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Longtime county board members have last meetings

The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners said goodbye to three longtime commissioners on Tuesday in anticipation of three new faces to start on the board in January.

Freeborn County Administrator Tom Jensen, several department heads and other board members thanked 1st District Commissioner Glen Mathiason, 3rd District Commissioner Jim Nelson and 5th District Commissioner Mike Lee for their time on the board. Mathiason has served 20 years on the board; Nelson, 16; and Lee, almost 10.

Mathiason said he had mixed emotions about leaving but thinks it will be good to bring change to the board.

Glen Mathiason

“I’m sure going to miss all of the people I’ve met and you individuals I’ve worked with all these years,” he said.

Nelson said he came into the commissioner position trying to keep two things in mind: First, if he couldn’t laugh at himself, he shouldn’t laugh at others; and second, to treat everyone as he would like to be treated.

When running for office, he said Mathiason, who was already on the board, advised him to make sure he had all his facts before voting.

Jim Nelson

“It’s been a joy,” Nelson said. “I’m going to miss the people, but it’s time to move on and you need new ideas.”

He said he truly thinks the board has left the staff and county in better shape than when they came in.

Lee thanked everyone who works for the county, and said although he and the other two commissioners were leaving, they know they’re leaving the county in good hands.

Mike Lee

He said he learned much from Mathiason and Nelson over the 10 years he was on the board and that it was an honor serving with them.

Each of the men were given a plaque recognizing them for their service.

Starting at the next meeting in January, Brad Edwin will begin as 1st District commissioner, John Forman as 3rd District commissioner and Ted Herman as 5th District commissioner.

In other action, the board:

• Approved a new seven-year recycling contract with Waste Management.

Jensen said Mark Goskeson of the Environmental Services Department had put in numerous hours into the contract with Freeborn County Attorney David Walker.

Jensen said the contract approved by the commissioners is one that will best serve the county.

The contract states the county will pay Waste Management about $53,000 per month, plus an additional fuel surcharge as described in the contract for curbside and drop box services for the first year.

The monthly fee increases a couple thousand dollars each year, until in the seventh year the county will pay a monthly rate of about $67,000 to Waste Management. The company is granted an exclusive franchise to collected and transport residential household recyclable materials.