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Otter Tail 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

    Jeffery Mark Gontarek

  • Candidate picture

    Wayne Donald Johnson

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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- Continue to develop housing opportunities, we are losing schoolteachers, other professionals because they can’t find a place to live. Local businesses have had to expand elsewhere due to the lack of people available to work (directly related to housing).

-Safe and affordable daycare, so families can go to work and trust their children are taken care of.

Mental health is next and addressed below.

- Increasing affordable broadband access; critical for living, & livelihoods.

- Implementing our long-range strategic plan, with six priorities. 1. Resilience 2. Economy 3. Land Use 4. Public Infrastructure 5. Natural Resources 6. Parks and Trails By implementing this plan we can address many of the needs and priorities of the county.
- Implement The Big Build, a countywide housing growth and investment initiative. - Tax incentives for construction of new housing units to meet the various needs of all household types and income levels. - Build partnerships with and expand the capacity of non-profit organizations, community partnerships, private developers. -Advocate for increased funding at the state and federal levels. - Utilize ARPA dollars to rehab existing housing to keep it safe, clean and affordable.
Make sure the county polling places are accessible to all, also advocating for open, fair, safe and equitable elections with our state partners, I have developed great relationships with our state legislators, along with others in state government and I use these relationships to advocate for the citizens of Otter Tail County, and the rest of the State.
- Funding effective programs, effective programs take time and people, all of that takes money. - Educating the public on where social service dollars go, a large percentage of the dollars we spend go to the most vulnerable among us, the young, the elderly, and the mentally challenged. The care of our over 65 people is some of the highest costs we pay. Not being allow to try new ideas State and Federal programs don't reimburse for "good ideas" and county budgets are strained as it is.
- Public safety is the biggest responsibility we have to our citizens, we cannot sacrifice that. - After public safety, I would advocate for a percentage cut evenly across all departments within the county, our staff knows best what is the most essential in their given area of expertise, I would rely on them to bring me a recommendation.