From an initial field of six candidates, with one withdrawing his application before being interviewed, James Gordon was appointed to the Isanti council seat vacated by former Council Member Ross Lorinser.
“I have experience, I’m principled,” Gordon said when asked why he should be appointed to the vacant seat. “I think government should be efficient. I think it should stay out of the way as much as possible. And, I think I offer a unique perspective as somebody who’s done business here for over a decade, but also somebody who’s moved back to the area recently with a young family.”
Gordon moved to Isanti in 2007, opening Jimmy’s Pizza. Although he left in 2013 to go out to North Dakota during the oil boom, he returned to Isanti in 2017 to raise his family after the birth of his daughter. He describes Isanti as a close-knit community, a great town, with a wide variety of things to do.
His experience running a business and working with various councils and boards for permits will help in his role as council member, he said. He explained how he assisted in getting an ordinance change in the city of Clearwater to allow a fellow business owner to operate a Jimmy’s Pizza food truck. Gordon also noted he has been a member of the Airport Advisory Board and is currently a firefighter with Isanti Fire District.
“I don’t like to go looking for problems that don’t exist,” Gordon said when asked what he saw as major issues in the city of Isanti. “I think there is certainly some work to be done . . . I think one thing that I see that could certainly use a little work, in light of recent events, is repairing the reputation of the city’s police force. I think I could help with that just by being a strong advocate for the police department, and, when I’m talking to the citizens, really put in a good word on the improvements that have been made there.”
The only change Gordon really noted he would like to see for the city is a park on the east side of Minnesota Highway 65. He also noted his mother-in-law would not be happy if he didn’t mention more accommodating hours at the city’s compost site.
Gordon’s term will run until Dec., 2020.
The five additional candidates were David Apitz, Luke Merrill, Rodrick Barrows, Walter Hansen (who withdrew) and Leroy Johnson.
The final vote was three in favor of appointing Gordon, with Leroy Johnson receiving one vote.