Taxes, economic development are key issues

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My name is Tony Pestorious and I am running for the Freeborn County Commissioner District 5 position.

During the past few months I had a booth at the fair and have gone door to door to almost every home in District 5. I have listened to and talked with people both young and old, those who live in the rural areas and those who live in the city. No matter with whom I talked or where they lived, one central theme dominated almost every conversation: Rising taxes and the need to curtail spending.

People want change.

Email newsletter signup

Our property tax levy has gone from $13,229,773 to $16,069,619 in the last five years. That is a 21.47 percent increase. We need to hold the line on taxes or we will price people out of their homes.

Other issues that I believe are vital to address in our district and county are: economic development including innovations in tourism, individual sewer treatment systems, utilization of grant and state aid, and communication.

Economic development is very important and I will support local businesses and encourage new investment in our economy. Freeborn County needs to work with the city of Albert Lea to utilize the Farmland site as the “Land Between the Lakes” along with promoting and improving our beautiful natural resources.

We need to revisit the county inspections of rural sewer systems. This is not only bad timing in terms of the economy and record number of foreclosures, but there remains much misunderstanding by those affected. At the very least we need more education regarding the state and county ordinances.

We need to work more diligently on tapping into the multitude of grants available through the state and federal government. Instead of very expensive studies that cost a whole lot of money when done by private consultant firms, I would support hiring a county employee for the purpose of grant writing and coordination. This employee could also lobby government entities and perhaps this position could be shared between both the county and the city of Albert Lea.

For the past several years it has been my privilege to give back to this community in the form of stewardship. I volunteer weekly throughout the year for some elderly residents by mowing their lawn, trimming their bushes and removing their snow.

Further, as my 23 years experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows, when I start something, I am committed to it. I have been committed to this campaign. I will be committed to my job as your next District 5 county commissioner, and I am committed to making Freeborn County a great place to live, work and raise a family.

I would sincerely appreciate your vote in the Sept. 9 primary!

Tony Pestorious is a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector and a candidate for Freeborn County Commissioner District 5.