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Olmsted County Commissioner District 5

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

    Catherine Davis
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Michelle Rossman
    (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)

In order to have a working government that reflects the needs of the individuals, I have identified the following priorities:

Efficient and Effective Government - examine how we are investing our tax dollars and streamline processes to assure efficient, high-quality delivery of services. Civic engagement - create opportunities for our diverse members to engage in local government and co-create solutions that address the root cause and provide long-lasting solutions. Healthy communities - advocate and develop programs that support all individuals including the passed resolution for addressing the impact of racial disparities that result from systemic racism as a public health issue.
Our residents spend more for housing than they should, live in places that are unsafe, or have to move further away from their work and/or support systems in order to afford housing. Olmsted County has many programs that assist individuals. As county commissioner, I will support the continuation and expansion of these programs. In addition, I will advocate for additional partnerships with cities, nonprofits, and for-profit organizations to increase the number of affordable housing options.
Counties are responsible for the implementation of safe, accessible, and fair elections. As county commissioner, I will assure we are following all election laws and that polling locations are accessible and barrier-free. Since election laws are passed at the state, I will use my position to advocate for continued same-day voter registration, no voter ID at the polls, and fair election maps that are as free as possible from gerrymandering.
The demand for mental health and social services exceeds the ability to provide those services. Solutions I support include: Expanding programs that empower individuals to break cycles (poverty, homelessness, substance abuse) and create long-sustaining solutions that reduce the need for individuals to rely on services. Seeking funding from state and federal sources to increase staffing and services offered at the county.
I would advocate to preserve health, housing, and human services. These include the following: services for the elderly and individuals with developmental disabilities who want to remain in their home; child and family services that support child welfare, safety, and family stability; affordable housing for Olmsted County residents. In addition, I will also work with local, state, and national elected officials to seek additional funding for services impacted by budget cuts.
As a commissioner, I"ll work to ensure all communities and citizens have a voice in county government and support systems that promote active engagement with and feedback from county residents. Long-term strategic planning must remain a priority as our county grows and resource demands increase. There must be a balance between current program needs and a strategic vision to ensure long-term financial stability. A third priority that's foundational to serving Olmsted County is fiscal responsibility. The impact of all programs and services must be measurable and I"m committed to a focus on creative and strategic conversations leading to partnerships and programs that best utilize county resources and minimize the tax burden.
Olmsted County has robust programs in place to provide affordable housing for residents. We must continue to evaluate the utilization of those services and find ways to enhance programs and forecast future needs. Providing affordable housing options demands strong partnerships with builders, non-profit organizations and the towns and cities in our region. These relationships are vital to success and I will work to strengthen those ties to ensure we're meeting the needs of our citizens.
All citizens must have access to polling locations and feel safe when exercising their voting rights. I will support the effective processes we have in place in Olmsted County that ensure election laws are followed and elections are fair. The Olmsted County Elections team must have adequate funding and staff to perform their duties. As commissioner, I will build relationships with state officials to voice support for election laws that allows access for all citizens.
Demand for mental health and social services has outpaced the services in place. As commissioner, I will support a focused effort to evaluate new sources of funding for these services and a fresh look at the foundational causes that are bringing residents to this state of need. As a community we must strive to support long-term solutions that allow these residents to be self-supporting in leading healthy lives.
Public safety is foundational to our citizen's daily lives so I would advocate for adequate funding for safety services. The programs provided through Health, Housing and Human Services are vital for many families and need to remain in place to provide stability for families. Fiscal management in Olmsted County has been excellent and I look forward to applying my budget experience to continue that legacy of strong financial health.