to know. Creating various communication channels contributes to transparency and the exchange of information opening up dialogue and discourse leading to problem solving, understanding and more ideas.  

I want to be a listener for the residents of Wayzata and represent the multitude of voices I am hearing.  

How do you feel about the current property tax levels? What about school district taxes (understanding the city council has no control over them)?

First, we need to all educate ourselves on what makes up our property taxes. When I look at my property tax statement it consists of various slices for the city, county, state and school district with a few miscellaneous others.  

The question everyone should ask themselves is whether they think their property taxes are utilized efficiently and cost effectively through the various entities that make decisions for their jurisdictions. From a city perspective, we need to be as fiscally responsible as possible with how we choose to utilize monies. Is there a much more cost effective way to utilize resources? Is Wayzata and our citizens benefitting from the money we are spending long term?   

At the end of the day, citizens need more information to determine if they think their dollar is being spent wisely and make a determination of continuing with the current administration in each entity.

If the funding were available, what projects—either shovel ready or on the drawing board—would you advocate dedicating it to?

I would propose as a city we make certain we have a strong foundation from which to build upon. Let’s conduct an overall scan and check all current infrastructures, see what needs maintenance and maintain what we already have.

We need to tap into our potential as a great, historical, lakefront community. By developing the steps of a long-term strategic positive, paced, proactive plan of progress we can assist moving Wayzata through a new paradigm shift of assuming “if you build they will come” to one of a city marketing revenue driving focus. We as a community will be less dependent on short-term development and more focused on long-term, timeless growth to maintain our wonderful, unique small town community.

Are you satisfied with the public safety services being provided to city residents?

Safety is always and should always be a top concern of our city. We are very fortunate to live in a city that is so well protected by dedicated individuals and not faced with overwhelming crime issues and challenges.  

However, with that said, we still need to keep our public safety services well-funded, well-staffed, well trained and provide them with the proper and appropriate tools for being able to fulfill their responsibilities. I plan to work closely with public safety personnel to provide support needed as Wayzata grows and evolves helping them meet any changing needs that arise.

How would you encourage the average citizen to become more engaged in local government?

It is extremely difficult with professional and personal demands to add one more thing to someone’s plate, but I believe that the load won’t be as heavy if we all take on a share of responsibility.  

That responsibility may grow and diminish throughout the year and bounce around a bit from person to person. It takes all of us just to do a little. Not only is engaging in the local government beneficial, to our community, but getting to know one’s neighbors better is beneficial to our residents.

Open forum. Why should voters cast their ballot for you this November?

Vote for Bridget Anderson for several reasons:

Knowledge and experience. As Planning Commission Vice Chair, knowing Wayzata’s ordinances and their application to land use matters is an asset as we face opportunities with commercial and lake front developments.  

Representation. The city council should be a reflection of Wayzata’s multi-generational community.  I bring a young family perspective and a female voice to the table balancing representation within the city. I offer innovative ideas to address our evolving community which is to the benefit of all.

Residents voice. Wayzata’s greatest asset is its residents. I look to be the voice for all of Wayzata so they can be heard, be counted and be informed.


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