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Stearns County Commissioner District 3

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

    Barry M Belknap
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Jeff Bertram
    (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 Website http://www.jeff-bertram.com
Campaign Twitter Handle @n/a
Campaign Mailing Address 662 SPRUCE ST.
PAYNESVILLE, MN 56362
I will use my experiences as a lifetime Stearns County resident, active in Local and State Government, to reconnect the residents to their County Government. Residents will continue to see me and my Family throughout the area, as they have for many years. I will be connected with the people I serve. I will write a monthly column, attend Community meetings and will be available 24/7 for questions or assistance to people who contact me. #2 & #3 priorities will be to review the budget and control taxation. Many expenditures have never been questioned & increases simple continue. With huge increases in property valuations, work will need to be done to adjust the tax rate that the increased valuations don’t further negatively affect residents.
The most important action in assisting people with affordable housing is to not tax them off of their properties! We need to provide reasonable services at reasonable tax rates, so people can continue to have a place to live. We need to continue to provide a variety of rental, home ownership, elderly living options for all income levels that allow housing for all. Federal, State and local Agencies need to work together by utilizing existing programs to meet the many different needs.
Stearns County has very professional, educated election officials who have done a great job of conducting elections for a very long time. Their integrity is the biggest asset in making sure elections are conducted properly and above all the different attempts to manipulate the election system. We need to resist the outside attempts to manipulate who and how people vote and remain focused on conducting fair, monitored elections. Everyone should follow the voting rules that are in place.
The largest challenge is to recognize there is a need; and then to make sure it is legitimate so it can be addressed appropriately. The more resources that are used on false needs, the less resources available to the people that really need assistance. Unfortunately, a lot of what Counties are required to do, come with so many strings attached with Federal and State mandates, without the needed financial assistance County’s need to fulfill the mandates! Public education is an important link.
Just like any Family or business budget, EVERYTHING needs to be revisited each and every year. We can’t allow automatic increases on everything. Taxes and spending won’t be able to hold the line that way! There are needs and there are wants. The two need to be identified and prioritized. The basics need to be funded for core services. Efficiencies need to be found and prioritized. During my time on the City Council, we cut 10% out of the budget and no one felt anything. That’s huge!