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Sherburne County Commissioner District 4

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

    Gary H. Gray
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Jerome (Lefty) Kleis
    (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)

I have been on the Clear Lake Township board for 18 years, 11 of those as Chairman. My priorities have been fiscal responsibility, addressing all questions, issues, or concerns of Clear Lake Township Residents, and to give my utmost attention to all matters, regardless of their size. As Sherburne County Commissioner, these would continue to be my top priorities. I have always been able to sit across the table from a resident, public official, or business owner, and go through an issue in a very attentive and transparent way. I have found that working through issues collaboratively with the other party consistently leads to a better and more rewarding outcome for all parties. No problem is too large or small not to deserve my full attention.
Affordable housing continues to be an important issue in Sherburne County, especially given the recent increase in housing and rental costs. I would engage the private sector and use local government to help meet affordable housing demand in Sherburne County. I would strive to be a partner during the development process and work to reduce or eliminate permitting and other costs to expedite the building process to ensure Sherburne County residents have access to affordable housing.
Elections are critical component of our democratic process. In over 18 years as a Township official, I have never witnessed or heard of any issues with our current voting procedures and system. I believe the system we currently use is safe, secure, and utilizes current technology. When new issues arise or technology changes, a thorough review is warranted and if needed, changes should be made to ensure the integrity of our elections.
As parents of a child with disabilities, my wife and I have witnessed firsthand the successes of our current mental health and social services. As Commissioner, I would bridge the gap between local governments and private sector employers to ensure that health care workers are paid adequate wages to foster the hiring of individuals for this rewarding work. Additionally, my wife and I are children to veterans and I would make sure that Sherburne County veterans have the resources they need.
One of my priorities is fiscal responsibility, however, if cuts were required, the preservation of health and human services would be the most important, as the continuity of these funds are vital to our residents who need the support. Second, I would preserve public safety funds to ensure that Sherburne County residents are able to safely live their lives. Finally, I would preserve infrastructure funds to maintain roads and bridges critical to the economic engine of Sherburne County.
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