Eric Neff Candidate Chair- Town of Barnes Board

Background Statement:
I have been either vacationing or living in the Barnes area since 1985. I was attracted to the area because of the lakes, streams and forest. We love to camp, and this is an ideal area for that. My wife Christine’s family have been property owners and long-time residents first coming here in the 1950’s.


 Professionally I have been in finance for over thirty years retiring as a Senior VP for a major company. I have also been a church council president as well as a board member for the Boy Scouts of America managing large diverse budgets and committees.
Why are you seeking this office?
I am a big believer in the democratic process. If a person sees a more productive way for something to function, then I believe you should get involved and help make things better for everyone.
What experience (professional/personal/volunteer) will help you with this office.
Professionally I have managed multi-state territories with thousands of clients. Like a town, these territories had many moving parts that need to be balanced to function effectively.
Personally, I have been a church council president with a congregation size similar to our town I know how to work for the greater good. Managing a large budget and many committees gave me some great experience. This experience gives me working knowledge of how to bring out the skills and talents of volunteers much like a town uses a citizen on a committee to make the most out of its human resources for the benefit of all.
My volunteer work is primarily with the Boy Scouts of America. Starting as an Eagle Scout myself, I became a local Assistant Scoutmaster when my boys joined the local troop, then becoming a board member for the local Boy Scout council in Duluth and then a regional board member for the Central Region covering eighteen states and over 600,000 scouts. My work at both the council and regional level provides me with experience managing local committees, projects and agenda’s all with the purpose of helping the BSA move forward to be prepared for the future. These are the skills I will bring to the Town of Barnes.
What issues are facing Barnes today and what actions would you propose to deal with these issues?
Barnes needs help attracting new business to the area. I would like to work with a committee to come up with some innovative solutions, possibly tax incentives.


We also need a higher community profile for tourists to be attracted to our lakes and support our local businesses. We can do this by revitalizing our tourism committee and by some regional targeted marketing.
Fiscal responsibility is important to everyone. I think big jumps in property taxes are a sign of poor planning. I will utilize committee’s, research, staff insights, and board planning to plan for the future.


 We also need better communication between the town board and Barnes’ citizens to help encourage more citizen participation. This will provide more ideas for the board to consider when making decisions for the town.
What is your vision for Barnes two years from now?
A safe place to live, less community division, new business, good roads, clean lakes and more community events. The new fire station and EMT personnel is a great way to start, let’s keep going. New businesses may need some help to get started. Let’s be innovative. Roads are expensive and need to be planned for. Our lakes are our treasure. We all need to take care of them so our citizens can enjoy them and so they continue to attract local business and tourism. I would like to see events like the Vatten Paddlar grow. It would be nice to have a local event a few times per year to attract tourism seasonally.
How can voters reach you?
They can e-mail me at or call me at 715-795-3227. I do have a campaign website where they can review my platform pre-election