Howard Lake Herald, June 29, 1998

Bill MacPhail running for Wright County attorney

By Bill MacPhail

I, Bill MacPhail, rural Waverly, will seek a return to the office of Wright County Attorney in this year's election.

I served as Wright County Attorney from 1978 to 1991 and am currently with the Stearns County Attorney's Office in St. Cloud.

My near victory in the 1994 election, together with continued support and encouragement from Wright County citizens and members of the law enforcement community have made this decision an easy one. I am not only an experienced criminal prosecutor, but I offer you over 25 years of experience and proven dedication in all areas of city, township, and country government.

Former concerns regarding growth, planning, economic development, and environmental issues remain, but as we enter into the 21st century, I believe we will also need to direct increased efforts and resources toward people problems.

St. Cloud and Wright County have become a melting pot for people from other countries and other states. This is a replay of the way our great country grew in the 1880's and early 1890's. While it puts great strain on our resources, we must accept it, step up to the plate, and deal with it as fact.

Many wonderful things will result from this growth including an injection of a vigorous new culture. To be sure, there are always some problems which may occur with rapid and diverse population increase. All of it has to be planned for in an imaginative and positive manner. Bill MacPhail is ready for these challenges.

Law enforcement and prosecutors can work together to see that drug pushers and violent criminals are locked up for as long as possible. The fact remains, however, that the vast majority of people having contact with the criminal justice system will be returned to the community within a relatively short period of time.

Particularly in the areas of domestic abuse and juvenile justice must we work to deal with the causes and not just prosecute the effects. The efforts of law enforcement and prosecutors for these problems is not enough, which is why I will continue to push for a cooperative and focused effort by all agencies, citizen organizations, schools, churches, and other interest groups to address these concerns.

The problems in our society are many and varied. Only with this "community approach" to problem solving can we hope to deal effectively in returning our county to a less violent and more civil place in which to work and live.

Government cannot be all things to all people, but here again, this "community approach" to problem solving can be effectively utilized. Programs exist which allow the county to sponsor efforts by citizen groups to help themselves, without the use of county tax dollars.

Your county attorney cannot represent these organizations, but he or she can help find and explain the laws that permit these self-help projects. The watershed and lake improvement districts, which were formed and developed when I was last in office, are examples in which I am proud to have played a part.

The county attorney is more than a prosecutor of crimes. The county attorney serves as legal advisor to the county board and all county departments. I have been there and I have done that - faithfully, cooperatively, with dedication, and within the law.

I look forward to your support and the opportunity to once again work with all citizens to keep Wright County a community where we can all be proud to live safely and with dignity.

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