County needs to step up to the plate and help

Published 9:06 am Thursday, October 23, 2008

As a write-in candidate for the 3rd District county commissioner, people have asked me: Why? My reasons are I’m just tired of paying county taxes, living in the city and not seeing any benefits other than the new government center.

I’m tired of when the city asks for help with projects that would benefit all county residents and they say they don’t want to. I’m also tired of when a housing project outside the city limits gets into trouble — most of the time it’s their sewer system — they ask the city to annex and take care of the problem, but offer no financial help.

The city got the half-cent sales tax passed to help finance the Shell Rock River Watershed District. It has been three years and I haven’t seen a lot of progress toward its goals and objectives.

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My goal if elected would be to serve the people of the 3rd District, that being the 4th and 5th wards, and Albert Lea Township first.

I know that hog-confinement buildings and ditch repair are issues, but they are not one of my top priorities.

Although I wasn’t asked to participate in the commissioners’ debate at City Hall, I was there and listened and watched. There was not one question asked about how the county could help with the city of Albert Lea, even though we are over half the population and pay around 38 percent of the county taxes.

One of the questions asked was how they would balance the budget. The answer from one of the commissioners was we could cut funds from the library or fair. I didn’t even realize we were subsidizing the fair, for what we pay at the gate and for renting spots.

If I am elected I intend to work to bring all government leaders together, be it from the county, city, township and even the school district, to try and consolidate services, and reduce the tax burden on all county residents.

John Severtson

write-in candidate

Freeborn County

Commissioner District 3

Albert Lea