Aaron Barr, 2006 and 2008 Anoka council candidate, had the temerity to say he was concerned about "the low grade of ethics of people on the city's advisory boards."
An easy look-back has Mr. Barr first making the scene in a Union article in January 2005. He was the leader of a group that circulated a petition regarding 302 Fremont, his immediate neighbor.
The Union report revealed "much of what has been represented [by this group] is either patently false, seriously in dispute, or counterbalanced by actions the public has not been generally aware."
Barr's group demanded action claiming "surrounding properties have been adversely affected by blight translating to decreasing property values." They tried for eminent domain, a public taking of the property, first for preservation, then for blight.
Aaron Barr's efforts, based on patently false information,influenced the hasty passing of an ordinance and extravagant HRA loans totaling $485,000. These actions served Barr's immediate self interest: his "decreasing property values".
Mayor Skogquist stated in the Union he was pleased with "this private solution." Bjorn Skogquist's idea of a private solution would eventually cost the city $185,000. 302 Fremont would be sold August 29, 2008 at Sheriff's sale for $132,500.
Later, Bjorn Skogquist wanted Aaron Barr for a five year appointment to the city's independent housing authority, the HRA. This group is empowered to tax, spend and make financial decisions apart from the elected body: the city council. These appointments are not accountable to the public by election and outlast any two year term mayor.
A group with this power and longevity needs to recruit people of the highest personal ethics. Certainly not people looking after their own limited self-interest or rubberstamping the mayor's extreme, expensive agenda.
Currently (October 2008) Aaron Barr and Erik Skogquist are going around Anoka campaigning together for city council. Be afraid Anoka, be very afraid.
St. Francis is trying to recall a councilmember for spreading misinformation. It would be easier and cheaper to keep this sort from being elected in the first place.