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Nicollet County Commissioner District 1

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

    Jennifer Andrashko

  • Candidate picture

    Marie Dranttel

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)

Broadband: Access to high-speed internet is necessary to engage in our workforce and access health care services. Expensive to build and deliver, it will require public/private partnerships for capital investment cost-sharing.

Roads and Waterways: Safe roads, effective ditches, and water management are interdependent and we must invest accordingly. Rapid water flow can be very erosive – damaging roadways, threatening their integrity, and requiring costly repairs. Mitigating rate of water flow can prevent erosion from occurring in the first place.

Health and Human Services: Investing in the health and wellbeing of the people in our communities is an investment in families, communities and in our workforce.
Housing affordability is not a new challenge and will be central to addressing a number of related priorities. Lack of affordable housing affects quality of life and economic development. For example: Without affordable places for workers to live in our communities, building workforce will be a challenge. I would work to advocate for an increase in Housing Infrastructure Bonds - the largest state source of capital for housing development. Every additional affordable dwelling unit is a success.
Minnesota has been a national leader in voter turnout, election reform, and ballot integrity. At the local level, county administration, county attorneys, and law enforcement share the responsibility to engage with the Minnesota Secretary of State if there is a concern about a possible violation of an election law. I would readily engage in this process to protect our constituents' fundamental rights to engage in our democracy as voters in a free and fair election.
Mental health care needs exceed the system’s capacity to provide care. The mental health workforce is tired. As need continues to grow, caseloads do too. Workforce is stretched thin. We cannot minimize the toll working throughout the pandemic with clients experiencing higher stress and fewer resources has had on our providers. Expanding mental health infrastructure will force us to innovate (i.e., advocate for the return of state tax dollars for county mental health system reinvestment, etc.).
There are essential services the county provides that must be preserved because they secure the immediate safety, health, and wellbeing of individuals, families, and the larger county community as a whole. Examples would include services designed to protect the most vulnerable populations among us (child and adult protective services, disability services), public health infrastructure/services (emergency response, infectious disease management, etc.), and public safety.
Campaign Email marie.home@dranttel.com
Campaign Mailing Address 34697 DAISY LANE
ST PETER, MN 56082
Broadband – to be competitive all our residents need access to reliable and affordable internet. Business need it to compete, families and kids need it for education – internet brings the world to us and us to the world.

Water management – too much, too little and not enough conservation. Nicollet County manages public drainage systems that are owned by landowners. The systems are aging and in need of repair – smart management conserves water, moves water to where it is needed and conserves water.

Personnel Management – Nicollet County (and everyone else) is struggling and will continue to struggle recruiting and retaining its workforce. We need qualified and engaged employees to deliver services that residents need.
Programming within HHS assists residents with housing needs – it’s not enough – and there will never be enough funding. Housing is affordable when renters and homeowners earn a living wage – keeping and attracting a growing and stable business community is one factor. Keeping levy levels low at all levels of government (city, school districts, townships) also helps to keep the local cost of owning a home.
Frankly, at the County level we don’t set policy. We have, however, opened up safe and secure spaces for early and absentee voting. I have encouraged rural townships to switch to mail in ballots – they are SAFE and easy! We have added election staff to thoughtfully explain procedures to voters and assist them to be able to vote. There are a myriad of good opportunities for residents to vote – they just need to do it. Be sure to thank election judges and poll workers – they've earned it.
STAFFING – finding and retaining staff. The growing need for trained mental health professionals is rapidly outpacing the availability of individuals available. In addition, the closing of inpatient facilities for both adult and juvenile patients – the systems is beginning to approach critical fracture status. I don’t think new professionals can be trained quickly enough. Many issues of facilities are tied to State regulations and compliance – at the County level we can lobby to fix.
Public health and public health programming, the public health system was the key organization of the pandemic – they kept us informed, educated and vaccinated. They continually monitor the physical and mental health of residents – they quietly do their programming and at some level it touches all of us -every day. They are the heroes of Nicollet County