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Meet the candidates for mayor

Paul Hartmann1 / 2
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To help residents learn more about the race for Osakis mayor, the Osakis Review sent questionnaires to the candidates — incumbent Keith "Kip" Emerson and Paul Hartmann.

Here are their responses:

Keith Emerson

Please list your background and qualifications for the position (include experience, education, job, family, etc.)

My name is Keith "Kip" Emerson. I am a retired school teacher. I taught mathematics for 30 years and was also a substitute teacher for 16 years. In 1999, I was appointed to the Osakis City Council. I remained on the City Council until I ran for mayor in 2008. I have been the mayor of Osakis for the past 10 years. This past March, I lost my wife to ALS. It was and still is a very sad time for me. I would like to thank the Galeon and all the staff members for the support received during that difficult time. We are very fortunate to have a facility that offers so many things in our small town.

What prompted you to seek this position?

I am very proud of the things that have been accomplished in Osakis during my time in office. While other small towns are struggling, Osakis is not. I would like the opportunity to serve the people of Osakis for one more term as mayor, as I feel my job is not done yet. We have very good city employees and I enjoy working with them for the good of the community of Osakis.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the City of Osakis right now and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge as I see it, is to continue to keep Osakis as being a progressive town. Keeping our stores and downtown area strong is very important. Keeping our Municipal Liquor Store open is a priority. Attracting new industry in our small town is also very vital for progress. Working together is a must and I would like to continue to be a part of it. Thank you very much for your time.

Paul Hartmann

Please list your background and qualifications for the position (include experience, education, job, family, etc.)

Born August 10,1965. Married — Ann. Children — Ben, Amanda, Paul II. Grandchildren — McKenna, Olivia, Robert, Adam, Brooklynn.

Graduate of Sauk Centre High School, attended UW Stout and Moorhead State University.

Organizations: former Chamber of Commerce vice president, former Visitor Control Board vice president, former Lions member, current OEDC stockholder, current Osakis Country Club treasurer.

1986-1988 Schwan's Sales Enterprises, driver salesman for Red Baron, Tony's Pizza, Cafe Mexico, Wausau WI.

1989-1993 Osakis Auto Sales, owner-operator.

1992-2007 Paul's Pump and Pantry, Osakis.

1998-2001 real estate agent, Sauk Centre Agency, 1990-2000 Osakis assistant girls tennis coach.

2001-2010 owner/developer Osakis Cruz and Putt.

1998-2004 owner Glacial Ridge Dairy, distribution of Pride of Main Street milk, manufactured in Sauk Centre.

2006-present owner/manager/water superintendent Pine Hill Mobile Home Park, Glenwood.

2007-2009 real estate agent — Eldred Realty.

2009-present real estate broker — Hartmann Realty.

2010-2014 owner-operator of Nokomis Market, Alexandria.

2011-present owner Moonshine Shoppe, Sauk Centre.

2015 developer of Hartmann's Addition on east side of Osakis. Nine house association currently adding 800,000 of tax value to city.

2018 developer of Hartmann's Apartments on west side of Osakis adding $650,000 of tax value to city.

What prompted you to seek this position?

I am excited to run for mayor. I have gained much experience in my business ventures over the past 29 years in Osakis and surrounding areas. It is my belief that I could use this experience in helping to lead Osakis to a stronger future. We are currently fortunate to have many younger individuals who are participating in the different boards and I would be honored to be a more active participant of these organizations as mayor.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the City of Osakis right now and how would you address it?

One of the major problems facing Osakis and other communities is a lack of fiscal responsibility. That responsibility starts with the department heads and ends at the council's table. It is the duty of the department heads to run a lean department void of fiscal irresponsibility. And it is up to the councils to oversee the department heads and to control their spending. Ultimately, the council governs how the taxpayers money is spent. But it is also the department heads that must realize that the money they are trying to fill their budgets with is the Osakis taxpayers' money. As your mayor, I would hope to be able to make the department heads more accountable and make the council more accountable and aware. Lack of awareness on boards and councils have resulted in a lot of corruption in this area over the past few years. Osakis, Sauk Centre, Ashby, Millerville to name a few. It is time we make things a little more transparent for the taxpayer for it is their (our) money on the line. We deserve the most bang for our buck we can get. Please exercise your right to vote.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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