Herald Journal - Voters' Guide 2010
VOTERS' GUIDE 2012
Herald Journal / Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch / Delano Herald Journal

McLeod County Commissioner Dist. 1

Ron Shimanski

Why are you running for McLeod County Commissioner District 1?

With the open seat for the McLeod County First District Commissioner, I am asking the voters for the opportunity to serve the residents of McLeod County as commissioner.

This would allow me to utilize my experience as a business owner and state representative to guide and shape the future of McLeod County.

Policies and regulations administered by the county can help business and industry grow and prosper in our area. The diversity of our economic base and social environment provide opportunities for business to thrive and residents to enjoy the good things in life. I will strive to protect and enhance the economic and social well-being of this area.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing the county, and what are your proposed solutions?

Stabilizing property taxes and reducing the impact of unfunded mandates from the state and federal regulations on McLeod County government are priorities.

Business owners in District 1 have contacted me about substantial property taxes increases in recent years. I believe we can do a better job communicating with taxpayers in anticipation of substantial changes in property tax adjustments.

The county can be innovative and practical in the implementation of some mandates, but must also be proactive in helping our job creators navigate regulatory demands.

We must continue to push back on unfunded mandates by state and federal agencies. Good government is best managed at the local level. Our local elected officials are best qualified to understand the needs and capabilities of our local communities and businesses, to help determine the proper solutions.

We are able to meet and understand problems from the business person’s perspective and help work toward effective solutions.

What specifically can this unit of government do to cut costs and operate efficiently, while still maintaining service to taxpayers?

Getting to specifics on cost-cutting and operating efficiency in McLeod County government is a task that demands an intimate knowledge and understanding of the services needed by the taxpayers and residents of the county and how those needs are currently being met.

Working in cooperation with other local units of government to share services where practical can provide savings to taxpayers. Whether it be road maintainence, public safety, social services, or any of several functions provided by local government, cooperation and shared services can be very cost-effective. Services, like Trailblazer Transit as an example, provide a benefit to many area residents, operated as a joint effort by McLeod and Sibley counties.

Cooperation is the key to this move toward greater efficiency. It will take effective elected leaders in local government to make this happen. We have to have a willingness among agencies to be resourceful and innovative, yet mindful of the cost and value provided to our taxpayers.

But, at the same time, we need to recognize when some services are better contracted in the private sector in a competitive bid process to access the best value for our tax dollars.

If we expand government services, we increase the burden on taxpayers, but if we utilize the private sector businesses, where practical, we may broaden the tax base and ease the burden on all taxpayers. Government agencies should not duplicate or compete with services provided by private-sector businesses.

As a county commissioner, I would not presume to have all the answers, but would have the determination to work diligently to discover the best, most viable solutions, to provide the best value to the residents of McLeod County.

I trust that the voters of McLeod County’s First District will find my qualifications and concerns beneficial for the future growth and prosperity of this area, and ask for their consideration, support, and vote Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Eugene (Gene) Feltmann

Why are you running for McLeod County Commissioner District 1?

I have always been interested in local government. I was on the Bergen Township Board for 19 years, and I have had a lot of experience with local and county boards and officials.

I am now retired, and would have the time to devote to the position of McLeod County Commissioner.

Also, Ray Bayerl, our current commissioner, encouraged me to run.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing the county, and what are your proposed solutions?

The top issues for the commissioners are working together on problems, such as budget, zoning, road maintenance, and all county issues, and coming up with common sense solutions to these issues.

It is not like state government, which is to form an opinon, stubbornly sit on it, and shut down government because of it; later finding out the actions raised taxes for property owners and doubled taxes for businesses.

I would be an independent thinker, who works with other commissioners of the county to find common sense solutions to problems.

What specifically can this unit of government do to cut costs and operate efficiently, while still maintaining service to taxpayers?

The county board controls the spending in McLeod County, and the main thing the board can do to control the spending and maintain services is to use common sense.

© Herald Journal Publishing, Inc.