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Guía de Votantes

Wadena 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.

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  • Candidate picture

    Gene Morthberg
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Bill Stearns
    (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)

1) Transparency in county activity. This would include the live streaming of all public county meetings (closed sessions would still be closed ) as well as making them available afterward. This is a relatively easy thing to accomplish yet Wadena County lags behind other counties in this area. Better informed citizens make for better governments. 2) Quality job creation. Wadena County has one of the lowest income levels in the entire state. This must change for Wadena County to meet the basic needs of our citizens. Higher-income leads to higher tax revenue allowing for better funding of county services. 3) Quality Housing. The supply of affordable housing is in short supply We need to encourage the building of new homes and apartments.
Ecentivicing the building process. Much in the way governments create economic zones with lower taxes and utility assistance to encourage the building of factories and other industrial businesses. We can apply the same strategies to housing. one example would be tax abatements on new construction for a set number of years. We also need to step up code enforcement to make sure the affordable housing we currently have meets the standards of quality and liveability needed to encourage success.
I personally like the idea of Voter ID laws, so long as changes are also made to make sure the act of getting a state-issued ID itself does not impose financial or other hardships on prospective voters.
It is no secret that the Wadena County Department of Human Services has been underperforming. I believe this is due to the selective nature of services that are provided rather than an approach of equality that is needed in these matters. There is also the appearance of rampant nepotism in the hiring process of DHS employees, as well as open discrimination toward some members of our community based on personal matters and beliefs from some (not all) Wadena DHS employees.
I believe in performance-based funding. Underperforming departments should receive cuts before departments that are better functioning. Not much different than how a business makes decisions. The idea that the government is supposed to write blank checks after a poor performance is old and outdated. If you want a new coffee pot in the break room then get out there and earn it by serving our community's needs. When government properly functions income and profits raise and so does tax revenue.
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