Anoka County Board,
‘Electrician, not politician’
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 22, 2022
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
COON RAPIDS — Ray Zeran declares, “I’m an electrician, not a politician!”
Zeran is an 18-year member of IBEW Local 292 and he’s running for the District 4 seat on the Anoka County Board of Commissioners with the endorsement of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
District 4 includes Coon Rapids, the northeast corner of Anoka and the western part of Andover.
Zeran is challenging Scott Schulte, two-term incumbent and current board chair.
“I’m listening to people at the doors,” Zeran tells the Labor Review. “I think that’s what makes a difference — listening.”
Zeran says he’s raising three main issues in his campaign.
First is the issue of accountability and transparency at the Anoka County Board — or rather, the lack of it. “At the general board meetings, there’s no public input,” Zeran says, “and there’s no input for the public on the budget.”
“They’re making decisions but those decisions clearly are being made behind closed doors,” Zeran says. “People are really concerned about their democracy today.”
Zeran’s second priority is transportation and transit. “We’re way behind in building out our roads and bridges,” he says, adding “I’d like to see us build out a better transit system and that starts with our backbone, the Northstar… My neighbors love the line. They want it there. They don’t want to see it go away… The right thing to do is to promote it, get our ridership up, expand it to St. Cloud like it was originally intended…”
Third, Zeran says, Anoka County needs to pay attention to its frontline workers. “We need to find a way to pay people to retain them because those are the folks who are making government work for everybody.”
Zeran is a 20-year Coon Rapids resident and, since 2019, a member of the Metropolitan Council, the regional planning agency.