Editorial: Mathiason deserves another term

Published 9:11 am Thursday, October 23, 2008

Alden farmer Glen Mathiason has served Freeborn County Commissioner District 1 for eight years. He seeks one more four-year term on the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners before handing the baton to someone else, and we see no reason not to give him a final term.

His opponent, Neal Gjersvik, would make a great commissioner. He has made local, state and national connections and leads the township association. The District 1 voters have two qualified candidates.

Mathiason is like Gjersvik in many ways. They both farm. They both work well with the people and bring rural perspectives.

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However, Mathiason has shown great patience in the role of chairman, even in heated debates, and he works to find the common ground.

Gjersvik has concerns about the county’s zoning ordinance deterring the growth of rural businesses. Mathiason also makes good points about the purpose of planning and zoning, which is to keep medium and large businesses concentrated either in cities or in rural industrial parks so that the burden to taxpayers on services such as utilities and roads stays minimal.

The next four years will be especially challenging for commissioners, as the state slashes assistance while pushing more services onto the counties through unfunded mandates. Mathiason’s experience with the county budget will be needed.

We hope Gjersvik continues his township role, and we hope to see him run for the seat when Mathiason steps down in four years. He will hit the ground running.

But on Election Day, Mathiason deserves your vote.