There are many reasons why Howard J. Brewer is seeking the Ward 3 Brainerd City Council seat.
Brewer stopped in the Dispatch offices Tuesday to talk about his candidacy in his first interview with the newspaper since filing Sept. 8.
The 64-year-old former Marine was against the city's amended pet ordinance because "government rights stop at the homeowner's front door."
He was upset that a four-way stop wasn't put in at Mill Avenue and H Street when the road was reconstructed "to convenience tourists."
He disagreed with the Housing and Redevelopment Authority's gamble on the Brainerd Oaks housing development, which is now $17 million in debt, because the city shouldn't be in real estate speculation.
He's also dismayed at the vacant businesses dotting northeast Brainerd, including the County Market building, Tower Motors, Magic Skillet, J.C. Penney and Casey's gas station.
"I just don't see anybody with vision and foresight to promote economic development and jobs," Brewer said of the current council.
But the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, the issue that led to Brewer filing Sept. 8 for the Ward 3 council seat, was the city's decision to study silent railroad crossings with Baxter.
"The railroad is federally regulated. The city ain't got no control so why are they spending time on a fruitless effort?" said Brewer, who had worked for the Milwaukee Railroad before moving to Brainerd. "What a waste of time and taxpayer money."
Brewer served five years in the Marine Corps and 22 years in the Marine Corps reserve. After leaving the Marine Corps, he worked for the Milwaukee Railroad for several years before starting his own handyman company in Owatonna.
Since moving to Brainerd in 2000, Brewer said the city council's decisions have been getting worse. He said he wouldn't be in favor of lowering taxes because the city is in a fiscal mess. However, he added it would be hard for him to vote for a tax increase.
Brewer will face off for the Ward 3 seat against incumbent Kevin Goedker and Barb Egan. His past political experience included a run for an Apple Valley school board seat in the early 1990s.
"I'm giving the voters a viable option," Brewer said. "If they want business as usual, re-elect the guy who's there. If they want a change, to try something new, they can vote for me."
Brewer's phone number is unlisted. He can be reached at email@example.com.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.