Mayor Skogquist recently defended Anoka city manager,Tim Cruikshank, calling Tim "my manager". There was a council meeting during which Skogquist seemed to be teasing Cruikshank, about "Little Lauderdale".
The Anoka Union noted that three years before Cruikshank came to Anoka he was supervising five full time employees in "Little Lauderdale".
Lauderdale is less than a half-mile square, had a population of 2,364 with 544 single-family homes.
When interviewed for Anoka, Mr. Cruikshank was with the city of Minnetrista. The Union noted it was a city of 4,200 with 20 fulltime employees. Anoka is 18,000+ with 120+ employees.
Minnetrista is 32 square miles. Anoka is 7.14 square miles.
A Tribune article in 2004 described Minnetrista as "a leafy city with quiet country roads that is adamant about keeping its rural feel."
"There is essentially no commercial property in Minnetrista itself", the article said. "People go next door to Mound and St. Bonifacious to buy gas or a cup of coffee." One resident was quoted as saying, "It feels like you're in Canada."
The total dissimilarity of Anoka and Minnetrista begs the question, "Why was Tim Cruikshank considered the most suitable candidate for Anoka's city manager by the Pierce/Skogquist council?"
Could it be the same as Skogquist's stated criteria for choosing HRA commissioners? "He wanted people who will do what he tells them to do?"
Comment: In 2004 Skogquist's running mate was Michael Gundlach. In 2006 it was Aaron Barr. Both are on the HRA now. Are they just doing what he tells them to do? Gundlach once announced at an HRA meeting, "I had a long converstion Saturday and no one is interested in the VOA project." So, Michael, who was the long conversation with?
Comment: There was a report from someone who frequently comes and goes from the city hall block: Skogquist has a key to the building and has met with business looking people and former staff member Chris Heineman after hours. Skogquist is often the last to leave city council meetings and seems to have meetings after the meetings with the city manager, sometimes even settling in for business in the meeting room at the top of the stairs.