LINO LAKES — When Mayor Jeff Reinert decided he was going to run for the Anoka County Commissioner District 6 seat, Councilman Rob Rafferty, who had two years left of his term, decided it was “the appropriate thing to do” to run for mayor.
“In talking with my wife and Mr. Reinert about the direction that he was going to be going, my wife and I talked about it and we felt that the appropriate thing to do was to run for mayor because it was clear to me that Mr. Reinert would be best fit running for county commissioner,” Rafferty explained. “If Mr. Reinert was still running as mayor, there would be no reason for me to have to run for mayor.”
Rafferty has lived in Lino Lakes for 23 years and is a senior technician at Architecture Advantage in St. Paul. He has served on the council for 10 years but has also served on the Lino Lakes Charter Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission and EDA.
In the Nov. 5 election, Rafferty received 45.82% of the votes, followed by Tony Cavegn with 39.5%. Pat Davern and Ashley Antus were also running for the seat.
Now that the election is behind us, Rafferty is “relieved” and thankful for all of the support. He said he is excited about the opportunity and challenge.
“I am looking forward to working with a new council. I can make it a difficult two years, or I can try to continue to work with people that I have never worked with before just like the last four years. You have to find ways to work together,” he said. “We have differences but at the end of the day we can agree to disagree, but let's figure out a way to make it move forward and somehow come to some common ground.”
As far as his priorities go, Rafferty said he plans on focusing on tangible things, such as parks and trails and roads. “My mission is going to be really simple, it is going to be trying to continue the effort to build on what we have done over the last 10 years. We worked hard, we cut things that needed to be cut, we got rid of excess,” he said. “We have been successful in not cutting the (roads) budget and trying to increase it by 5% on an annual basis, now that has to continue, but we still have to continue to work away at other tangible things like parks and trails, the things that are being used.”
For now, Rafferty and Reinert will continue to work together on the council until 2020, when Rafferty will take over as Mayor and Reinert will continue his campaign for county commissioner, which will be decided in February.
Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.