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Olmsted County Soil and Water Supervisor District 1

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  • Candidate picture

    Malachi McNeilus
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    James Rentz
    (NP)

Información Biográfica

Why are you the best candidate for this position? (750 characters)

If elected, what will your top three priorities be and why? (500 characters)

How is this office important to constituents? Please provide details of any plans for improvement. (500 characters)

How should this office provide oversight for how climate change is affecting our community watersheds, and what can be done to prevent adverse effects on local communities? (500 characters)

Campaign Email mcneilus@gmail.com
Campaign Mailing Address 1910 6TH AVE NE
ROCHESTER, MN 55906
I have called Rochester home for the past 23 years and wish to support the continued preservation of the great quality of life we enjoy in Olmsted County! My professional experiences in the federal government and private sector gives me a broad knowledge of the SWCD’s mission and goals. In addition, I have a proven history of attaining operational goals in complex environments with a wide range of competing stakeholders. My knowledge and professional experiences will aid the SWCD in fulfilling its missions to promote more sustainable resources utilization and the protection of natural resources in Olmsted County.
(1) To continue the preservation of the natural resources we enjoy in Olmsted County for all current and future residents. (2) To collaboratively engage all stakeholders in attaining the mission and goals of the SWCD. (3) To support the SWCD staff in their protection of the natural resources in Olmsted County.
The quality of life we enjoy is directly tied to the quality of the natural resources in Olmsted County. It should be every constituent’s sincere desire to sustain and improve those resources for all current and future community members.
Increase the coordination between local conservation districts so that similar conservation plans/policies can be implemented across the greater community. It is my sincere hope that a greater degree of policy/plan coordination when implemented will improve not only the natural resources of Olmsted County, but also those in the surrounding counties and communities. In other words, our best chance of making a difference on climate change is standing, working, and communicating with one another.
Campaign Mailing Address 723 8TH AVE NW
ROCHESTER, MN 55901
I think my long standing commitment to environmental concerns and “walking softly upon the planet” would be the starting point as to why I would be the best candidate for the District One position. In my four years on the Board I have not missed a meeting and attended numerous informational presentations. As the urban District commissioner I have appreciated learning about the various projects being authorized for the rural agricultural area and their environment importance. I have also been working to bring best practices such as natural landscape and pollinator habitat into the Rochester urban areas. Finally, my concern for the environment, eagerness to learn, and willingness to compromise make me the best candidate for the position.
Use existing grant opportunities in an efficient, equitable, and transparent manner. Expand those projects to areas such as specialty crops and possibly urban gardens.

Expand the rural use of grant monies beyond the current projects to other farming techniques with ecological benefits that can help the smaller producer.

In addition to County Fair and pollinator habitat, we should expand programs to include more ecological practices and healthy food alternatives for all residents of Rochester
District 1 is important because it provides the opportunity for urban residents to learn about the needs of rural farmsteads. It’s good to see projects coming into urban areas and the new grant being worked on by OCSWCD and other groups, in converting traditional grass lawns to natural habitats and pollinator friendly areas. I think cooperating at all levels to increase funding, and participation, would be an improvement that should be taken on by this District 1 position in particular.
The oversight role of the SWCD on the effect of climate change is quite limited. There may be the occasional issue, such as buffer zones, where it could lead but its main mission should be one of education. With its limited funding and enforcement authorization, the District should concentrate on working with landowners and environmental organizations to educate and convince their constituents to adopt environmental best practices.