Guest column: Willing to roll up sleeves, get work done

Published 8:45 pm Friday, October 28, 2022

Guest column by Brad Edwin

Greetings, my name is Brad Edwin, and I’m very excited about having the opportunity to represent you again. I am the current county commissioner for District 1. District 1 includes the cities of Clarks Grove, Freeborn, Hartland and Manchester, and also Ward 2 in Albert Lea and the townships of Bath, Bancroft Precinct 1, Freeborn, Hartland and Manchester.

Brad Edwin

I grew up in Albert Lea and have lived in Freeborn County my entire life. I have resided in Manchester Township since 1984. I am married to my wife, Vickie, and we have three grown daughters and two grandchildren. My parents, Bob and Helen Edwin, are also a part of our community. Some of you may remember Bob and Joe’s Market that was located in what is now the Salvation Army Thrift Store that my dad started back in the ’70s.

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I also believe being involved and giving back is an important part of living in our community. In the past I have been a firefighter on the Manchester Fire Department, served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and a member of the Noon Kiwanis.

I have been involved in business administration my entire life. I have experience in business marketing and finances, managing people and budget development. I’ve experienced the hard work it takes to operate within a budget and control expenses. I have hands-on experience with developing and growing a team. As part of my career I have traveled southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and western Wisconsin, directing and coaching managers on how to improve their business conditions, profits and team. I am a “roll up your sleeves and get the job done” type of person.

In addition, I write and negotiate contracts and service agreements with municipalities, government entities, major medical facilities and many other sectors of the business world from mom and pop businesses to large corporate entities such as financial institutions and utility companies.

I also know how to utilize the strengths of the team, how to capitalize and grow those strengths and how to identify the weak areas and implement strategies to improve productivity. Every team member has value and input. During my business management career, I supervised over 240 employees. Communication is very important and a big part of communication is being a great listener.

It has been an amazing two years as your county commissioner. I have gained a lot of knowledge on how local government functions. I have experienced situations that were very challenging and acted in the best way possible for the people I represent. My experience allows me to make the best decisions possible to get the job done. Every decision has to be made with the taxpayer and their pocketbook in mind. You are the people I represent, and it is you who pays the bill. It takes involvement. It takes commitment. Being your county commissioner is a huge responsibility, and I believe It takes asking questions and doing my homework. One of my goals when I was elected was getting to know each department and how they accomplish providing the needed services for our county.

I believe building a strong bench is very important to providing the services needed and required for the people that live here. Transparency and teamwork are crucial. Being fair and loyal to the citizens of this county is an obligation that I take very seriously.

Working together as one team we can create a positive atmosphere to promote our county and all that it has to offer. To accomplish this, we need to create a long-term strategic plan, and it must be fluid so that we can adapt to changes as they occur. We need to bring our cities, townships and local businesses together to make Freeborn County an even better place to live, work and grow.

I was very excited when recently we’ve had some of the department heads come forward with ideas that will save the taxpayer money. The department heads and those that do the work know best where we can become better in the way we work and provide services. In my past professions I successfully challenged everyone to come up with money saving ideas and have asked this of our county departments and will continue to do so as your county commissioner.

In closing I want to ask each of you for your continued support. I am available at all times to answer your questions and hear your concerns.

I am asking for your vote on Nov. 8. We have a lot of work to accomplish, and I’m willing to roll up my sleeves to get that work done. I always work with your best interests in mind because you are the ones that finance all of this.

Thank you.

Brad Edwin is seeking reelection as Freeborn County commissioner in District 1.