Hutchins says he will bring harmony to board

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 4, 2002

Less than a week before the election, Dave Hutchins resumed his campaign for county commissioner, challenging incumbent Dan Belshan.

Hutchins backed off from his candidacy before the September primary, but was too late to eliminate his name from the ballot. His change of mind last week resulted from the understanding of his employer at the Motor Inn Company in Albert Lea, who will let Hutchins use his time for county obligations if elected, he said.

Hutchins asserts he will restore peace in the county.

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&uot;I feel the need that the community needs some change, needs to start healing things up and gets things back on track,&uot; he said. &uot;A lot of negative things are going on in the county right now with the courthouse deal and lawsuit stuff. There’s going to have to be some time in which the cooperation gets done, on both sides.&uot;

His approach to the courthouse issue is much more moderate than his opponent’s.

&uot;I think it would be a positive step so far from what I’ve seen and I’ve been told,&uot; Hutchins said about the courthouse project. &uot;I think it’s somewhat expensive. But the commissioners have studied this for a number of years. And at this particular time, I would have to look at the expenses and see if it is the right thing.&uot;

Hutchins proposes to listen to the voice of the general population in the district, not just a particular segment of vocal people. &uot;I want to listen to both opponents and proponents and make a decision what I feel right for the whole district,&uot; he said.

&uot;Being a watchdog is a good thing,&uot; he said of Belshan. &uot;But, if you don’t ever change anything, I guess it’s not a good thing,&uot; he said.

Hutchins moved to Oakland Township in 1997 from rural Albert Lea, where he was a township officer for 12 years. At Mortor Inn, he supervises the service department where 30 employees work for him. Hutchins said he would apply his experience in union negotiations, where he has tried to come to decisions that work for both parties.