Ramsey voters living in Ward 1 will decide Tuesday, July 30 who will represent them on the Ramsey City Council through the end of 2014.
The Ward 1 councilmember seat has been vacant since David Elvig resigned in April, five days after an Anoka County District Court jury found him guilty of theft by swindle from the employees of his personal business, E-Street Makers. Elvig was sentenced June 17 to 60 days in jail and ordered to pay almost $25,000 in restitution.
Tom Heifort, 6311 163rd Lane NW, and Jill Johns, 6043 174th Ave. NW, are vying to fill the remainder of Elvig’s term that ends Dec. 31, 2014. The four-year seat will be on the ballot in the 2014 general election.
Polling locations open 7 a.m. and close 8 p.m. July 30. The places for Ward 1 residents to vote are Pathways Community Church at 6341 167th Ave. NW for Precinct 1, and Cross of Hope Lutheran Church at 5730 179th Ln. NW for Precinct 2.
Heifort and Johns have lived in their respective Ramsey homes for about 20 years and said they never considered themselves very political. They both just want to be part of the process of making a difference for their community.
As a member of the Ramsey Parks and Recreation Commission for 16 years during which time she served as a chairperson and vice chairperson, Johns said she found out she had a knack for pulling people together.
“I’m coming into this without an agenda,” Johns said. “I want to be open to listening to what everyone has to say first before making a good decision.”
Heifort is a retired truck driver who had about 30 years of experience. He was on the negotiating committee for Teamsters Local 120 in Blaine.
Johns is currently a senior executive assistant for McKesson Medical-Surgical in the compliance and ethics department. She attended the University of Hawaii and the Minnesota School of Business.
When asked what their big issues are for Ward 1 and the city as a whole, Johns said the COR development still has to be maintained as a priority, but the council must keep redevelopment in other areas of the community in mind.
She would like to see redevelopment of the corner of Highway 47 and 167th Avenue in her area, according to Johns.
Heifort said he did not have any issues or agenda that he wanted to mention.
“The reason I’m doing this is to learn about the city, to listen and to lead,” Heifort said. “I want to be a part of that process.”
Heifort has been married to his wife Teresa for almost 39 years. They have five children who are all grown up named Thomas, Jr., Tanya, Troy, Tony, and Timmy. He spends a lot of his free time officiating baseball, basketball and football games.
Johns has been married to her husband Jeff for 24 years and they have two grown children named Dan and Lauren. She has done a lot of volunteering with Northern Lights Soccer Association, which is now called the Anoka-Ramsey Athletic Association. She is an avid reader and enjoys working in her garden.
Eric Hagen is at