Nelson benefits from budget experience

Published 2:05 pm Saturday, October 11, 2008

As most Commissioner District 3 residents who have taken the time to examine the budget-balancing issues already know, this is a very complex problem. The process will not lend itself well to a commissioner whose attitude is “I have an advanced degree in economics and experience in management; therefore, I am the best qualified candidate for the position.”

Such a definitive statement indicates a certain degree of elitism and arrogance often associated with an advanced education when it is not accompanied with sufficient real world experience.

I, too, have an advanced degree in economics and employ 60-some people in three localities. However, I do not feel that my formal economic training would enhance my ability to single handedly step in and balance such a complex budget as that of Freeborn County. Previous experience with the county’s budget certainly would. Experience has value!

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Mandates by a single commissioner and simplistic solutions will not suffice. Current commissioner Jim Nelson has board experience.

I am a supporter of term limits. However, when such an important issue as balancing the Freeborn County budget in very strenuous economic times will be the main and foremost issue, I feel that not re-electing a commissioner that is just completing his first term would be a foolish waste of the education and experience he has acquired. In this case a “green” candidate is not good.

The lack of state and federal funding for congressional and legislative mandates will cause the county commissioners much grief from constituencies whose funding levels must be reduced or eliminated. Taxes may have to be raised. Again, experience has value!

A final thought. The recent passing of Mr. Roger Bok and all the brouhaha that he raised during his career as a government critic over the issue of open meetings and public discussion of public ideas leads me to this question: Would it be good public policy to elect an individual to the board that would result in two siblings on a five-member board? I think not.

Finally, I feel that Jim Nelson has done a very good job during his first term and deserves re-election to a second term.

Terry Kvenvold

Albert Lea