Meet Windermere Town Council candidate Elizabeth "Liz" Andert

Read our exclusive Q&A with Windermere Town Council candidate Elizabeth "Liz" Andert.

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  • | 8:30 p.m. March 9, 2019
Liz Andert.
Liz Andert.
  • Southwest Orange
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  • Name: Elizabeth (Liz) Vestal Andert
  • Age: 44
  • Education: MBA Marketing and Strategic Management, University of Minnesota Curtis L. Carlson School of Management; BSB Finance and Marketing, University of Minnesota Curtis L. Carlson School of Management 
  • Occupation: (current) career consultant and philanthropist; (recent) retail boutique owner/entrepreneur; (career) marketing, communications and government affairs at a higher education nonprofit

What inspired or motivated you to run for town council?

My family moved here with an unexpected work transfer, and we are grateful every day. As I’ve become involved in local events, community groups and charities, neighbors have encouraged me to bring my energies and accountability to benefit our town. If there is a place and a purpose for me, I would be honored to give back to Windermere. I respect the wisdom and passion of our long-time neighbors and the ideas and hopes of our new arrivals. Together we can preserve our home’s unique character, and through dedication to communication between the Town, residents and surrounding communities we will.

If elected, what would be your top three priorities for the town?

The issues that matter to the town—traffic, safety (including police and administration facilities), and character—will continue to be most important to preserving our unique quality of our community. How well we perform will depend on the resources we direct at them. This election is about voting for those resources in the candidates who will combine their time and talents to do the work. I am asking for the investment of your trust in providing me this opportunity. I will return your trust with my commitment to studying every side of our issues and listening to every voice.

Why should town residents vote for you?

The best part of running for Council is learning who gives their time to our town—serving on committees, advocating for our resources, caring for our neighbors, or speaking up for your vision. Thank you; your continued commitment to Windermere is why we all enjoy the charms of living here. I want opinion and dissension and to learn from your knowledge. My actions will always be mindful of who I am serving. The communications plan I hope to establish, the ideas I research and share—and reshape as I hear you—will all be done with this perspective of service.

What do you feel is the best way for the town to handle its ongoing cut-through traffic issues?

Consultants concluded that barriers on our interior streets will primarily burden our residents with inconvenience and safety issues. Some disagree and want to at least try. I prioritize safety, but we’ll put in a lot of groundwork before seeing any reliever route, so near-term remedies should include testing increased police visibility or one-way traffic direction. Tests must survey our residents to see for whom the solutions are or are not working, so all voices are heard. Long-term, I’d work toward a rotary at Windermere and Maguire roads, and I favor keeping our dirt roads—a natural deterrent to interior cut-through.  

Where do you stand regarding the town’s initiative to provide safer, modern facilities for the town’s administration personnel and police officers?

Workshops, discussions and facilities tours with those on all sides have shown me that the current structures—built mainly with materials of little preservation value—are not acceptable or safe for our service providers and for our residents. Moving police operations out of Town borders in weather emergencies because of these buildings’ compromised safety is unacceptable. The facilities are also the sole obstacle to achieving accreditation for our police force. (Learn about why this matters: The plan won’t raise taxes, the debt service will be manageable and closely monitored, and the original buildings can be honored through a historic memorial.

Some believe the town needs better protections for its trees. What specific changes, if any, would you like to see in the town regarding environmental protections?

Thank you to our dedicated Windermere Tree Board for your forever efforts in teaching why, and how, we should protect our trees. There is an effort planned to rewrite the tree ordinance, (which was passed in 2014), so that it more closely mirrors common terms and policy, and I support including within this revision stronger mitigation requirements for any development that has an impact on our trees. Further, I’d like to see that anyone granted authority to permit tree removal or other tree-impacting activity be educated on the tree trdinance and any appropriate materials as recommended by a certified arborist and in conjunction with the tree board.

How would you improve communication between the town administration and residents?

Accurate, accessible, consistent messaging is key to trust and success for our town. Some measures to include in a plan, to which I will volunteer my time and talents:

  • Communicating with residents where they prefer to receive and share news;
  • Auditing and improving the organization and content of the town website;
  • Trying new approaches like online surveys to receive input from those who cannot or do not attend town meetings and workshops;
  • Designing town communications processes that ensure the same message is received by all residents;
  • and establishing communications channels with neighboring communities to share news important to our region


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