Incumbent Tucker lists infrastructure, Washington Avenue as focuses

G.L. Tucker, 58, brings a lot of business, management and economic development experience to his quest for another term on the Detroit Lakes City Council.


G.L. Tucker, 58, brings a lot of business, management and economic development experience to his quest for another term on the Detroit Lakes City Council.

Tucker is facing Jay Schurman for the Ward 3 seat on the council.

Tucker works at M State in Detroit Lakes, where he is dean of custom training and business entrepreneurial services, and director of manufacturing and technical products, custom training.

He works with business and industry across the area, and sets up custom training programs for skilled positions that lack qualified applicants.

When he wears his business and entrepreneurial services hat, he helps small business owners and entrepreneurs with start-up ventures.


Tucker was born in Missouri and moved with his family to Pipestone, Minn., when he was 12. He graduated from high school there and went to St. Cloud State University, where he earned a degree in industrial engineering.

His first job after graduation was with Hormel Foods in Austin, and his career with Hormel took him to Atlanta, Wichita and Willmar, Minn., then to Pelican Rapids, where he was a manager at West Central Turkeys, LLC, for 10 years.

He worked for several manufacturers after he left Hormel, including SJE-Rhombus in Detroit Lakes and Airgas in Fargo. He has been at M State for about five years.

Tucker and his wife, Deb, a teacher at Rossman Elementary, have two grown daughters, one married, one engaged, and both are Detroit Lakes High School graduates who live in the Twin Cities.

Tucker has been on the city council for 10 years and serves on the development authority. He was part of a group that raised about $600,000 to renovate the pavilion. He was on the DL Education Foundation and served on the city planning commission prior to joining the city council.

His hobbies include ice fishing in the wintertime and yard work in the summertime.

He was asked about challenges facing the city.

“Obviously we need to move forward with infrastructure issues,” he said. “That includes Washington Avenue clean down to West Lake Drive.”


There’s also the wastewater treatment issue. “There’s been a change in limits on phosphorus (emissions). We need to do our part and the wastewater treatment plant needs to be updated, and that’s going to come with a big price tag. We have good people. They’re working on that.”

But the biggest economic development challenge faced by the whole area is the lack of qualified skilled workers, in all industry sectors - manufacturing, medical and others, Tucker said.

“The city can’t solve it, but it needs to be part of the discussion along with the high school, M State and the business community to see what we can come up with,” he said. “We need to be part of the solution, even if it’s just bringing people together to talk about the problems.”

On the plus side, Detroit Lakes has a lot going for it, he said.

“We’re fortunate in Detroit Lakes, people want to live here,” said Tucker. “The population is growing, school enrollment is growing, it’s very positive.”

The city is also fortunate to operate a city liquor store and electrical utility that together transfer about $1.1 million to the general fund every year, saving the average homeowner about $200 a year in property taxes, he said.

The city’s food and beverage sales tax has been a positive, bringing in revenue that allows the city to fight invasive aquatic species like flowering rush, in cooperation with the Pelican River Watershed District and the DNR, said Tucker.

“The lake is the key component to the community,” he added.


“People choose to live here because of the amenities we have, it’s positive for the city, there’s a lot of positive things going on.”

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