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Terese Amazi, Incumbent Mower County Sheriff Q.Crime rates are up locally,what techniques can you as sheriff implement to reduce those numbers? A. Active patrol can have an impact on crime rates. Any proactive measures, such as the “Drug Drop Box”, may have an impact on drug crimes,although this is difficult to measure. Drug crime investigation will continue to be a priority.

supervisors on a daily basis is important in this transition process. Relationships with other agencies and support services are critical in opening the new jail and running it efficiently. Developing and maintaining relationships are critical in all aspects of the sheriff’s office.I continue to build good working relationships with many different departments and agencies. I have also worked in all areas of the sheriff’s office; jail, patrol, use-of-force training deputy, undercover narcotics deputy, investigator, Chief Deputy Sheriff, K-9 handler and elected your sheriff in 2002.

Jeff Ellis, Challenger for Mower County Sheriff Q.Crime rates are up locally,what techniques can you as sheriff implement to reduce those numbers? A. Maximizing current resources through effective training,proactive versus reactive patrol, increased department morale,and active citizen involvement through police/community partnership is the very best strategy to attack rising crime rates in Mower County. By not only working together, but working together efficiently, we can really fight crime.

Q.With Mower County facing continued budget concerns, are there any ways you could operate the sheriff’s department Q.With Mower County facing continued more efficiently? budget concerns, are there any ways you Q.What other issue or issues are imporA.Budgets are continually monitored.New could operate the sheriff’s department schedules have been implemented and will tant to you as a candidate, and what polimore efficiently? continue to be evaluated to ensure they are cies do you favor in these areas? A. I’ve talked a lot about sensible leaderA.Currently all sheriffs’offices through the saving money.The County Board has recently ship and economic responsibility; those are signed a new medical provider contract in the State of Minnesota are working with a comvalues that I live.Years ago,I realized we could jail. Having a medical area in the new jail was pany to standardize policies of the sheriff’s ofmaintain services while saving tens of thoukey. An alcohol detoxification policy was re- fice and jail. Mower County is participating in sands of dollars by a simple schedule shift.This cently changed,with the new medical director this as well. With all sheriff’s offices and jails signing off. Cost saving measures, in all areas operating with the same policies, most litigaalso increased morale and provided critical of inmate healthcare, are expected. Constant tion should be minimized. training, with no increase in cost. While I was monitoring will be done to ensure this is the designing the schedule, I heard from admincase. Since 2004, the sheriff’s istrators “It will office budgets have been never work,”but I $700,000 under budget. The didn’t give up. County Board approves Another exambudgets. Those budgets are ple of living this never allowed to be inflated philosophy was for unforeseen costs. Addimy taking initiationally, I partnered with the tive to begin State of Minnesota on the meeting with the radio project, saving Mower County CoordiCounty taxpayers $440,000 nator and on a radio tower and building. County Finance I will do my best to continue Herald File Photo Director in 2009 this trend. Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi and challenger Sgt. Jeff Ellis take part in Monday night's regarding budgdebate sponsored by the Austin Daily Herald and KSMQ and moderated by Herald publisher etary issues. We Q. What skills do you Dave Churchill. need to keep have that you think are unique and make you open minds to stand out as a candidate? new ideas, working together with citizens to A. I have 24 years experience in law enkeep costs down while maintaining the highforcement. I have numerous years of jail exest level of public safety. perience in different facilities.This is important with the new jail about to open.Meeting with Visit austindailyherald.com today.

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Q. What skills do you have that you think are unique and make you stand out as a candidate? A. Leadership is about motivating diverse groups of people to work towards a common goal; communication, built on a solid foundation of technical skill,is key.Following these principles, I’ve found great success: I’ve developed and defended policy in federal court; implemented a nationally recognized police program, including cost and liability analysis; I’ve tirelessly sought to improve my leadership skills,completing a police Supervisory Certificate program consisting of Ethical Decision Making, Motivational Leadership, Managerial Communications,Media Relations,and Police Management Principles & Practices; I’ve volunteered on regional and national executive boards,engaging in budgetary management, training development, and policy implementation; and I’ve received over 25 letters of recognition and commendation.A proud testament to the kind of leader I am is the recent announcement of support from local law enforcement officers across agencies. Q.What other issue or issues are important to you as a candidate, and what policies do you favor in these areas? A. Effective leaders know how to communicate – especially with the people they serve. The sheriff is the ONLY elected law enforcement official, so it’s critical that the sheriff always listen to the concerns of the citizens. Several years ago the current sheriff disbanded the Civil Service Commission, effectively silencing citizen input outside a single day in November every four years. Our government is based on a system of checks and balances, and this Commission provides balance to the power of the Office of Sheriff.I believe this Commission needs to be reinstated, so that this valued,important citizen input can be prominent in our County’s law enforcement.


Michael Weinmann Council Member-at-Large Challenger Q. If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin.What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin's overall expenditures? A.It is not responsible at this point in time for me to target programs without a more intensive examination of the consequences of such cuts and a thorough study of possible alternatives.The first step in this process is to examine any duplication of services and streamline current spending.If the state does not restore local government aid to previous levels, then we need a balanced approach to solving the budget issues facing Austin. Our strongest consideration must be targeted towards supporting our essential services (fire,police,schools,etc.).Economic recovery and future growth will come only through responsible investment in our infrastructure, our children, local businesses, and protecting the middle class. Q. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council? A. I would personally get involved with an attempt to attract businesses to fill the current vacant buildings that exist in our city.We must do this responsibly and in a manner that does not detract from the revenues of existing businesses. With sustained growth we can revitalize the tax base that was lost with the departure of former businesses.I would vote in support of measures designed to entice new business and enhance current businesses if I felt that they carried a long-term outlook for economic growth in our community. Q.The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments,specifically the police and fire departments.What do you think the council's role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations? A.If these city departments are reporting to the council in an informative and consistent manner, then we should continue to let the process work.If,after careful consideration,we find the process is flawed or that departments are not forthcoming in necessary information, then we need to make minor adjustments to rectify the reporting process. I think the avenue that instills the greatest trust between the departments and the city council is to let the department heads govern as they were hired to do.

DICK LANG 4th District County ELECT

Commissioner

Weinmann, Page 3

• PROTECTS TAXPAYERS MONEY • INDEPENDENT THINKER • DEMANDS THE FACTS BEFORE HE VOTES • FIGHTS TO REDUCE COUNTY & REAL ESTATE TAXES • MINIMUL EXPENSE TO TAXPAYERS • SMALL BUSINESS OWNER- MEETS WEEKLY PAYROLL Paid for by Dick Lang on his own behalf.

2 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010 Election Guide

Janet Anderson Council Memberat-Large Incumbent Q. If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin. What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin's overall expenditures? A. Additional LGA (Local Government Aid) cuts are likely so the City Council and Staff have been planning ahead to address these serious issues. One way to save costs is to continue to pursue 0 percent wage increases for 2011 for all city employees. We also have been extremely careful as we considered the upcoming budget and the City Staff is working closely with each Department Head to look for the best ways to cut cuts while preserving services and city jobs. We have a back-up plan of projects that will be put on hold depending the amount of further LGA cuts. Q. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council? A. The City Council works in partnership with DCA, Port Authority, HRA, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Project for Downtown Revitalization, Initiative Foundation on various aspects of job creation and employment growth.Also, city projects like Flood Mitigation and a variety of road construction and other projects have a positive impact on the area job market. For example, the recent $5 million flood mitigation grant matched with other grant and Local Option Sales Tax revenue will enable the City of Austin to move forward on a major project in the next construction season. Q. The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments,specifically the police and fire departments. What do you think the council's role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations? A. I believe that the City Council learned valuable lessons and gained helpful perspectives during some challenging times. We are moving forward with a very positive working relationship and clear communication with both the police and fire department. Q. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund, do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they?

Anderson, Page 3 AUSTIN DAILY HERALD


City Council Candidates At-Large Continued Weinmann

From Page 2

Q. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund, do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they? A.I do not agree 100 percent with the solution that is currently in place.I feel that to place berms and retaining walls throughout the city is not necessarily the best solution. Aside from being unsightly,these can endanger the floodwaters to back up at a different location. We can protect the Main Street businesses without ignoring homeowners.One alternative is to strategically trench the rivers and East Side Lake measurably deeper and wider.This would have a two-fold benefit of creating a much greater holding area for the floodwaters, but also rid ourselves of the sludge and debris that have accumulated from longterm neglect. With an incremental and sustainable plan,we can address flood control and at the same time,enhance our natural resources. We could then promote tourism,businesses,and enjoyment by local residents towards the goal of creating“Southern Minnesota’s Cleanest Waters!” Q.Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council? A.City politics is not an entity that exists solely at city hall.It is within each home, restaurant, and business of our community.I will listen to the ideas that come from informative conversations.I will not be a “green light”representative.I welcome debate from my fellow council members and input from my constituents.My vote will not be cast lightly.It will be representative of considerable forethought,and mindful of the economic implications.The guiding principle in my vote will be for the greater good of our citizens.

Anderson

From Page 2

A.The City of Austin has a detailed, clearly defined plan in place for all phases of flood mitigation and it is available to the public on the City website or by contacting the Public Works Dept.The City will be moving forward on several phases of flood mitigation in the next construction season starting in Spring 2011. Q.Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council? A. I believe that my well-established community commitments for over 36 years, 14 years on the Planning Commission, two years on Human Rights Commission and nearing completion of my first, 2-year, term as City Council Member-at-Large give me a distinct edge over my opponent. I am fully committed to studying the issues, listening to citizens and making well-informed decisions on City Council.I am actively involved in many facets of Austin community including Austin Area Foundation, Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Historic Paramount Theatre/Austin Area Commission for the Arts, Matchbox Children’s Theatre, Safe Cities Coalition, Seibel Center Consortium, Gerard Advisory Committee, etc.

YOUR ELECTION COVERAGE AT AUSTINDAILYHERALD.COM On election night, look to austindailyherald.com to provide up-to-date results for local and state races. In the lead-up to Nov. 2, see the special election tab on austindailyherald.com for information on state and local candidates.

AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Election Guide FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010 3


City Council Ward 3

Jeff Bednar Challenger If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin. What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin's overall expenditures? My goal would be not to cut city services. We need to look at all the non-essential programs and move out from there to all departments. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council? We have to promote the Job Z program. With a large volume of space vacant in the city we could shift Job Z acres to other areas for prospective employers. The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments, specifically the police and fire departments. What do you think the council's

role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations? We need to rely on on the city administrator to regulate the departments. If there is an issue after the fact, we need to act in an educated and responsible manner. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund, do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they? A huge thanks to city staff for securing these grants. In the future we need to pair with the county to create water holding areas north of Austin to retain some of the runoff from large rain events. Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council? With a construction and development background, I feel I can make sound decisions on all the upcoming flood control and city projects.

Judy Enright Incumbent If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin. What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin's overall expenditures? I would invite department heads to a “work session� to brain storm ideas on how reductions could be made with the least amount of impact on the citizens of Austin, as well as the integrity of their departments. Through collaboration and compromise, I think decisions could be made to develop better efficiencies, with less redundancies and improved processes and procedures. The department heads know their areas better than anyone. By asking for their input, we will gain their support for any changes that have to be made. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council? I think it is important to patronize our local businesses. By doing so, they will be able to grow and expand. Growth and expansion will communicate our dedication to support local business and industry, creating an enticing community for others to join and invest in. If we don’t invest in Austin, why would anyone else? We all need to promote Austin in any way we can. The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments, specifically the police and fire departments. What do you think the council's role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations? I believe we hire the best people we can for positions. We need to trust them to do their jobs

4 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010 Election Guide

to the best of their abilities. We need to support them and let them develop. I think periodic updates, whether in person at council meetings or even e-mails reports would be helpful to all. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund, do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they? I think it will be necessary to see how this upcoming project affects other areas before deciding on future projects. By fixing one area, we may change the other areas, but we will have to wait and see in what way. Monitoring these areas for a year, or so, may be the best solution. Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council? I have a solid work record (27 years with the State of MN) with management and supervisory experience and skills. I work with a variety of departments daily to overcome obstacles, develop short- and long-range operating plans, and collaborate on ways to improve efficiencies. I am responsible for an annual operating budget of $700,000 and have effectively managed multiple construction projects simultaneously over the past six years, totaling more than $11,000,000. I have been successful at obtaining funding from a variety of sources to accomplish high-priority needs and am skilled at working with a variety of people, with various needs, to develop viable plans for success.

AUSTIN DAILY HERALD


City Council Ward 2

Roger Boughton Challenger Q. If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin. What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin's overall expenditures? I am sure you are referring to the Intergovernmental Revenues which the city receives approximately $8,074,529 from the state. It is a significant amount of our city budget of $27,224,409. I do not recommend cutting funds devoted to public safety or economic development. That leaves highways and streets and general administration to make up for any loss of revenue. Reducing services and or programs ought to be a careful process as we are talking about people’s lives and their future. A. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council?

At the present time we devote $255,692 towards economic development. A combined effort by our own Austin Port Authority and the Development Corporation of Austin make a unique partnership for economic development both for Austin and Mower County. I support their effort and would insist that they continue to work closely together in expanding local businesses. It is through growing local businesses that a community prospers and grows. Q. The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments, specifically the police and fire departments. What do you think the council's role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations? A. The Council’s role and responsibility is in holding managers accountable for their particular department and to set policy. The day to day operations of the department is entirely the responsibility of the department head whether it is the police, fire or parks department. Getting involved in the day to day operation of the department undermines the authority of the

supervisor and/or manager. The Council is responsible for hiring the supervisor/department head. However, we must continue to listen to what our residents want and use good judgment to make decisions in the best interest of the City of Austin. Q. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund, do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they? A. We are reminded of our potential flood problems by recently experiencing another flood. Effort and good planning should be devoted to developing wetlands and other mitigation efforts to slow down the water entering our rivers and streams. Purchasing property in the flood plan should continue along with working closely with our partners by being sensitive and encouraging flood plain zoning. Q. Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council? A. First, I entered into this race when I saw that the representative running for the second ward was unopposed. This is not healthy for government or the community of Austin. The present candidate has been a city council representative for the past 20 out of 28 years. This is not to say he was not a good council person. However, the city needs fresh eyes for both opportunities and challenges that the city faces in the near future. I have been a resident of Austin for the past 34 years. I was appointed to the City Council in 2002 to complete a one year term. I have served on the Library Board, City Charter and Fire Commissions. I am active in the life of the community with the Red Cross, Austin YMCA and as an AARP Tax Aide Volunteer. I believe that I can make a difference in serving just one four year term if elected.

Richard Pacholl Incumbent If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin. What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin's overall expenditures? We may have to cut on time for snow plowing and road repair. Also some public services may have to be cut. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council? Working with the DCA is to me the best way to promote jobs and get new businesses in Austin. The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments, specifically the police and fire departments. What do you think the council's role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations? The Council should not have any certain part in these operations. Both the Fire and Police Chiefs should go through the City Administrator and Human Relations person before anything goes to the Council. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund, do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they? One thing that should be looked at is the funnel south of town. Area flood is mostly caused by the water backing up. Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council? My serving 20 years on the Council plus eight years off the Council, but never missing many meetings.

AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Election Guide FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010 5


David Hillier,

Jerry Reinartz,

Incumbent Commissioner District 3

Challenger Commissioner District 3

Q. When facing budget deficits, county board members often have to choose between increasing taxes and reducing services to the public. How would you find a balance between the two? A. The county is currently in the midst of budget preparation for 2011. The initial request to departments was to turn in a -5 percent budget. The larger departments can do this by delayed equipment purchases, reduced programs or place customers on waiting lists. Small departments (3-7 employees) can not do this as easily. Citizen’s inputs are important in determining essential and non essential services. Unfunded state mandates places a burden on local taxpayers or reduces other services to the public. Q. After the state of Minnesota reduced funding to the Sentenced to Serve Program, the county began funding it. Do you think the county should continue to do so? A. The Sentence to Serve Program and their work accomplishments are very valuable to local governments and many nonprofit organizations. The benefits to participants are labor, exercise, community involvement, new personal contacts, and life skills are very important. I support this program; however in this budget crunch all non mandated expenditures are scrutinized and face possible cuts. Q. The county board will soon have to determine the future location of the Health and Human Services office. The board could renew the lease at Oak Park Mall, renovate space at the Mower County Government center or build a new home for the offices on the “Robbins Block” Which options would you support and why? A. Health and Human Services will remain at the Mall location until the fate of statewide regionalization of Human Services is determined. If the determination is to continue under the current model of service, I would support remodeling at the courthouse. It is my belief that over time owning a building is less expensive to the taxpayer than leasing. There are over 65 employees to Health and Human Services and this would make a significant impact on downtown restaurants and businesses. Q. The county board is looking into the possibility of joining forces with Steele and Rice counties to regionally house Mower County’s dispatch services. Would you support this, and why? A. I am open to reviewing the concept

6 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010 Election Guide

however today is too early to make a good decision. The information gathering about regional dispatch has just begun. When the information is gathered the decision will be based upon public safety, the cost to “buy in”, annual operational costs (savings or not), loss of 5 to9 jobs in Mower County, and what to do with recently purchased dispatch equipment. Another factor requiring additional study is if regional dispatch becomes a 5-10 county facility instead of the three county facility proposed now. Q. What skills do you have that you think are unique and make you stand out as a candidate? A. My agricultural and rural background is not duplicated by my opponent. Mower County is an agricultural county. While District 3 includes both rural and urban, I am better qualified to recognize the needs of rural infrastructure and balance the needs of rural and urban residents with the needs of agricultural business. My preparation, dedication and experience as a commissioner speak for itself. I am a former school teacher and I like to inform my constituents about county government. Q. What other issue or issues are important to you as a candidate, and what policies do you favor in these areas? A. Medical care and housing of our elderly and most vulnerable citizens is also a priority. Federal and State Funds along with county funds are important in providing these services. Public safety also includes highway maintenance. Mower County’s roads and bridges must by well maintained for winter travel safety, increasing numbers of rural residents and farm to market travel. Keeping the budget balanced with little impact on taxpayers.

Q. When facing budget deficits, county board members often have to choose between increasing taxes and reducing services to the public.How would you find a balance between the two? A. In a tough economy such as we are in, taxpayers and families are forced to make tough choices.They expect government to do the same. Government can just raise taxes to solve their budget problems. Mr. Hillier wants a 4-5 percent tax increase for 2011.I would vote against this and solve the $650,000 deficit from within the existing budget. For instance, postpone any proposed equipment purchases fand any proposed remodeling such as the LEC until the economy improves. This would indicate that the board understands the taxpayers’economic situation and is work with them, not against them Q. After the state of Minnesota reduced funding to the Sentenced to Serve Program, the county began funding it. Do you think the county should continue to do so? A.This Sentence to Serve Program enables the county to use inmates to perform useful outdoor maintenance work under supervision.I’m told it is paying its way,but I have seen no facts and figures. Q. The county board will soon have to determine the future location of the Health and Human Services office.The board could renew the lease at Oak Park Mall, renovate space at the Mower County Government center or build a new home for the offices on the “Robbins Block” Which options would you support and why? A. Again, due to the poor economy, we cannot afford a new building or major remodeling of the courthouse for Health and Human Services at this time.The only option,in my opinion,is to remain at Oak Park Mall for the existing lease term. Also, in the future,the way Health and Human Services are delivered could be changed to a regionalized system., according to the state.Until this possibility is decided, it would be imprudent to build or re-

model. The board’s construction cost estimates are $4 to $8 million or more. Q. The county board is looking into the possibility of joining forces with Steele and Rice counties to regionally house Mower County’s dispatch services. Would you support this, and why? A. I think that this regionalization of some services such as dispatch services is a coming trend. I understand that we have 13 employees that could be affected in some way, and I’m concerned. However, if the safety of Mower County residents is not compromised and the savings is substantial, I would support this. Q. What skills do you have that you think are unique and make you stand out as a candidate? A. I’m a lifeling Mower County resident. I am a federall certified real estate appraiser, and I’ve owned Reinartz Appraisals for the past 32 years. My wife, Linda, works with me in our business.We have four grown children and eight grandchildren. I am very familiar with Mower County and county government functions. I meet and interact with people daily in my business. My familiarity with our county and my business experience have both prepared me for this position. People can call me with their concerns, and will do all I can to help them. Q.What other issue or issues are important to you as a candidate, and what policies do you favor in these areas? A. I would promote a better relationship between the county board and the Austin City Council. It is in the MOwer County taxpayers’best interest for these two governming bodies to cooperate in any area that saves money for taxpayers. In following county-city relations over the years, there have been too man turf battles, the latest being the jail and justice center issue.

1970 US Marine 1972 Vietnam Veteran 1976 Austin Police Officer, member, Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Assn. 1985 President, Austin Police Union 1986 State Board of Directors, Law Enforcement Labor Services 1989 Detective Sgt, Austin THE EXPERIENCE 1990 Narcotics Investigator 1997 President, Austin Police Supervisors Unit TO LEAD AUSTIN IN DIFFICULT 2006-Present Austin Mayor

TIMES.

Prepared & paid for on his own behalf.

AUSTIN DAILY HERALD


Dick Lang Commissioner District 4 Incumbent Q. When facing budget deficits, county board members often have to choose between increasing taxes and reducing services to the public.How would you find a balance between the two? A.You would have to choose on what is mandated and what is not. Look at the budget you have to work with. It’s better to reduce the services as oppossed to eliminating it completely. I would choose to reduce the services before I would increase the taxes. Q. After the state of Minnesota reduced funding to the Sentenced to Serve Program, the county began funding it. Do you think the

county should continue to do so? Sentenced to Serve works in many ways, and by funding the program it gives the county opportunity to have our prisoners do the work and take some of the workload off of our county workers. Q. The county board will soon have to determine the future location of the Health and Human Services office.The board could renew the lease at Oak Park Mall, renovate space at the Mower County Government center or build a new home for the offices on the “Robbins block.”Which options would you support and why?

The old courthouse, it’s there. It’s free (no tax increase) and paint and wall paper go a long way. And, it also creates a downtown base. (Does anybody actually know how long Oak Park Mall will be there?) Q.The county board is looking into the possibility of joining forces with Steele and Rice counties to regionally house Mower County’s dispatch services.Would you support this,and why? We are still waiting for all the facts: 1.Will it save us money? 2.Will there be layoffs? 3.Will it do the same function?

4. Employes will have to travel. Q. What skills do you have that you think are unique and make you stand out as a candidate? My serving on the County Commissioners for two full terms, the HRA board for 12 years, City Council for six years. Self-employed in the city of Austin, county of Mower for 50 years. Q.What other issue or issues are important to you as a candidate,and what policies do you favor in these areas? I plead the fifth

Tony Bennett Commissioner District 4 Challenger Q. When facing budget deficits, county board members often have to choose between increasing taxes and reducing services to the public.How would you find a balance between the two? A. As a small business owner, this is what I do every day. There is always a new piece of equipment, new software or a more efficient building that could make us more profitable or efficient, while overspending could bankrupt us. You have to be willing to reconsider purchases that, although legitimate and gratifying,may not be prudent. You must also be aware of the legitimate functions of your business or the government and avoid those that are not. Q. After the state of Minnesota reduced funding to the Sentenced to Serve Program, the county began funding it. Do you think the county should continue to do so? A. As I understand it, this program saves the county money as the inmates are given an early release for working. As long as the savings continue, I would support the program. Q. The county board will soon have to determine the future location of the Health and Human Services office.The board could renew the lease at Oak Park Mall, renovate space at the Mower County Government center or build a new home for the offices on the “Robbins Block.”Which options would you support and why? A. We currently spend $144,747.96 leasing space at the mall. With building maintenance,utilities and insurance you can ramp the number up to $246,497.25. Keep in mind some or all of these additional costs would be incurred at any location. The most popular option seems to be a remodel of the LEC at a cost of $4-6 million. Assuming we spend $5 million,and could borrow AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

money at 4.5 percent for 20 years, our yearly payment would equal $379,589.64. Assuming utilities and maintenance run a fraction of what they currently do, this puts us at $426,463.28 per year for the re-model.This would equal an increase in spending of 73 percent or $180,000 more per year. However, if we could hold costs of the move down to $3,000,000 — (keep in mind we just remodeled portions of this building not that long ago),our payment would be $227,753.76 per year. Pretty close to what we’re paying now.I’m not opposed to a move if the costs are similar to those of a long-term lease. Q.The county board is looking into the possibility of joining forces with Steele and Rice counties to regionally house Mower County’s dispatch services.Would you support this,and why? A. The question may be a bit premature as there are no firm numbers to work with. There is a study going on,partially funded by a grant from the Chamber of Commerce, with the joint LEC

committee covering the other half. Emotional politics aside, the technology is where it needs to be in order to safely dispatch from outside the county, so it’s going to come down to finance. A reasonable debate should occur regarding the costs we would incur during a move versus possible staff savings. Q. What skills do you have that you think are unique and make you stand out as a candidate? A. I am a fan of numbers and make use of financial tools, rather than rely on the information being provided. I double check my data with people both inside and outside of government. I make use of all current forms of communication. This might not seem like a big deal,but in an entire of summer of running for office, only one person has called me. Instead they have contacted me via my web site, e-mail and text messaging. Second only to door-to-door campaigning, the highest percentage of voter contact (including retirees) has come from Facebook, with over 100 voters from my district par-

ticipating. If you are going to communicate with the public, it helps to do it on their terms. Q.What other issue or issues are important to you as a candidate,and what policies do you favor in these areas? A.What is most important to me is that people understand the decision-making process. Most decisions aren’t so complex; the numbers aren’t so complicated, that given a decent explanation most people can comprehend them. But this means that all of the information has to be presented as a whole, much as I presented the information regarding human services above. In order to present the information, I ran an amortization schedule, a loan calculator tool and figured the percentage increase. Easy enough to do, but unless someone cares enough to present it to the tax payer this way, it never gets done. Why? I also believe in full financial disclosure regarding county projects. The total cost of a project shouldn’t be reported as the amount borrowed, but as total dollars spent.

Endorsement for County Recorder

Did You Know?

* In Mower County the county’s tax levy per capita ranks 82nd out of 87 Minnesota counties. (87 is the lowest)

To vote for knowledge of job responsibility. To vote for knowledge of State Statutes required for daily operation. For 11 plus years of courteous, efficiency and experience. Vote Jill Cordes for County Recorder on November 2nd. Paid for by Eileen Tapager Dietrich

Endorsement for Mower County Sheriff To do the job efficiently, a person must have the ability to perform all aspects of duties required. They must get along with people, open to discussion if a problem arises, be available at all times, follow the statues, even if some of them make people unhappy. It is not a job where you can decide what you want to do, it is what you have to do. I feel that Sheriff Amazi has done a good job even though she has been up against a lot of publicity regarding the new jail. Maybe everyone should look into the law regarding why it was a necessity. Should not believe everything you hear as they say. To vote for experience and a job well done. Vote Amazi on November 2. Paid for by Eileen Tapager Dietrich

Election Guide FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010 7


Mike Ankeny Incumbent Commissioner District 5 Mike Ankeny, Incumbent Commissioner District 5 Note: Ankeny is running unopposed Q.When facing budget deficits, county board members often have to choose between increasing taxes and reducing services to the public. How would you find a balance between the two? A.I would say that everyone is happy with the services that are provided now. I believe no one really would care to give services up. This is a reality that we are all facing.I'd say that no one likes tax increases.Trying to keep tax increases at a minimum is a very challenging task. Hopefully we can find a balance that is acceptable. Q. After the state of Minnesota reduced funding to the Sentenced to Serve Program,the county began funding it.Do you think the county should continue to do so? A.The state of Minnesota reduced funding for this program.The state still pays a portion of the STS program. The majority is on the county. The STS program does provide many labor saving expenses for the county. I think that this is a program the does work. The question will be, is this a service that we can live without? Q.The county board will soon have to determine the future location of the Health and Human Services office. The board could renew the lease at Oak Park Mall, renovate space at the Mower County Government center or build a new home for the offices on the "Robbins block." Which options would you support and why?

A.I would say that remodeling the building that we already have is the best choice.The question is when? The economy is down,construction prices are good and interest is low. But times are tough for the voters too. Who knows the future of Oak Park Mall? They haven't paid their taxes, we are spending money on a building that isn't ours,they haven't paid for snow removal from last winter,etc.We rent 20,000 square feet,The existing building will have 23,000 square feet available. We still have to maintain, heat, and cool the existing building. Q.The county board is looking into the possibility of joining forces with Steele and Rice counties to regionally house Mower County’s dispatch services.Would you support this, and why? A.This is being researched.This is a joint study between the city/county and a grant received from the Minnesota chamber of commerce. It makes sense to at least study this before any LEC remodeling plans are made.The key to the whole process is that 1.Will it save the county/city money? 2.The level of service must at least remain the same or increase. Q.What skills do you have that you think are unique and make you stand out as a candidate? A.I have a long business background,common sense approach,and feel it is an honor to serve the residents of Mower County. Q. What other issue or issues are important to you as a candidate, and what policies do you favor in these areas? A. Budget, Cities/County working together.

Jeff Austin Incumbent City Council City Council Ward 1 Q. If, as expected, the state reduces financial aid to cities, it might mean less money for Austin.What city programs or services would you recommend cutting to reduce Austin's overall expenditures? A. The Council has identified several capital improvement projects that would be delayed in the event that we do not receive the certified amount of Local Government Aid (LGA) that we are budgeting to receive. Q. How do you plan to promote job creation and employment growth as a member of the city council? A. Continue to be active in touting Austin as a place to do business and live.Also,I will work to make sure that we make the process as simple as possible for businesses to locate or expand in Austin. Q.The city council has been faulted for getting too involved in management of some city departments, specifically the police and fire departments. What do you think the council's role should be in providing oversight of those and other city operations? A. The Council's role is to hire the right people to be our department heads and let those people do their jobs.We need to review their performance from time to time and make sure that they are running their departments properly. We need to make sure we provide our department heads with the tools that they need to run their departments.If we do this and the

department head is not successful then we would need to look at replacing that department head.We do not need to micro-manage or get involved in the day to day operation of the department. Q. Austin was recently awarded a $5 million grant for flood mitigation. Other than the projects this grant will fund,do you have any ideas for future flood mitigation projects? If so, what are they? A. I think that the City, led by Jon Erichson and the Engineering Department, has laid out a very good plan for mitigating the effects of flood events. I think as we get the project done that is funded by this grant, we will need to continue to evaluate what we have done and what more can be done and work to do whatever we can to mitigate any damage done during a flood event. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to plan for and be prepared for a flood event when we see the type of rainfall that occurred this year and in 2004. Q.Why do you believe you are the best choice to represent Austin on the city council? A. I believe that I am the best choice to represent the First Ward on the Council because of my experience on the Council. I also bring my business background and life experience to the Council.

Derek Hyland Challenger City Council Ward 1 Attempts to contact Derek Hyland for participation in this political Q and A series were not successful.

8 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010 Election Guide

AUSTIN DAILY HERALD


2010 Mower County Election Guide