CIRCLE PINES — Incumbent Mayor Dave Bartholomay was pleased at retaining the vote of his community at about 65 percent.
“I was thrilled to get re-elected,” said Bartholomay. “I was really pleasantly surprised at the large margin.” The race was tougher for 10-year mayor Bartholomay this time around as City Council member Richard Runbeck ran opposed. Runbeck took about 32 percent of the votes.
Bartholomay enjoys being mayor because it gives him the opportunity to build relationships. “I just love connecting with people and hearing and seeing what their concerns are,” he said. “You can make a difference by going and talking to people and listening to them.”
Bartholomay cites the playground at Golden Lake Park as an example. Before decisions were made on what playground equipment to put in, the city consulted Golden Lake Elementary students. Bartholomay was surprised when the students picked a plastic climbing rock as their top choice. But the city listened, and now it is a town hit.
“The kids are crawling all over it,” he said. “If you are going to do something for the kids why don’t you ask them?”
Bartholomay attends about 125 meetings or events a year to connect with the community. Only 30 of those are required council meetings. His salary as mayor is $4,000 a year.
“For me it is all about serving,” he said. “It has been great. I’ve had a lucky life, I’ve been very blessed.”
Bartholomay is looking to the future as the city is in the middle of a 15-20 year street construction plan, begun in 2007.
“We are going to continue doing road projects,” he said.
At the same time, the city is looking at its parks and trails. The goal is to maintain and improve them. “We believe we have more per capita than any area in the metro,” he said.
Bartholomay also plans to continue its partnership with the Centennial School District. “Schools are the number one reason why people look to a community,” he said. Last summer the city and school district partnered to stage “Music in the Park” at Golden Lake Park. Three concerts were held, and the plan is to continue next summer. Bartholomay encourages residents to use their open spaces and parks.
“You are paying for them,” he said. “Use them.”
He also noted that Circle Pines was rated the third-most perfect suburb by CNBC in 2011. Of city residents he noted, “All the things we do to make this town special, they like it.”
As for Bartholomay’s political future, he is content being mayor.
“I have no secret agenda of rising up the ladder,” he said. “I love being mayor.”
Bartholomay said that someday he may say yes to further political positions. Right now, all he is worried about is to “put a positive face on our community and make us proud.”
For his day job, he is the executive director of Mediation Services, a nonprofit conflict resolution service.
Bartholomay took 743 votes, 64.7 percent of the total from the city’s two precincts.
Councilman Richard J. Runbeck received 362 votes, 31.5 percent. Rick Miller Jr. received 40 votes, or 3.5 percent. There were four write-in votes.
Bartholomay will be working with incumbent City Councilman Matt Percy, who was re-elected with 759 votes, or 41.3 percent of the votes cast.
Percy’s goals are to maintain an outstanding police and fire force and continue with the street reconstruction program, while keeping the program well funded.
He also aims to make sure citizens are aware of what is happening in their city. “I want to make sure it is a partnership between us and the people of the city,” he said.
Mike Schweigert took the open spot on City Council with 594 votes, or 32.3 percent. His goals align with a strong and efficient police and fire force and supports Circle Pines’ long-term street construction plan. He is the recruitment coordinator for Centennial Fire District and captain of CFD’s Station 1 in Circle Pines.
Schweigert has served as a firefighter for 15 years and is active in the Lions Club.
“This is just another way I can serve my community,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for the other members of the council. I think it will be a great adventure.”
Also running for council was Richard Whitney with 360 votes, 19.6 percent, and Ronald Shull with 114 votes, or 6.2 percent. There were 11 write-ins.