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Beltrami County Commissioner District 2

County commissioners are the county s key policymakers. They oversee the administration of the county, set county budget, and participate in county long-range planning. County services that they oversee include a wide variety of social service and welfare programs, as well as certain public health programs. Learn more about the day in the life of a county commissioner in this video from the Association of Minnesota Counties. (https://www.mncounties.org/meetings_and_education/day_in_the_life_of_a_minnesota_county_commissioner.php)

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  • Candidate picture

    Joe Gould
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Don Heinonen
    (NP)

Información Biográfica

If elected, what will your top three priorities be and why? (750 characters)

What actions would you take, if any, to address affordability of housing in your county? (500 characters)

How would you ensure election laws do not create barriers to Minnesotans’ freedom to vote while also ensuring safe and secure elections? (500 characters)

What do you see as the biggest challenges to mental health and social services in your county, and how would you address them? (500 characters)

If there were to be budget cuts during your term, what are the most essential county services that you would advocate to preserve? (500 characters)

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Campaign Email donheinonen@yahoo.com
Campaign Mailing Address 415 Gould Ave NE
Bemidji, MN 56601
Public Safety I believe is the top priority. Crime is on the increase and are become more violent. The county board needs to find fund sources to help off set the increasing budget costs through state and federal grants and pilot programs to increase law enforcement presence.

Property taxed are just under 40% of the county’s overall income, it is what the board has the most control over. The county board must continue to have a balanced budget and to continue to be financially responsible with the taxpayer’s money. To balance out the needs of the county as well as its employees.

Infrastructure, The aging assets of the county will always be challenging to maintain those assets. With the county jail, and roads topping the list.
Collaboration with (HRA) Bemidji Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Bi Cap and other housing authorities to make the county continues to have available housing for those in need. Affordable housing will always fall short of the need in the county, but by the county board working with other entities and lobbing state legislators maybe the county can close the gap.
I believe that our elections need to be safe, secure, and accurate as we possibly can make them. The County needs to follow and abide by all state and federal election laws. To except all legally recognized forms of identification that would include federal recognized tribal identification, and have polling places in place that are in consistent locations and clearly signed on election days. To make sure that the county has polling place staff that are all well trained.
Being the largest line item at over 28% of the County budget, elected officials must balance quality services as well as the mandated state and federal government services, to all those residents that need those services. These continue to be the highest cost area in the county budget and have been hard to control with every increase in need of services within the county. Some of the collaborated efforts with Sanford Health will help ease some of the burden when t
Very large percent of the county budget is personal costs and mandated human and mental services. So, there are not many items that can be cut and still maintain service to all county residents. It has and will continue to be very hard to make sure the county had and balanced and fair budget.