A Woodbury City Council member who often votes no on budget issues has decided to run for a second term.
If elected in November, Christopher Burns said it would be his second and final term.
“I personally believe in term limits,” he said last week as he sat flipping through a large binder of council meeting minutes. “Others can serve and do a great job as well.”
Burns grew up in Woodbury working at fast food restaurants and flooding ice rinks as a teenager before moving away to college in River Falls, Wis.
He moved on to work for Cargill and attend law school at Syracuse University in New York before coming back to Woodbury to raise his family.
Burns always wanted to come back to Minnesota even though he lived down the street from retired NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had a “much nicer pad.”
“But he was a nice guy,” Burns said. “He used to joke with me about all the books I had and I joked with him about needing a lawyer someday.”
Burns was inspired to run for City Council four years ago after watching the city grow from mostly farmland to the community it has become.
As former Mayor Bill Hargis always told him, “The world is run by those who show up,” he said, “and I get the privilege of showing up.”
Burns, an estate planning attorney for Henson and Efron in Minneapolis, voted against all three budgets that required a slight tax levy increase.
“I thought they were good budgets, but could’ve been better,” he said.
He looks forward to continue serving on the roadway rehabilitation task force, which is currently studying deteriorating road conditions caused by faulty blacktop mixes used in the 1990s.
He’s also excited to see the Bielenberg Sports Center complex come to life after being involved in the planning process that took place over the past two years.
“I want the city to continue to strive to do more with less,” Burns said.
There are a number of construction projects under way in the city, including large retail proposals at the former State Farm corporate campus and Phase 2 developments starting to take shape.
The developments remind Burns of his middle and high school days when Woodbury began turning hog farms into Famous Dave’s and Christmas tree acreage into Evergreen residential housing.
So far he’s enjoyed being a part of the process and envisioning what Woodbury will look like a few years from now.
“It floors people that Woodbury is over two-thirds built,” Burns said. “It’s exciting to see what that next one-third will look like and being a part of shaping that.”
Burns has served on various charitable organizations and is currently involved in the Madison Claire Foundation to help raise funds for what could potentially be the largest all accessible playground in the Midwest.
Burns lives with his wife Shelli and two children Julia, 13, and Brady, 9.
City Council member Julie Ohs’ and Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens’ seats are also up for re-election this year. Neither Ohs nor Stephens has announced plans for re-election.