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Guía de Votantes

Becker 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

    Craig Hall

  • Candidate picture

    Erica Jepson

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)

1. Support for Law Enforcement - We need a strong law enforcement team if we are going have a safe community to live and work in. The "defund the police movement" has been a disaster for this country and needs to be reversed. 2. County Highway Department - We all rely on our road infrastructure, there are numerous county roads that are in terrible shape and they cause a safety hazard. This will be an area of focus for me. 3. Building a Strong Team of Employees - I believe government exists to serve the people, not the other way around. The county needs great employees in all areas that are dedicated to providing the best service possible. Currently there are issues and they need to be resolved in order to get the key people we need.
I am a free market capitalist, this is not an area that government should be involved in.
I believe that every legal citizen should have the right to vote. The best way restore the integrity of our elections is to require that everyone be registered and show a photo ID! Eliminate mass mail in ballets.
Mental health is a serious issue, I am not an expert on addressing it, however there are experts out there. I would be leaning on them for advice and using best judgement from there to deal with the crisis. Social services I feel needs to be reformed. The entire focus of this department needs to be on getting people off social services and on self dependence. People who are self reliant and self dependent will have a way better outlook on life and themselves; dependency is not the answer!
1. Public Safety - Law Enforcement, Fire Dept, first responders... 2. Highway Department - Infrastructure 3. Veteran Services
Law enforcement requires reliable equipment and systems in order to keep us, and themselves safe. They need an administration that is willing to make well informed, fiscally responsible decisions to ensure they have the support, staff, equipment, and resources they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. Employee relations, 50 employees have resigned since 1/1/22. Employee turnover is an unnecessary expense to the taxpayers. I will work hard to correct the conditions that led to the disconnection between employees and administration and make Becker County a great place to work again. Accessibility and Transparency, I will advocate to make the board meetings and supporting documents more accessible and transparent to citizens.
Affordable family and elderly housing are a desperate need in Becker County. Affordable housing is essential to community growth as well as sustaining employees, businesses, schools, and more. I would work with Becker County Housing Authority to learn where funding is being allocated to ensure maximized use of resources and provide public awareness of available programs. I would also explore current property values to ensure people are being taxed fairly and would consider tax incentives.
I believe in the right to vote. District 1 has 4 townships that are mail-in ballot only. It is important for the citizens in those townships to continue to have the opportunity to have their voice heard. Election laws are not made at the County level and Becker County does an excellent job ensuring our elections are secure and fair. I would continue to ensure our election judges have the equipment and training so they can continue to ensure election laws are followed to the highest standards.
Becker County has a lack of mental health providers, especially for children/youth who have experienced trauma. I would research grants available to recruit providers. It is important to have someone on the board who understands how state/federal statutes/funding and social services work together with County resources to meet the needs of the vulnerable populations. I would explore grant funding and use currently budgeted county funds as efficiently as possible to maximize the resources.
Sheriff's Department is imperative to public safety. More cuts would be dire to an already stretched staff. We NEED to ensure they have the resources and staff to do their jobs efficiently. Human Services is tasked with overseeing a wide range of programs/services to support/assist our most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly, families experiencing hardship, children who have been abused and neglected, people with persistent mental illness and addiction, and those with disabilities.