Editor's note: This Q&A is part of a series detailing Newport City Council candidates. Find the rest of the responses here.

Laurie Elliott

  • Education: Bachelor of Science and master's degree in business administration
  • Family: Not married
  • Occupation: Human resources director

Why should you be elected?

I currently serve on the Newport Planning Commission and want to get more actively involved and be a strong leader for Newport. This is a great city and there are many exciting opportunities that lie ahead. I'm level-headed and believe in working together to find solutions and solve problems.

What skills and qualifications would you bring to public office?

I bring a solid understanding of local government operations with my 25-plus years of experience with the cities of Moorhead (as a city manager's assistant), Maplewood, and Shoreview (in human resources). Each city had its own goals and challenges, and each job taught me a lot about what cities and city councils do. I've served on two League of Minnesota Cities policy committees. My education includes a Bachelor of Science and master's degree in Business Administration.

How should the city approach future commercial and residential development?

Both play an important role in a well-rounded city. A high priority should be placed on retaining and growing our key businesses and attracting new businesses that bring jobs and services into our community. We also need to provide housing choices for attracting singles and families to Newport, as well as options for seniors to stay in the community when they no longer want to maintain a home. Promoting the city's strengths such as easy transportation access to the community, a variety of structures and locations available for large and small businesses, our close proximity to the airport, land available for additional residential development, and access to the river for recreational activities are some of the excellent features Newport has to offer.

What can the city do to combat the high tax rate?

Newport's tax rate has decreased by 1.3 percent since 2014. The city needs to continue to look for ways to save money while maintaining the services residents expect. This can include partnerships with other entities, seeking state and federal funding, grants (when available) and finding other revenue sources.