Controversial Lake Elmo City Councilwoman Decides Not to Run for Re-Election

August 18, 2016 09:09 AM

A controversial city councilwoman in the east metro has confirmed she won't run for re-election. 

Anne Smith says her third term is her last. That's why she didn't file for re-election with the Minnesota Secretary of State by Tuesday's deadline.


"You come to a point in your life that you realize your family is really the most important thing to you," Smith said.

The 8,200 residents of Lake Elmo have been dealing with polarizing politics and a revolving door at city hall. In the past two years, Smith has been accused of harassing employees, has been censured and has been the target of an internal investigation. Despite that, she defends her actions.

"I leave on good terms and of my own volition," Smith said.

Bill Walker has lived in town for 45 years. Over that time, he's voted a lot of politicians into and out of office. Walker says he supported Smith two out of three times.

"I believe there comes a time when you've served long enough," Walker said.

Walker strongly believes turnover is needed instead of turmoil at City Hall. He even posted signs in his yard spreading the message to others.

"Whatever's been happening, all five of them are involved at one time or another. It isn't one person is completely wrong and the rest are right," Walker said.

"We've lost 10 staff members. We've gone through two administrators the last two years," incumbent councilman Justin Bloyer said.

He's a Smith skeptic and blames her for the dysfunctional council.

"I think it'll be a good, fresh start to turn things around," Bloyer said.

"There are a lot of disappointed people that I didn't run," Smith said.

Four candidates are running to fill two open seats.  The election is Nov. 8. 


Beth McDonough

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