CANDIDATE PROFILE BOX: Pete Christopherson

Age: 34.

Address: 1002 Fourth St. S.W.

Family: Wife, Dianne; two daughters, Kayla and Kyleen, and a baby expected in 2005.

Education: Pacelli High School, attended St. John's University, Riverland Technical College and Mankato State University. He was nominated for appointment to the Military Academy at West Point.

Work: Member of Carpenter's Local 1382 and employed by Alvin E. Beneke, general contractor.


Community activities: Past honorary chairperson for the annual Relay for Life, part-time firefighter and registered Minnesota State High School League football official.

Government History: Second Ward council person for four years.

Contact: 437-3103

Top three issues:

1. Continue upgrading our public safety services, such as our police and fire departments; keep evolving and educating.

2. Good money management; spend our funds wisely, using them for the projects for which they were intended.

3. Update our city infrastructure. Continue to address sewer, water and roadway needs.



I think consistency in action as well as in government is very important. If you want people to believe in government, that government must have a firm foundation on which it's based. I believe consistency is the foundation.

Five questions for the candidate:

1. Have city spending cuts gone too deep? No.

2. Is illegal immigration a topic of concern in Austin? Yes.

3. Are necessary public safety functions adequately funded? No.

4. Has the city council provided efficient leadership for Austin and its constituents? Yes.

5. Should the city property tax be raised to help cope with state aid budget reductions and the demand for more services? Yes.

From staff reports


Pete Christopherson, a candidate for the city council's member-at-large seat, always has described himself as consistent when it comes to making decisions that affect Austin.

Christopherson, who represents the 2nd Ward, wants to make the logical step of moving to the at-large seat for his next term.

"I have four years of experience to help with that," said Christopherson, who was first elected to the council in 2000, when he defeated incumbent Roger Boughton.

With a baby on the way, he and his wife delayed the filing decision to talk about their options. "We decided we'll manage," Christopherson said.

Services, such as making sure streets are plowed and that there are enough police officers and firefighters, are components of the city's main charter, Christopherson said.

When city expenditures surpass revenue, as they have in Austin, then budget cuts have not been too deep, he said.

Christopherson said illegal immigration is a local and national concern. "Unfortunately, if you voice these concerns, you are labeled a racist," Christopherson said. "I have no problem with legal immigration."

Funding safety functions in Austin is important, but the trick is finding the money to do it, he said.


If it comes to having to increase local property taxes, Christopherson said, it should be done but in a slow, controlled manner so that increases don't exceed the rate of inflation or cost of living.

"It's my hometown, and I want to do good for it," he said.

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