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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Make an informed decision - Vote on November 6, 2012

The people we elect to public office make decisions that affect all citizens, professionally and personally. This Voter’s Guide can help you make informed decisions about the candidates in this important election. Vote to make a difference. Minnesota State Representative District 32A

— Vote for 1 candidate

1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications, and explain why you are seeking office. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities. Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) What do you feel is the state’s role in funding K-12 education? Do you feel the current system working? 4) What is your position on the proposed marriage amendment? 5) What is your position on the proposed Voter I.D. amendment?

The Voter Area for District 32A is: • Dalbo, Wyanett, Maple Ridge, Springvale, Stanchfield, Cambridge, Isanti, North Branch and Oxford Townships in Isanti County.

Brian Johnson (R)

Paul Gammel (DFL)

Paul Bergley (Constitution)

1) Brian Johnson, the endorsed Republican candidate for State Representative in House District 32A, was a farm kid who grew up on his parents’ dairy farm in Springvale Township. His adult life has been spent in law enforcement, beginning with nine years in the Braham Police Department and continuing as an Isanti County Deputy Sheriff for the past 17 years. He and his wife Diane live near Cambridge with their son Mikey. Brian has lived his entire life in our district, been an active member in his church, learned the importance of hard work, common sense and a strong moral compass. These are the foundation of his life, both as a family man and law enforcement officer. They will also be his foundation when representing us in Saint Paul. From his perspective as a life-long resident of our district and a law enforcement officer, Brian is seeking this office because of his concern for our community and his son’s future. With government budget shortfalls, high unemployment and families struggling to make ends meet, someone who “has walked the walk,” not just “talked the talk” is needed. Brian is that man. 2) Alternative transit schemes, such as light rail or bus service between our district and the Twin Cities, would require additional tax revenue above and beyond our currently high taxes. When light rail already in place is not self-supporting and requires permanent taxpayer subsidies, it is not a very attractive option for us. Revenue from Minnesota gasoline taxes was meant to be used for roads and bridges and should be used for roads and bridges, not diverted to bike trails, walking paths or light rail subsidies that only benefit very few people. 3) Our state and federal governments have become much too involved in local school districts, loading them with unfunded mandates and tying the hands of the elected school board members, school administrators, teachers and parents while doing little to support teachers in the classrooms with our kids. This burden needs to be lifted and control of our local schools must become local again. Current state funding formulas favor metro districts giving them more funds per student than our districts receive. Does this mean our kids are not as important as metro kids? No, Brian believes they are just as important and should be funded equally. In the metro area some school districts are debating which football field gets artificial turf, while many non-metro schools debate which 10 year old text books to replace. 4) Current Minnesota law defines marriage as between one man and one woman and places significant restrictions on whom that man and woman can be, i.e. they cannot be siblings or first cousins or a parent and child or have multiple partners. The proposed amendment to our state constitution on the ballot for the next election moves that law into the constitution to protect the definition of marriage from judges being able to change it, as has happened in other states. Brian personally supports traditional marriage and the right of the people to define marriage rather than judges deciding for us. There are now cases in the Minnesota Appellate Court system challenging our definition of marriage, which demonstrates the need to protect our values by voting for this amendment. It is not, as some would argue, “a solution looking for a problem.” 5) Brian favors this amendment to our state constitution requiring a photo ID as a straightforward way to help guarantee the integrity of Minnesota elections. In both the 2008 and 2010 elections in Minnesota there were thousands of same day voter registration card verifications returned after the election as undeliverable because of a fictitious address or no one by that name residing at the address. In both years, some of the races were so close we had recounts. As of this date, there have been over 200 convictions of voter fraud from the 2008 election alone. We are required to show identification for almost everything we do; see a doctor in our local clinic system or buy prescriptions or buy some overthe-counter drugs or write a check or open a bank account or use a credit card or board an airplane or get a fishing license or ... Most people have identification and show it routinely for things far less important than voting. For people not having a photo ID, one will be provided at no cost to them. This amendment also is not “a solution looking for a problem.” The problem is real and getting worse.

1) My name is Paul Gammel and I live with my wife and twin boys in Fish Lake Township. We have rabbits, cats, a dog and a horse. I enjoy golfing, shooting, camping, hiking and four wheeling. I am a Corrections Officer at the prison in Rush City, and I served four years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps as a military police officer. I am also an Eagle Scout. I’m running for office this year because of the State legislatures inability to work together and solve problems. I believe Minnesotans deserve a legislature that is willing to negotiate and compromise to work toward solutions. 2) I support alternate transit. High gas prices and backed up traffic on Hwy. 65 and Interstate 35 make it difficult for people in our district commuting to the cities, it’s inefficient. The numbers would have to work out so this was not a drain on our local budget though. 3) A lot of what is happening in our school funding has been evolving since 1995 due to inequity, shortages and lack of funding increases to keep up with inflation. The current legislature has also borrowed 2.4 Billion dollars to trick the state budget into looking balanced. Educational funding should be divided equally among students across the state. There’s no reason Minneapolis schools should receive $5000 more per student than those in Cambridge-Isanti. We need to change the way our schools are funded so all students have access to a great education. 4) The State Constitution is there to provide people with rights, not take them away. I married my wife Lanae because I love her, not to get a tax break or increased benefits. I do not believe an amendment will protect marriages, I believe honesty will. I oppose this amendment. 5) This amendment is a solution in search of a problem. Minnesota has the best election system in the country and this amendment would ruin it. The fiscal implication of this amendment is estimated to cost $20-$50 million dollars and admittedly will not fix many of the problems it is intended to (keeping felons from voting). There are also to many unknowns about how this would affect our senior citizens and military members ability to vote. I oppose this amendment.

1) My name is Paul Bergley. I have lived and worked in and around the district for 25 years. I have been involved in many community groups and volunteer currently in my home church of New Hope Community Church. I am seeking office because in this economy a candidate must be willing to propose tax rate cuts. I already have adopted a budget that cuts state spending appropriately. I am running for office because commercial property taxes need to be decreased for small and medium size businesses by $800 million allowing them to pay higher wages and hire more employees. I am running for office because I am the only candidate willing to discuss State rights’ via the Tenth Amendment. State rights’ allow us, as a State, to respond to federal legislation such as the 2011 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which allows the warrantless arrest of American citizens by the federal government for any reason, for an unlimited amount of time, without due process (your day in court). This unconstitutional law can be combatted by passing as a state the Liberty Preservation Act overwhelmingly passed in both Virginia and Arizona. 2) Three quarters of a billion dollars has been spent on the Hiawatha Line and it has yet to put a dent into traffic congestion around the Twin Cities. The Hiawatha Line is running an annual deficit (expenses minus fares) of $10 million dollars. The state is the largest funding source for Metro Transit spending $200 million per year for 2.8 percent of the commuters. Most of the funding comes from gas taxes which are supposed to be dedicated to roads and bridges. Let us face it mass transit is a smart growth and (U.N.) Agenda 21 idea that pushes public transportation, bicycling and walking instead of the automobile for the purpose of saving the environment, but only limits our traveling freedom. Charitable organizations, service groups, family, friends and neighbors usually do an admirable job in helping community members get needed rides and therefore more public transportation is not needed. 3) The States’ role in funding K-12 education should include repealing the requirement for Minnesota Public Schools to comply with the federal legislation “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) and other mandatory national standardized testing. What is working in our public school classrooms is our public school teachers are more than capable of teaching and evaluating their students so let us get these standardized testing programs out of their way. One out of every 18 education dollars comes from the federal government and it all goes to pay for NCLB. Repealing the NCLB in our state would not be an issue financially. We should not require our teachers to join the teachers union. Children not reading by the fourth grade will struggle throughout their education. We have the ability to identify these children. Let us concentrate on identifying these children and not on closing the achievement gap. Our educational system in Minnesota will only improve with competition and therefore all educational programs will improve with a voucher system giving parents the choice of where they want their child educated. 4) Regarding the Marriage Amendment; Marriage has traditionally been, and is for the most part still today a religious event. Churches, faith based groups and families have been the leader and authority on marriage and not government. I therefore do not support the marriage amendment. However, I also do not support same sex marriage and I believe that the government should not be involved in marriage. Therefore, I would not support a church or faith based group that supports same sex marriage with my time or money. 5) I am in favor of the voter ID constitutional amendment. It standardizes the verification process by requiring a government issued ID. Voters will still be able to register and be issued a free state ID even on the day of election. It has been shown in other states that issuing a free state government identification card increases the voter turnout due to the confidence the voter has in the election process by eliminating concern about voter fraud.

Local Candidate Forum Oct. 25 A candidate forum will be held Thursday, Oct. 25 for Isanti City Council candidates and Isanti County Commissioner candiates at the Isanti Middle School. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the forum is scheduled to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and ask the candidates questions. The forum is being held with a partnering effort of the Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce, Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce and Cambridge-Isanti Community Education.

Facts About Elections The first official presidential election in the United States took place in 1789 with George Washington becoming the first president. However, only 10 of the 13 states participated in the election, as New York had chosen no electors, and North Carolina and Rhode Island had not yet ratified the Constitution.

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— Vote for 1 candidate

Minnesota State Senator District 32 1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications, and explain why you are seeking office. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities. Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) What do you feel is the state’s role in funding K-12 education? Do you feel the current system working? 4) What is your position on the proposed marriage amendment? 5) What is your position on the proposed Voter I.D. amendment?

The Voter Area for District 32 is: • Dalbo, Wyanett, Maple Ridge, Springvale, Stanchfield, Cambridge, Isanti, North Branch and Oxford Townships in Isanti County.

Sean Nienow (R) Incumbent

Jeske Noordergraaf (DFL)

1) I have lived in Chisago and Isanti counties all my life. Stacy is my hometown where I grew up and I currently live in Cambridge with my wife, daughters and son. I represented this area from 2003 through 2006, and again from 2010 until today. In my first term we dug Minnesota out of a massive fiscal hole. In 2003 we had a budget deficit of $4.5 Billion and essentially no cash reserve in the bank. When I left office in 2007 the state had a budget surplus of $2 billion, and another $1 billion cash in the bank. The next four years, while I was out of office, the legislature spent all the surplus and reserve cash. The state was left with a $5 billion budget deficit, reserves were completely depleted and the state even opened up a line of credit due to concerns about bouncing checks. These last two years we’ve started to get things fixed again – the current budget has a $1.2 billion surplus, we have nearly a billion dollars in the bank again, the K-12 shift has started to get paid back, the projected budget deficit for next year has been reduced by 75 percent and the unemployment rate is significantly lower than it was. In 2003 when the state was in this kind of mess it took us about four years to get it fixed. We’re on the way to doing that again and I’d like to help finish that for Minnesota. 2) I’m open to considering any option which makes sense. Circumstances have to be just right for rail transit to make sense, so between the two I tend to lean toward bus transit as a more flexible and affordable option. Bus routes can be easily adjusted to accommodate demographic and traffic changes, whereas rail lines are permanent and can’t move even if the demand goes away in a few years. 3) The state role is Constitutionally defined: to create a “Uniform system of Public Schools” and to “secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.” The funding system is unquestionably flawed in that a number of schools across the state disproportionately benefit by receiving significantly higher funding per student- with a number of districts spending nearly twice what our local schools spend. Last session I helped introduce legislation to start to address this issue. In addition, we eliminated a completely ineffective $100 million funding program (that again, funneled cash to just a few districts). By eliminating that ineffective funding program we freed up over $100 million dollars in the next budget, to provide options for possibly funding equitable solutions for our local schools. 4) I supported it. It’s important for voters to understand that they do not have an option to be neutral on these questions. If you skip the question and don’t vote one way or the other on the questions, your ballot will count as a “No” vote. The only reason this is posed as a Constitutional question is that proponents of Homosexual Marriage have successfully argued at a State-Constitutional level that Marriage as between one man and one woman only, is unconstitutional. Judges - even in Iowa – have struck down marriage laws and required same-sex marriages. Minnesota has a case like this in our court system right now. The question for voters is: Do you want to make this cultural choice yourself, or do you want Judges to choose for you. If you vote Yes, the choice stays in your hands. If you vote No, you’re leaving it completely up to the pending court case, and a panel of judges will decide whether to require same-sex marriage in Minnesota. 5) I supported it. All the arguments against it are either weak or false. How many people do you personally know who 1)don’t have an ID and 2)couldn’t get one within the next year? For those extremely rare cases – an elderly person that doesn’t have a birth certificate, for example – there is already a process for explaining why when applying, and they can still get a photo ID issued to them. For seniors over 65, their ID card is good for life and never needs to be renewed (unlike a drivers license). Data from the Secretary of State shows that in 2008 there were 6,000 people who registered and voted on that election day but when their Voter Verification was mailed to them it was returned undeliverable – that person didn’t live at the address they gave. There were actually 23,000 cards returned that year, and many of them were explained (someone died, changed their name, etc) but the remaining 6,000 had no explanation. When checked, some of the addresses listed were empty lots! 6,000 voters didn’t exist as they stated, but their votes counted anyway - and that was the year when the MN US Senate race was decided by just 314 votes. Voter Photo ID would prevent any of those 6,000 people who fraudulently voted, from doing it again.

1) My name in Jeske (pronounced Yeska) Noordergraaf and I am a 20 year resident of Sunrise Township where I am also a township supervisor and currently chair of the board. I am an equine veterinarian and I started Sunrise Equine Veterinary Services in 1995. As a former small business owner, I have experience with employees, bills, compromise, budgeting and customer service and these are the skills I want to bring to the legislature. My work has brought me in contact with many residents of Isanti and Chisago counties and I want to work on their concerns. I am also active in my church - Immanuel Lutheran Church of Almelund and with the Chisago County Relay for Life. I participate in many community events and feel in touch with issues. I am also a wife and mother and my son attends a local high school. My reason for running is to represent the constituents and make decisions which are in our best interest. 2) I am for well planned alternative transit. Gas costs are a big budget item for local residents commuting to the Twin Cities so using less would help financially. Roads are expensive to build and maintain so less wear and tear on them would increase their lifespan. The current bus system is filling the majority of the need that is there. Before more systems are planned, the need and useage would have to be evaluated. 3) Funding for K-12 education is the largest budget item for the state. Over time, a big difference in funding between school districts is becoming apparent and I feel that the formula needs to be reevaluated so that the burden is less on individual school districts. All children deserve a good education which will allow them to keep Minnesota’s work force strong. 4) I am opposed to the Marriage amendment. We should not be passing amendments which take away freedoms. 5) I am opposed to the Voter ID amendment as there is no evidence of fraud and several groups including older adults and college students will have a harder time voting. I am also very concerned about the cost which may be $ 100 million and will be ongoing. Lastly, there are many unanswered questions as to how the process will work.

Facts About Elections The oldest presidential candidate to be elected was Ronald Reagan at age 69, while the youngest candidate to be elected was John F. Kennedy at age 43. In the 1984 presidential election, Ronald Reagan received both the highest number of popular votes (54,455,075) and the highest number of electoral votes (525) in the history of U.S. presidential elections. These numbers have yet to be surpassed by another presidential candidate.

Minnesota State Senator District 31

— Vote for 1 candidate

1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications, and explain why you are seeking office. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities. Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) What do you feel is the state’s role in funding K-12 education? Do you feel the current system working? 4) What is your position on the proposed marriage amendment? 5) What is your position on the proposed Voter I.D. amendment?

The Voter Area for District 31 is: • Spencer Brook, Bradford, Stanford and Athens Township in Isanti County.

Michelle Benson (R) Incumbent

Mike Starr (DFL)

1) It has been an honor to serve in the Minnesota Senate since January 2011. I have worked toward a more effective, efficient government that respects taxpayer dollars. When I was sworn in, we faced a $5 billion deficit.  Thanks to prudent spending and the hard working taxpayers of Minnesota, we now have a $1.2 billion surplus without raising taxes.  Our cash reserves and budget reserve is full, and we have started to pay back the school shift.  We implemented EBT reform, education reform, reduced the time to get a permit, and fought the implementation of The ACA (ObamaCare) There is still much work to be done. We face unprecedented challenges: • Exploding Federal debt will require States to pick up more of the responsibility to care for the poor, disabled, and elderly. • Baby Boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day.  We are not prepared for the challenges that will bring. • Our State government is stuck in status quo.  Our legacy systems are out of date, and we are not ready to compete regionally, nationally, or globally. Nor can we effectively serve Minnesotans in an era of smart-phones and iPads. • Our tax structure, regulatory environment, and energy policy make Minnesota a difficult and expensive place to do business.  • Minnesota’s education system needs to focus on preparing our kids to be productive citizens ready to compete in a global economy. This cannot happen if we continue to accept the status quo.  To meet these challenges head on, we will need everyone’s ideas and effort. I have worked with local government officials, business leaders, and constituents to find solutions to the challenges that face us.   By working together we can make Minnesota a leader in our region and nation as we struggle through challenging times to the better days that lie ahead.   I ask for your continued support and the opportunity to serve you again as your State Senator. Background: Currently serving in the Minnesota Senate. Long time Ham Lake resident, born and raised in Minnesota. Raised with a solid work ethic on a family farm. Married 21 years to Craig, mom of Calvin, Grant and Claire. Supported husband during his years of service as a Naval Officer. Active Member of Epiphany Catholic Church since 1996. Public Service: Elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2010. Committee Service: Health & Human Services. Energy. Agriculture. Government Reform & Redesign. Special Service. Minnesota Healthcare Reform Taskforce. Capitol Security Commission. Education: University of St. Thomas, MBA. College of St. Catherine, B.A. Chemistry. Career: Executive Director - Upper Midwest Security Alliance. Auditor & Consultant - Deloitte & Touche 1994-1998, CPA. Board Member - The Way of the Shepherd Montessori School. Endorsements: National Federation of Independent Business “Guardian of Small Business.” Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. North Metro Chamber of Commerce. Farm Bureau. Farmers Union “Farm and Rural Legislative Award.” MCCL. NRA A Rating. Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance A-Rating. Minnesota Medical Political Action Committee. Minnesotans for Personal Choice and Competition in Healthcare. Republican Liberty Caucus. Voices of Conservative Women. Republican Party of Minnesota SD31. 2) I favor buses as transit solutions. Most of our commutes are suburb to suburb, and we need transportation systems that reflect that reality. Buses can economically respond to changes in demand with more trips during peak hours, or in response to changing demographic and economic needs. 3) The state of Minnesota funds more than 70 percent of our K-12 public education system. Our Constitution requires a general and uniform system of education. Republican majorities focused on equalizing funding and tying special funds to results. We need citizens prepared to compete in a global economy, so we cannot settle for the status quo. Reforms and funding must be focused on high standards and measured out comes. We can learn from other states and even other nations as we nurture each child to be their best. 4) I support the marriage amendment. 5) I support the voter ID amendment.

1) I am running for office because the current elected officials in St. Paul are dysfunctional, they can not make decisions for the betterment of Minnesota citizens, they have no common sense, no leadership and do not know how to compromise. They have tunnel vision, and are making decisions for special interest groups. I served 25 years in the military, 5 years as a State Parole/Probation officer, 2 years as a Detention Deputy in the county jail, 4 years on the school board for ISD 15 (St. Francis) These jobs required me to look at the big picture. I have always been aware that the decisions I make, affect and impact a lot of people. I decided to attend Officers Candidate School after 5 years as an enlisted soldier because I wanted to make better decisions than the officers above me. As a probation/parole officer for convicted adult felons, my credibility was on the line every time I testified in the court room and I fully understood that my reports and what I said, had a major impact on people lives. As a former school board member I was there for the students, my decisions were for the students first and what was the best direction to go for them to learn and to be respectful of the taxpayers money. I will always look at the big picture when I make a decision. In the military I was asking “How come?” and “Why are we doing this?” One of my supervisors in the military once said to me, “Starr one of the things I like about you, is you always have an opinion” Being respectful and talking with people face to face, you can get a lot done. My leadership style is being open and honest, to give and take, and to be flexible enough to react to the current situation. Vision is important, looking and planning for the future, being proactive vs. reactive saves time and money. All of this I will bring to St. Paul as your Senator. As your elected Senator I will have a true an open door policy (like I have always had). I will be one of the most accessible elected official you have ever elected. I will be out in the community. My wife Sue asked me one day, “When elected, is this going to be a full time job for you?” I said “Yes, I plan to work full time for the people on a part time salary” The question I ask all the time is “What do you want from your government, and how much are you willing to pay for it” 2) Vision like I said is important. Mass transit may it be commuter rail, light rail, bus lanes, improved roads, and bike trails, all have to be looked at for the future growth of Minnesota. Our son lives in Boston, we drive 10 miles to Anoka, board the NorthStar commuter rail to Minneapolis, light rail to the airport, land in Boston, board light rail out side of the airport and get off 6 blocks from our sons home. Return home is the same. Total driving distance to visit our son and daughter-in-law in Boston is 20 miles. By the way, you can park free at the commuter rail parking lot for up to 7 days. Development will follow tracks and highways, which in turn provides full time jobs for the people. I fully support long term planning and construction of mass transit to move people and goods across Minnesota. 3) States role in funding K-12 should be equitable for all school districts, yet it does not happen. Our states formula for supporting our schools is so complex very few people understand it. Gov. Pawlenty had a commission to look into school funding. I attended the standing room only briefing from the chair of the commission which was held during our Minnesota School Board State meeting. In short as I remember it, they did not come up with any new information to help the Governor with school funding. School funding comes from federal and state taxes along with approved levies from the voters within the school districts. Many school districts are business poor, meaning they have very few businesses to help pay the levies, thereby making it harder to pass levies in these school districts. Education is the foundation for the future of Minnesota employers. I plan to work on education funding and to make it fair to all school districts. 4) The Preamble to the State of Minnesota Constitution reads: We, the people of the state of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessing and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution. A constitution protects our rights, it does not take them away. A constitution looks into the future to protect people from an overpowering government. When amendments are passed it takes away the ability to adapt to the future. The way the voter amendment is written it takes away the future of changing to Internet voting, or the mailing of ballots in from a sparsely populated county. Emotions need to be taken out of the process in voting yes or no on the amendments. The key words that I look at in our preamble is, Our Civil and Religious Liberty. By voting yes on these amendments we are taking away the civil rights of people. Civil rights is what our nation and state have been built upon and civil rights is what we have to protect. If these civil rights are taken away today, which civil rights will be taken away in the future? I feel this is just the beginning of more civil rights to be taken away from the people by legislators who are unable to legislate. The basic question on the ballot is easy to understand, what is not easy to understand is the way it is written into law and that part is not fully understood, even by the legislators who approved them. I do not support the two amendments on the ballot. 5) Answered above.


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Minnesota State Representative District 31A

— Vote for 1 candidate The Voter Area for District 31A is:

1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications, and explain why you are seeking office. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities. Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) What do you feel is the state’s role in funding K-12 education? Do you feel the current system working? 4) What is your position on the proposed marriage amendment? 5) What is your position on the proposed Voter I.D. amendment?

• Spencer Brook, Bradford, Stanford and Athens Township in Isanti County.

Kurt Daudt (R) Incumbent

Ryan Fiereck (DFL)

1) I have lived on my family farm in Crown since 1995. Elected State Representative in 2010, I currently serve as Assistant Majority Leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I previously served six years as an Isanti County Commissioner and was a Stanford Town Board Supervisor from 1999-2005. I’m seeking re-election to continue the important work of getting our state spending under control, and getting our economy back on track by making Minnesota an easier place to start and run a small business and create jobs. 2) Our first commitment is to properly maintaining our existing roads and bridges, and expanding them in necessary areas. Alternate forms of transit aren’t cost effective ways to deal with the transportation congestion problems that we face. They impact a very small number of people for the huge amount of money that they cost the taxpayers. We can learn a lot now that Northstar and the light rail in the metro have been online for a few years. The casts have been higher that expected, and the ridership and revenues have been lower than expected. In tough economic times, we need to focus on maintaining what we have before we take on enormous commitments in new modes of transportation. 3) We need to pay the K/12 education shift back as quickly as possible so that our school districts don’t have to borrow money to cash-flow themselves, and we need to get it back to the normal 90/10 as soon as we can. Once we do that, we need to cut the strings and mandates from the state to the local districts because they know better what their district needs and how best to spend their money. We don’t need to increase K/12 funding until we have seriously reformed our K/12 system. Our kids aren’t going to get a better education just because we spend more money on it. We need student-centered reforms like teacher effectiveness, principal evaluations, teacher tenure reform and grading of our schools so parents can see how their school is doing compared to others. If their school is not performing as well as it should, parents will get involved and force the necessary changes. These reforms are getting great results in student achievement in other states. 4) I believe that a “marriage” is between one man and one woman. 5) I am uncertain how much voter fraud exists, but I think showing a photo ID at the polls to prove that you are eligible to vote is the least we can do to protect our most fundamental right. If people are voting who are not supposed to, it dilutes your vote and effects you right to have your vote counted. I think this is a no-brainer- you have to show a photo ID for everything now, including getting government benefits like welfare. I have two questions for people on this issue: 1) Do you know anyone who doesn’t have a photo ID? I personally do not. 2) If you do, would they be willing to get one for free in order to vote? Of course they would. Vote Yes.

1) Winona State University, Business Education, Training and Development; St. Mary’s University, Masters in Teaching and Learning; St. Francis School District Teacher with experience at Elementary and Secondary levels; Local Union Leader, Active Education Minnesota member; Bethel Volunteer Firefighter; Married(Kristen) with a 1-year-old Daughter (Sydney). The frustration of our political system has driven me to help find a way to improve what we have in place for politicians. We have seen the downfall of partisan politics in the last two years. We have seen a government shutdown and lack of compromise from incumbents in Minnesota. The citizens of Minnesota need leaders in place that will work together. Our citizens should accept nothing less. These leaders need to be able to help drive us towards a future that meets their needs, while being responsible with their tax dollars. I refuse to stand still while the Minnesota of tomorrow concerns me for my daughter’s future. 2) I support the idea of an alternative transit system. The problem is, it is currently not being done in a manner to make full use of it. When investing in a program like rail service, we need to build a system where we can use it when and how we need it. The availability of theses services will drive use of it. The state is really set in a catch 22 with alternative transportation. We need to invest in it in order to see a true return on investment. I would support a rail services as long as it is not bogged down in a way that will see large burden put on the counties to make it a possibility. By working with our county commissioners, we can get a true feeling of our citizens needs. Minnesota must fund a public education system that allows the system to be both sustainable and predictable. Funding schools through extended bank loans because of the state’s choices to shift funding is unacceptable. As we increase the loan amounts, we increase the amount of money that is taken out of schools and put into interest that is paid to the banks. I do not accept this as acceptable. More money is taken out of the classroom and put in the pockets of banks. 3) The state must find a way to fund the future in a manner that doesn’t pit school districts against residents. The funding of school districts is not working. Districts are stuck in a constant cycle of asking residents for more funding to maintain status quo. By funding more effectively, schools will return to a public resource and not a public enemy. The state needs to play a responsible role in public education. We have lost a lot of local flexibility. Systems need to be put in place that support the curriculum desire and needs of our economy. This is not done through increased testing. These partnerships can be created with communities, to drive changes. 4) I will not be supporting the marriage amendment on Nov. 6. I do not believe that the government has any business infringing in this subject. After having talked to the constituents of this area, it has truly supported my feelings on this amendment. The restriction of rights at the state constitution level is a very concerning movement. We need to keep the government out of our personal lives and by defining this issue in the constitution it is truly a move that I do not agree with. 5) I understand why individuals would support the Voter I.D. amendment. I will not be in support. The amendment is far too vague and puts the burden of many of the decisions and funding on local county districts. Our St. Paul legislature decided on a new amendment then gets to walk away and leave the implementation of the law on the counties. This is unacceptable from our leaders.  

Registering to vote on Election Day If you are not registered to vote or need to update your registration information, you may do so at your local polling location on Election Day as long as you can provide proof of residence. To register at your polling place on Election Day, you must bring one of the following with your current name and address to verify your residence in the precinct : • A valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, Minnesota ID card, or receipt for any of these • A valid student ID card including your photo, if your college has provided a student housing list to election officials • A Tribal ID card that contains your picture and sig-

Photo IDs (may be expired) • Minnesota Driver’s License • Minnesota ID Card • United States Passport • United States Military ID Card • Tribal ID Card • Minnesota University, College, or Technical College ID Card

nature • A valid registration in the same precinct under a different name or address • A notice of late registration sent to you by your county auditor or city clerk • A voter registered in the same precinct as you who can confirm your address with a signed oath • An employee of the residential facility where you live who can confirm your address with a signed oath • Both 1) a photo ID from the list below, and 2) a current bill from the list below with your current name and address in the precinct.

Bills (delivered electronically or by mail)

To be eligible to register and vote in Minnesota you must:

• Utility bill due within 30 days of election day: • Telephone (landline, cell, VOIP, etc.) • TV (cable, satellite, etc.) • Internet services • Electric • Gas • Solid Waste • Sewer Services • Water • Rent statement dated within 30 days of election day that itemizes utilities • Current student fee statement

• be at least 18-years-old on Election Day • be a citizen of the United States • have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day • have any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed • not be under court-ordered guardianship where a court has revoked your voting rights • not have been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law

tuesday, november 6, 2012 Polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.





Athens Township

Athens Township Hall 883 261st NE Ave., Isanti Bradford Township Hall 4175 305th NW Ln, Cambridge Braham City Hall 201 Broadway S., Braham Cambridge City Center Mall - West 140 Buchanan N St, Ste 178, Cambridge Cambridge Hall - East 300 3rd NE Ave., Cambridge Cambridge Town Hall 3101 Hwy. 95 NE, Cambridge Dalbo Township Hall 39798 Nacre NW St., Dalbo Isanti City Hall 110 1st N. Ave., Isanti Isanti Township Hall 2281 301st NE Ave., Isanti

Maple Ridge Township

Maple Ridge Town Hall 38724 Palm NW St., Stanchfield North Branch Town Hall 29113 Notre Dame NE St., North Branch Oxford Town Hall 26090 Apollo NE St., Stacy Spencer Brook Town Hall 6978 305th NW Ave., Princeton Springvale Township Hall 2405 341st NW Ave., Stanchfield Stanchfield Township Hall 3441 389th NE Ave., Stanchfield Stanford Township Hall 505 261st NW Ave., Isanti Wyanett Township Hall 34894 Nacre NW St., Princeton

Bradford Township Braham City Cambridge West-P1 Cambridge East-P2 Cambridge Township Dalbo Township Isanti City Isanti Township

North Branch Township Oxford Township Spencer Brook Township Springvale Township Stanchfield Township Stanford Township Wyanett Township

City of Cambridge: Precinct 1 and 2 are divided by the Railroad tracks and Main Street. Homes that are east of the Railroad tracks and south of Hwy. 95 is in Precinct 2 (Cambridge East). Everyone else is in Precinct 1 (Cambridge West).

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— Vote for 1 candidate

Isanti County Commissioner District 2 1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Isanti County Commissioner. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced county budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in Isanti County? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to the Isanti County Board?

The Voter Area is: • City of Braham, Dalbo, Maple Ridge, Springvale, Stanchfield and Wyanett ownships.

Larry Southerland (Incumbent)

Terry Turnquist

1) I am proud to be a lifelong resident of District #2. I have devoted 41 years of my life protecting and serving Isanti County’s citizens, first as deputy, then sheriff, and now commissioner. This vast experience gives me unique qualifications – having knowledge of all levels of county government – allowing me to make innovative changes and contain the cost of government to our taxpayers. My current committee assignments include representing you on the North Trunk Highway 65 Corridor (Safety) Coalition and Minneapolis-Duluth Transportation Passenger (Hi-Speed) Rail Alliance Planning Committee. In addition to representing the taxpayers of the county, I’m very active in the community, including serving as Commander of The Sons of the American Legion, and am past President of the Grandy Lions. It is an honor to serve as your Isanti County Commissioner these past three terms. It is a responsibility that I have never taken lightly. 2) Travel is of critical importance to us all, both for work and pleasure. High gas prices, congestion, costly road construction and pricey maintenance costs make alternative transit options high-priority for many Isanti County citizens. A lion’s share of County residents are job commuters. Also, many residents choose not to drive a car – or are unable to drive. Seniors and disabled citizens in Isanti County need travel options for their medical and daily needs.  Commuter lines, passenger rail, and commuter bus service can provide affordable alternatives. I support alternative transit in general, but non-automotive transit has to be convenient, affordable, and fast enough to generate ridership to pay for itself – and it needs to be done cost effectively without additionally burdening our taxpayers. A private-public partnership would best enhance the success of any alternative service. 3) Sound fiscal responsibility is of great importance to me! Your County budget is balanced each year using tax levy, revenues/fees, and, if necessary, filling gaps using some County reserve funds. The County tax levy for each of the past 4 years has been set at 0 percent after adjusting for growth. Recent state cuts have negatively affected our county budget – forcing us to eliminate some positions and down-size in some departments. We continually look towards consolidation and eliminating duplication of services in efforts to manage government costs. All County ‘fee schedules’ have been evaluated for proper revenue balance. Additionally, each County department searches for grants to assist in operations. Commissioners, too, have frozen their own salaries these past three years. We offered a County-wide early retirement program. County employees under union contract took furloughs one year, later receiving a 1 percent wage increase to recover that loss. Wage increases have not been given recently. County residents can be proud of our excellent employees – who have done more with less, yet still provide top quality service. Everyone should applaud our County employees for their cooperation through these hard times.  4) During my tenure, the Isanti County Board implemented an Economic Development Authority (EDA). The intent was that this EDA be a strong support organization for our communities – Braham, Cambridge and Isanti – in promoting their industrial parks and general business development. Isanti County EDA now employs a part-time consultant to help market the area and I actively participate in this ‘recruitment’ process. We continue to market all of Isanti County in our efforts to bring industry, development and jobs to our area, and also to help start-up, growth and expansion of existing small businesses. Isanti County participates in the Greater Minneapolis–St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership in this greater jobgrowth effort. 5) As a lifelong resident of District #2, I passionately believe that public safety, good roads, economic development, and agricultural preservation will allow us to have the quality of life we all want and deserve. I am steadfast in my efforts to protect the individual rights of all our property owners. I provide strong rural representation on the County Board. During my entire career, I have always served all the citizens of Isanti County. As your Sheriff, I founded the D.A.R.E. program in both Cambridge and Braham. I steadfastly believe my time–proven leadership skills, and my extensive experience as your County Commissioner will continue to give all District #2 residents the best opportunity to achieve those ‘good things’ in life we all strive for. I humbly ask for your vote to continue as Isanti County District #2 Commissioner on Nov. 6.

1) I am seeking the office of Isanti County Commissioner because I enjoy working with people and the challenge of trying to make our corner of the world a great place to live. I have had the privilege of serving the City of Braham for 16 years with 12 of those years as Mayor. I own and operate a small business, Braham Barber Stylist. I am currently serving on the Park Manor Board, Grandy Lions and Braham Chamber of Commerce. I retired after 10 years of service from the Braham Fire Department. Over the years I have also been a member of Church Council for Braham Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jaycees, Planning Commission and Economic Development Authorities. 2) I understand the appeal of commuting options especially at close to $4 a gallon of gas. I question the financial feasibility of building a whole new second rail line from Duluth to the Twin Cities with stops in Hinckley and Cambridge. Who are we benefiting? On the North Star line from Big Lake to Minneapolis, ridership has dropped every year since it opened. I need to know what is the county’s financial commitment to the rail line? As of this writing, Anoka County has pulled their support of this project. Bus service seems to make some sense. It would have less initial expense to expand an already running operation. Some questions I have is how long would the commute take and what would be the costs to the rider and the costs to the county? I’m open to the options, but with limited county resources and many demands for them, it has to make sense. 3) I feel that it is imperative that we continue to hold the line on property taxes especially in these tough economic times. We must also make sure our priorities are in the right place. We must adequately fund public safety and maintain a road maintenance plan. I will work hard to get a dollars worth of service for every dollar of tax money collected. 4) Within Isanti County we have the municipalities of Cambridge, Isanti and Braham. We should work with them to promote their already developed industrial parks. What is good for these cities is good for Isanti County. Some economic tools that we need to utilize are TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) and Tax Abatements as well as financial tools such as USDA and Public Facilities Authority. 5) My priorities are as follows: 1. Transparency and openness – Let the public have some say at the county meetings; 2. Responsibility – If we cut the county employee’s salary, we will cut the commissioners salary; 3. Work together as a board – I will listen to and respect every commissioners opinion regardless if I agree with them; 4. Most importantly, represent the residents of Isanti County by collecting information, asking questions, listening to the public and always remembering who I am working for. I welcome the challenge of working hard and representing everyone in the city of Braham and townships of Dalbo, Maple Ridge, Springvale, Stanchfield and Wyanett in Isanti County.

— Vote for 1 candidate

Isanti County Commissioner District 3 1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Isanti County Commissioner. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced county budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in Isanti County? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to the Isanti County Board?

The Voter Area is: • Bradford, Spencer Brook and Stanford Townships

Greg Anderson

Alan Duff (Incumbent)

1) My name is Greg Anderson; I am running for Isanti County Commissioner, District 3 (Bradford,Spencer Brook, Stanford Townships). My wife Sarah and I are long time residents of Bradford Township where we raised three sons. We have two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren. I grew up on a family farm in Bradford Township which my brother and I now co-own and operate. I graduated from Cambridge High School and the University of Minnesota Agricultural College with a Bachelor of Science Degree. I recently retired after 35 years of service with the United States Department of Agriculture. I am a Charter Member-Sons of The American Legion Squadron 290, Member of Long Lake Lutheran Church and Long Lake Cemetery Council. My rural family farm background, education, and professional work experiences have provided me the necessary skills to perform the duties of a County Commissioner. The reason I am running for County Commissioner is that I have a genuine care and concern for what takes place in Isanti County. I feel as a Commissioner I can work cooperatively to help make a positive difference for the residents of Isanti County and the citizens of Bradford, Spencer Brook and Stanford Townships. 2) As someone who commuted from Isanti County to St. Paul for 20 plus years of my 35 year USDA career I would be in favor of alternative forms of transit at an affordable cost. Other options of transit would result in less road congestion, less fuel consumption, decrease in air pollution and safer roads. 3) A balanced budget can be achieved by all five Commissioners and County Staff working cooperatively together. 4) Work with the other Commissioners to maintain a stable tax base so Isanti County would be an attractive and affordable community in which to live, work, and recreate in. In addition, I support increased technical skills in the education sector, so our community would have a trained workforce to offer new businesses. And, I support the County Commissioners participation in the Economic Development Authority. 5) Being an advocate for the people, public safety, and good roads, maintaining a fiscally responsible budget and strong rural agricultural base, and protecting our natural resources.

1) I have served as Isanti County Commissioner for District 3 since 2009. My background includes 23 years in the US Army, retiring as a Major in 2005. I have a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning and Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. I currently serves as the President of Duff Consulting, a Service Disabled Veteranowned Small Business based in Bradford. My wife, Louise and I, have 4 children and are active with numerous local charitable organizations. I am seeking re-election as county commissioner as I want to help further enhance Isanti County an even better place to live, work and play for future generations. 2) I am in favor of a comprehensive transportation system that efficiently brings our residents to their jobs, including an increase in carpool and bus service options. As I have worked with MnDOT on their 20-year transportation plan over the past year, I have advocated for a stronger consideration of the transportation needs of exurban counties such as Isanti County as the state identifies how to best “connect” rural parts of our state with the urban core. With a high number of Isanti County residents commuting out of county for work, we need quality transportation options that bring us to our destinations in a timely and cost-effective manner. 3) A County Commissioner’s top responsibility is to manage our $33M annual county budget and establish staffing with technology and assets in place to most efficiently serve the public. We must set our annual budget in a manner that respects the taxpayer’s limitations to pay more during this challenging economic time, especially for our senior citizens and many others living on fixed or reduced incomes. Bottom line is that we need to focus more on the core county services and streamline non-mandated services so that we can “live within our means.” Isanti County’s options for balancing our budget include 1) reduce spending, 2) increase outside funding revenues (i.e., state and federal sources), 3) draw upon our fund balance reserves, 4) bond for major improvements or 5) increase the levy. My preference has consistently been to follow this order of priority and be a conservative watchdog for the taxpayers of Isanti County. 4) We need to identify the strengths of our county (quality workforce) and promote these strengths to growing markets. This has worked for my company which was recently named as a top-25 veteran-owned business by the Twin Cities Business Journal, the first in Isanti County. I believe this approach will work in promoting other valuable assets that our regional area has to offer the marketplace, such as quality infrastructure and proximity to key markets. We can effectively market these qualities through viable entities such as economic development professionals at the local levels of government, GPS 45:93 (four-county rural economic development organization) and Greater MSP (international economic development organization for the Twin Cities metropolitan area). 5) I will continue to advocate for bringing Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability to Isanti County. Transparency - increase transparency with the constituents we serve by allowing citizens to speak at our meetings. I would like to change our current policy that does not allow public input at board meetings so that we can more effectively communicate with constituents in an open forum that is fair and transparent with the people we serve. Efficiency – utilize technology and inter-governmental agreements that provide the public with the best service possible with limited cost to the taxpayers. Instead of doing business “the way we have always done it,” it is time to incorporate updated practices to more efficiently serve the public with our limited resources. Accountability – establish financial management policies that comply with IRS and standard business practices. For example, I would like to establish an expense reimbursement policy that requires submittals to be turned in within 30-60 days, not our current practice of 365 days when it becomes difficult to accurately budget and account for past-due expenses. Be sure to check out

throughout Election Night for up-to-date results. Staff will be posting results as they become available on all our local races.

Paid Advertisment

Prepared and paid for by Larry L. Southerland on his own behalf; 33525 Vale DR. NW, Cambridge, MN 55008


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Isanti County Commissioner District 4 — Vote for 1 candidate The Voter Area is:

• City of Isanti, City of St. Francis and Athens Township

1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Isanti County Commissioner. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced county budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in Isanti County? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to the Isanti County Board?

Jim Kennedy 1) I have served eight years on the Isanti City Council and 33 years as a Foreman for Old Dutch Foods. I am married to Yvonne, a cancer-survivor and, together, they are devoted to supporting many local community causes. I enjoy hunting and fishing with family and friends. I’ve never voted for a tax increase in any year as an elected official as I believe it is important to stay within the limited financial means of the people I serve. My background also includes 4 years on the Economic Development Authority, 4 years on Planning Commission and 2 years on Community Education Advisory Board. My voting record consistently includes common sense solutions to local problems. I have earned a reputation for being a strong listener and aggressively protecting townships against forced annexations. 2) The issue we face is a transportation system that is overburdened by the amount of traffic the last decade of growth has caused. I believe that we need to develop the most cost effective solution to our increased traffic needs. The standard needs to be set that if alternative transportation is cost effective compared to traditional forms then it can work. We cannot afford to subsidize alternative forms of transportation as this will only cause greater budget issues. 3) Just as our personal budgets, we must live within our means. As a public official, I respect the limited financial resources of the constituents I serve. We must use common sense in funding only those programs that are benefitting Isanti County and supported by the taxpayers. We need to establish a Long Term Financial Plan that will guide our budget decisions. Not only has the County repeatedly increased taxes the last decade but has increased spending per person at unsustainable rates. One troubling area that I believe needs to be looked at more closely is the $250K+ budget allocated for “Parttime Commissioners” as I do not believe it is fair for “part-time” politicians to be given health-care benefits while “part-time” employees do not receive this same benefit. Commissioner pay is roughly $27,000 a year yet we have a Commissioner making over $55,000 in pay, per-diems and benefits. Why do part-time Commissioners take full time benefits while denying this benefit for County workers? As Commissioner I will lead by example and not make our hardworking taxpayers pay for my health care cost and I will take zero per-diems. 4) I have worked on economic development during my 8 years of service on the Isanti City Council. It takes strong dedication and a long term approach to help existing businesses succeed and attracting new businesses. The County has not set a direction for County wide economic development and has not made the commitment to bring effective change to our community. We need to establish our goals working with the cities and townships to produce a truly collaborative approach that yields significant results. We can only be successful if we expand our tax base so we can afford the services we need at a cost we can afford. 5) I have listened to Isanti County board meetings and am disappointed in the lack of professionalism and respect given to constituents who show up at meetings and are told to “sit down and be quiet as these are internal meetings of the board.” I believe our job is to serve the public and respect their input, even if we do not fully agree. We need a transformational change that the Board serves the public, not vice versa. I support allowing the public to speak at county board meetings. I have been doing this for 8 years on the Isanti City Council. Every one of our meetings starts out with a Citizens input period that allows our residents and taxpayers to bring up issues we do not already have on the agenda. We must listen to and respect our citizens. Athens Township must be protected from any forced annexation. Our rural areas are a treasure to our county and must be allowed to grow as they see fit. I have defended township rights in this area for 8 years on the Isanti City Council and am proud that Isanti has never forced any annexation. We do best as a County by allowing our individual local governments to grow and succeed on their own terms and at their own pace.

Mike Warring (Incumbent) 1) I am a lifelong resident of Isanti County; attended Bethel College and Minnesota School of Business; served in the Army; and own two small businesses in the city of Isanti employing 12 people, Warring Decorating and Junction Bowl. My children and grandchildren all reside in Isanti County. My roots are deep. In 2011 I was elected Isanti County Commissioner and have served on Central Minnesota Jobs Training and Technologies Committee, Economic Development Authority, Facilities Committee, Isanti County Historical Society, Joint Transit (Heartland Express) and the East Central Regional Library Board. I am seeking another term to continue protecting the taxpayers and improve the small business climate in our county. 2) One of my committee assignments is Joint Transit which operates the Heartland Express, so I am concerned about transit and transportation for Isanti County residents. The Heartland Express is currently in discussions with Anoka County to link up with their buses near our county line to get a commuter route to the Twin Cities. This option would utilize our existing infrastructure. If this is cost effective and not burdensome on the taxpayers, this is an option I could support. 3) The government needs to put family budgets ahead of its own growth and I have put family budgets first in my year and 5 months in office. I kept my promise to the citizens of Isanti County by voting to freeze the 2012 and 2013 property tax levies. I have championed proposals that streamline services and save taxpayers money. My business experience taught me budgeting, good records, good employees, teamwork and an ability to make tough spending decisions are critically important to the success of any enterprise, government or business. I humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 6 so we can continue working to find ways to make county government more efficient. 4) As the owner of two local businesses, I understand what it takes for business to grow. Private sector job creation is the result of a business friendly climate of low taxes and reasonable rates for services. As your County Commissioner, I have a proven track record of supporting ideas that encourage private sector job growth by holding the line on government spending. 5) My primary responsibility is being a watchdog over tax dollars and the taxpayers’ interests. I will continue to represent you by listening to your concerns, attending all Board and committee meetings and continuing to make county government more efficient.

Cambridge-Isanti School Board Members — Vote for up to 3 candidates The Voter Area is:

• Residents of the Cambridge-Isanti School District 911

1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Cambridge-Isanti School Board Member. 2) In light of continued funding cuts from the state, would you support the school board’s decision to seek a voter approved levy referendum in the next couple of years? 3) Do you feel the Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) is an adequate tool to measure student achievement? 4) Where do you feel the district needs to provide more funding toward? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to the Cambridge-Isanti School Board?

Gary Hawkins (Incumbent) 1) Four years ago I retired after 38 years of teaching. I wanted to keep involved with an educational system that I enjoyed and loved working for. I also knew my wife and 4 children had great experiences teaching and graduating from Cambridge-Isanti. Many people run for a school board because they want to give back to the community and I think that was my first thought. As far as qualifications - I have lived in Isanti County for 42 years. My 4 children have each graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School. I think I can represent many parents and families well. I continue to listen to concerns about education opportunities for our students. 2) I do support the district’s effort for a levy referendum. We cannot continue to cut education opportunities for our students. We should, if fact, bring back some recent reduction...maybe pursue additional technology, offer additional vocational courses, etc. that could be funded by the referendum. 3) I support the Multiple Measurement Rating tool. It replaces the Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) rating system as part of the waiver from NCLB. MMR checks our district’s performance in the areas of achievement proficiencies, students meeting academic growth, high school graduation rates and closing achievement gaps among our students. 4) Our district will need to provide funding for: a. Technology updates and equipment. b. Bringing back courses, or classes, dropped in the past, i.e. elementary art, life skills, media, gifted and talented, etc. c. Unfunded state and federal mandates. 5) If I am re-elected, one priority would be to work for a levy passing. Another would be to have as close to 100 percent graduation rate - with a personal intervention/meeting with any student likely to drop out of school. I am not seeking to micro-manage the school district. We have extremely capable administrators and staff doing what is educationally best for our students and communities.

Heidi Sprandel 1) I was born and raised in Isanti County. I grew up in Cambridge and graduated from Cambridge-Isanti high school then continued my education at Cambridge Community College. I have been married for 20 years with 2 kids. We are active in our community with 4H, Special Olympics, and I was newly appointed on the Cambridge-Isanti Civic Arena board. I have interest in making the education program better for all students. Also advance students in technology to better equip them for the world after high school. 2) I know in these hard times that all the levies around Minnesota are not passing due to economic hard times. But I would support a levy for a specific program. 3) At this time I would need to find out much more information about the Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) program. But I do know that if we were still using the AYP program all the schools would pass. 4) The district needs to put more funding towards students programing to bring back classes that were cut. 5) When elected to the Cambridge-Isanti School Board my priorities would be in the best interest of the students and putting the students first also represent the community and being a great school board member.

Darcy Winsor 1) My name is Darcy Winsor and I am seeking office for the Cambridge-Isanti School Board. I am married to Todd and we have a 10-year-old daughter, Samantha. We reside in Isanti, and moved to this area 12 years ago from Blaine. One of the things that attracted us to this area was the school district and the small town atmosphere. I am a Medical Social Worker at St. Croix Hospice in Cambridge. I have been involved in Parent Teacher Organization, and was also a school board member in 2008. I am seeking office because as a mother of a student, I can be a voice for our community. Education is important in a child’s development and I would like to be a part of decision making and implementing policies and programs that affect our children. 2) I do support the school board seeking a voter approved levy referendum. A continual cut to our district leaves a lack of resources to continue programs students enjoy. I think it is important to let the voters decide. I think the school board should help educate the community on why a levy should be passed and set up community Task Forces to assist on getting the word out. 3) The Multiple Measure Rating (MMR) is a big step forward from the AYP. It gives a more holistic picture, as it looks at multiple measures. This rating is to improve the achievement gap and look at school performance in categories. It is important to look at growth and gain and MMR attempts to do this. 4) I feel that the district needs to be put more funding into technology and offering enhanced curriculum on science and math. I also think that reading and instruction on teaching this should be a focus. It is important to get the community to have feedback on what changes they feel would be important. I believe that teachers should have an opportunity to give ideas and be creative with education, as well. 5) My priority as a school board member would be to assist in developing and implementation of policies and curriculum that will enhance our children’s education. My priority would be to be supportive of staff and students by recognizing success and assisting in providing additional opportunities.

Isanti City Council Member - City of Isanti - Special Election 1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Isanti City Council member. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced city budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in the city of Isanti? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to Isanti City Council?

— Vote for 1 candidate The Voter Area for Isanti Council is: • Residents of the city of Isanti

Thomas Aleckson

Dan Collison

1) My name is Tom Aleckson and I have been associated with the Isanti area since 1976. My wife and I purchased a home in the city of Isanti in 1990 and raised our family here. I retired from the U.S. Air Force after a 26 year career. I have a BS degree in criminology. I also have lifetime memberships in the VFW and the NRA. I believe I can bring a direct, no nonsense approach to issues brought before the council. 2) Yes, I’m in favor of mass transit for the Isanti area. The city started out as a railroad town. With the price of gasoline fluctuating so unpredictably bus or rail service would be a welcomed alternative. I think van/car pooling is also something that could be utilized more. 3) Keeping a balanced city budget should be fairly straight foreword. If there is not enough money in the checkbook, don’t spend it. There are times when a city must borrow money, but it should be for a very important reason and benefit the people of Isanti. I will not be caught saying, “no new taxes.” If the situation is at a point that warrants it, taxes may have to be raised. This might be the case if the citizens want the same level of service they receive from the city to stay the same. 4) The city needs to provide a helpful but logical atmosphere for businesses. We as representatives of the city should not give away or promise too much to new businesses to lure them here. Isanti has a large industrial park with room for expansion for businesses with the right mix and fit. The city really speaks for itself, it can be a great place to start and prosper for a business.

1) My name is Dan Collison and I’m running for the two year seat for Isanti City Council. My wife and I have lived in Isanti for over eight years and in Isanti County for over 14 years. We enjoy raising our three children in the city of Isanti with all the great community events and opportunities available. My wife and I also participate in the Safe Place Program. I have volunteered for several fun events such as playground builds, tree planting in Isanti parks and coaching youth soccer. I was appointed to the Isanti Housing Task Force Committee and also one of two founders and organizers for the Isanti Weekly Car Show where we raise food donations for Family Pathways and promote local businesses. When I have free time, I enjoy the outdoors, car shows and spending time with my family. I am currently a member of the Local 110 and have been working for another city for the last seven years. I worked for Anoka County for six years before that. I am familiar with the operations of Public Works and Parks Departments operations, budgeting and needs. I believe that we can keep providing great services to the residents of Isanti and stay within our means. Common sense decisions need to be made and have transparent government. This is a great community to raise a family with that small town feeling. Lets keep it that way. I would appreciate your vote in November of this year. Thank you. 2) I am in favor of alternative transportation, but not at taxpayers expense. I think it could be a big cost savings to the area residents who commute when fuel is so expensive. Either rail or a bus line would be helpful. I feel a bus line is more realistic to achieve at this time, but would not count out the rail in the future.

See ALECKSON on page 6B

See COLLISON on page 6B

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Isanti City Council Member - City of Isanti

The Voter Area for Isanti Council is:

1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Isanti City Council member. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced city budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in the city of Isanti? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to Isanti City Council?

ALECKSON continued from page 5B 5) At this time I have four items of interest that I would like the city to address: • Equal enforcement of existing city codes. • Create a long term plan for building a new liquor store. • Reorganize National Night out. I believe block parties would work better. • The city needs to create a dog park.

• Residents of the city of Isanti

COLLISON continued from page 5B 3) We need to keep a balanced budget in our own homes and don’t expect any less from government. The city needs to stay within their means, make common sense decisions and don’t spend money we don’t have. If cuts are possible, with out hurting the operations and services of the city to its residents, we need to look at them. 4) We need to market Isanti just like any other product someone is trying to sell. To do this and be effective is a large task but can be done. I would think outside of the box and be creative to pull in new businesses. I also feel it’s very important to work with the existing business owners to keep them in Isanti. 5) A few of my priorities would be like I explained above with keeping local businesses in Isanti and attract new ones, stay within a reasonable budget while still retaining a quality service to the residents. I have no personal agenda and I would keep the taxpayers and residents in mind when making decisions. After all, they are the ones who voted and are ultimately your boss.

— Vote for up to 2 candidates

Cambridge City Council Member - City of Cambridge 1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Cambridge City Council member. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced city budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in the city of Cambridge? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to Cambridge City Council?

The Voter Area for Cambridge Council is: • Residents of the city of Cambridge

Corey Bustrom

Howard “Howie” Lewis

1) My name is Corey Bustrom and I would like your vote for Cambridge City Council. I am not running because I want to be a politician but I am running because I want to be involved in making Cambridge a great place to live. I feel my background gives me an upper hand in knowing how to deal with people, budgets, forecasting, planning, and how to take a common sense approach to the everyday issues that face our residents. I want to be the voice for all of our residents and business owners and make non-partisan decisions that are in the best interest of all. Qualifications: Christian values Married 21 years to my wife Ginny 4 kids Ryan 20, Sarah 18, and twins Josh and Jess 14 Local business owner since 1999 with 19 employees Cambridge Fire Department Captain, Public Information Officer, and Fire Fighter City of Cambridge Emergency Operations team member Youth hockey coach for 21 years Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Board of Directors Past Chairman of the church deacon-deaconess board Past President of the Cambridge Isanti Hockey Association 2) I think there are many good reasons to have alternative transit such as more job’s, better way to commute, less pollution, decrease in traffic, more development, and it’s faster. On the other hand no public transportation system in the United States makes enough money to cover its costs to operate. To me this is a problem because then taxpayers have to subsidize the program. I would need to do more research on this subject to really make a firm decision on whether I am for or against this. I would want to decide based on what is best for our entire community now and in the future. 3) Balancing a budget sounds easy right? In a way it is because the basics of it are that you can’t spend more than you take in. Well most people don’t realize that a true balanced budget also means a budget without the use of credit or carrying debt. The best method of balancing a budget is to cut spending or find alternate funding sources. This usually means downsizing or making modifications to the existing structure. It means making sacrifices in terms of time, resources, and spending. I think the city of Cambridge is in pretty good shape with regards to finances and budgeting. My objective is to go in with an open mind and focus on areas that need some modifications and try to improve on the existing plan. 4) The city of Cambridge has done a terrific job of promoting economic growth in our community. I believe we need to continue bringing in new businesses to promote more jobs and a larger tax base which in turn will create a more stable local economy and spur even more growth and jobs. This can be done by making our city ordinances more business friendly, offering special tax break incentives, helping to find low rent space and inexpensive land for new businesses, and enticing businesses to our community with local benefits such as our cultural heritage, strong local work ethic, and solid community support. 5) City council decisions have a direct impact on issues related to our local economy. We need to be fiscally responsible with the resources that we have and budget accordingly. Economic stability and growth can be accomplished by supporting local businesses and helping them to create new jobs. Some important issues as of now are local jobs and economic growth, budget and levy issues, street maintenance and traffic flow, and public safety. I also feel that we need to help rebuild a sense of community by offering community sponsored activities such as an aquatics park, ice skating/hockey facility, little league baseball fields, enhancing city park activities, drawing more people to the downtown area, and expanding Cambridge Day Out to a full weekend festival. I don’t come with a hidden agenda. I am ready to research issues, listen to public concerns, and make decisions for the good of all. I feel that we need to have a plan and a vision for this generation as well as the next.

1) The focus of my campaign is to build on the assets we have already to foster economic growth for better employment and better life styles. I am a candidate for Cambridge City Council because I want to be part of a winning city. Cambridge has a prosperous future and it takes a forward thinking Council to make that a reality. My goals are to improve and utilize our 16 parks, bring more recreation to this area (like a YMCA), and promote local businesses. School District 911 hired me and my wife to be teachers in 1976 and over the years my wife and I have raised our family here. We have two daughters that are married and we have one grandson. I have a B.S. in economics/geography/government from the University of Wisconsin and a M.A. from the University of St. Thomas. I taught at Cambridge-Isanti H.S., Princeton H.S., Cambridge Middle School, Hmong College Prep H.S. St. Paul, St. Cloud State U., and Cambridge Community College. My university education has prepared me to understand how government works and how economies flourish. Working successfully with students and parents of vastly different backgrounds gives me the skills to be an effective Councilman in which we have to balance the needs of the person with the needs of the community. After living in Cambridge for 36 years, I feel I know the town, the people, and the needs of the community. I was very proud to receive the Teacher of Excellence award in 2006. Currently, I own and manage rental property. This gives me the perspective of a small business owner. 2) I remember in 1976 when the Cambridge H.S. senior class took its class trip to Chicago on the Amtrak train that stopped in Cambridge. Since then we have moved backwards. The future will be in mass transit. I don’t know if we can afford it this year or in the years to come but the fact remains. Moving people between populated places using trains is efficient and convenient. Washington D.C. is a good example of a metro area about the same size as the Twin Cities but with an advanced and heavily used commuter train system. The planned high speed rail between the Twin Cities and Duluth will stop in Cambridge. Let’s hope that it becomes a reality. But, it will take time for people to get used to it and for us to budget to meet the financial needs. We love our cars! But the convenience of riding a train, relaxing, and getting there without the problem of finding a place to park is just more efficient. Commuters that get stuck in traffic will tell you that is no fun! Wouldn’t it be nice to get on a high speed train and get home relaxed. Commuters will tell you that it can easily take two hours to get home when there is a snow fall. Elderly people will tell you they don’t like the traffic in the Cities. Young people would like to go to the metro area but have no way to get there. Gas prices are going up. There was a time in Cambridge when gas prices went from $.50 to $1. It was a real shock and now gas is close to $4. That price will not come down. 3) A balanced city budget is very important. Not long ago, Cambridge was embarrassed with news reports from Twin Cities television stations about our financial problems. But, Mayor Palmer brought us back with the help of Caroline Moe, Finance Director, and Lynda Woulfe, City Administrator. I support their efforts and applaud their results. I would follow their example by carefully managing the city finances according to long range plans. Financial pressures this year have required the City Council to recommend property tax increases. It is my opinion that the City Council should request citizen help in deciding how we spend city tax dollars. Do we need to add another policeman? Buy a new snow plow? Do we need to micro-surface the roads? Do we need to rehabilitate the parks? Replace hockey boards? Make our fire chief full time? These are issues that the citizens of Cambridge should be weighing in on. 4) Cambridge will attract new businesses because of the excellent work force we have here. I have been told by employers that Cambridge area employees are hard working, smart, and reliable. They have loyalty to their employer and will work that extra hour in order to meet the needs of business. Cambridge is a regional retail center, medical center, and manufacturing center. In addition, as the County Seat, Cambridge draws many people from the surrounding area Our K-12 school system is second to none and our Community College is growing by leaps and bounds. So, why are there empty buildings in the “old town”? Competition from big box stores is one reason and maybe some poor management might be another. 5) My priorities, if I am elected, will be to promote more recreational opportunities. A YMCA or aquatic facility is long overdue here. This goes hand in hand with encouraging business development. I am a fiscal conservative with the opinion that investments yield dividends in the future. We have 16 parks that can be used more fully. An increase in property taxes causes stress in the community so I would like to see a public forum to discuss what our citizens prioritize. No doubt, the city is under pressure to increase revenue. Local Government Aid (LGA) from the state has been reduced and that shortfall combined with increasing costs puts Cambridge in a bad position. Other cities have used a local sales tax to increase revenue for the city. Other cities have just done without extra city employees. Other cities have reduced services. How do our city residents want to balance the budget? Cambridge is the Opportunity City and I want our motto to be “Cambridge: your best neighbor.”

Lisa Iverson (Current Member) 1) My name is Lisa Iverson. I have lived in Cambridge since September of 2003 with my husband of 35 years. We have three children and 5 grandchildren. My youngest daughter is 14 and attends Cambridge-Isanti High School. I have been employed by the Anoka Hennepin School District for 26 years as a site supervisor in the Child Nutrition department. My husband and I were also partners in a small business in Coon Rapids. I am a current member of the Cambridge City Council and I was appointed by our mayor as Acting Mayor if it became necessary. I am also a member of the Cambridge Municipal Airport Advisory Board, a member of the 65 Corridor Coalition and member of Central Minnesota Community Land Trust . I am a past member of the Community Ed Advisory Council and of the Cambridge Planning Commission. I studied interpersonal communications at Anoka Ramsey Community College and I have used those skills daily in my interactions at work, home and interacting with the citizens of Cambridge. I am running for city council again to be a voice for the citizens of Cambridge. I think the most important duty of a council member is to listen. In the last four years I have learned much about our cities needs and our responsibly to address those needs. I am looking forward to another four years of teaming up with our awesome city staff and to continue to move Cambridge in the right direction. 2) I am in favor of alternative transit when the time is right. I do not however, think now is the right time. 3) We have worked very hard to keep the cities budget balanced. We have spend many hours looking at all facets of our city now, through the next five years, ten years and beyond. We need to pay close attention to our citizens ability to pay taxes yet we also need to continue to plan ahead, carefully. We must understand our limitations. I believe one of our greatest duties at this time is to be very cognizant of what our citizens want and yet focus on what we can afford. The last four years we have made many cuts to our budget while trying to continue to provide essential services. We need to increase our police department and yet ease our tax burden. We have parks that are in need of repairs and we would like to expand our fields at Sandquist Park. We continue to work to expand our Community Center. We worked hard to get the YMCA to join us in Cambridge however they said we do not meet the requirements yet. Yet means we are headed there!! 4) We work hard to encourage new and growing businesses to come to Cambridge and we are very supportive of them in any way we can be. Since I have been on City Council, we have had the pleasure of welcoming Kohls, Tractor Supply Company, NRI (National Recycling), Local Pawn, and the new expansion of Cambridge Medical Center. We will soon be welcoming Auto Zone, Aldi’s, Mills Fleet Farm and the new expansion of Cambridge Metals and Plastics. 5) If I am re-elected, my priorities include being a good listener, keeping Cambridge fiscally solvent, and to continue to encourage business growth and development. I would also be interested in taking a look at the possibility of eliminating property taxes and adding a sales tax in its place. I will continue to explore the possibilities of a new senior center, maybe attached to a library. And of course, continue to interact with the YMCA hoping that we will soon meet their requirements. My goal is to ensure Cambridge is a thriving community for us and for the generations to come.

Bob Shogren (Current Member) 1) My name is Bob Shogren, and I am seeking re-election to Cambridge City Council. Shannon is my wife and we have four children, two grandchildren, two dogs and a cat. We have lived in Cambridge for the last 12 years, and I have served on the city council for eleven of those years. In addition to the city council, I serve on the Isanti County Park Commission, Cambridge-Isanti Community Education Commission, and the Cambridge Economic Development Authority. I have worked in public safety for the last 26 years as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher, a corrections officer, and a police officer. I have a clear understanding of how local government operates and have a perspective others may not have because I serve the public in many capacities. I want to continue serving on council to ensure the city continues on its current path of fiscal responsibility and growth. As a council, my colleagues and I have made good decisions that benefit the entire city. We have repaired infrastructure, eliminated bad debt from over a decade ago, and established a reasonable tax rate. 2) I am not against alternative transit as long as it eventually pays for itself. Twin Cities bus service could be instituted on a provisional basis. If it is well-utilized, I would consider supporting expansion to rail. It’s about the money. If it requires a long-term subsidy, especially from the city of Cambridge, I would not support it. I am willing to consider all reasonable proposals. 3) If we keep ourselves focused on the true function of local government, such as streets, public safety, and parks, the budget will balance itself. Just like at home, we need to spend our money on necessities and things we can afford. The way to balance the budget is to collect only what we need and to keep spending down. 4) Cambridge’s geography works well for attracting new businesses. We as a council have been working with new and established businesses as long as I’ve been on city council and have welcomed many... such as Applebee’s, Tractor Supply, NRI, and most recently Mill’s Fleet Farm and Aldi. We have retained others like CMP and Mape USA. The best way to attract and retain business is to stay out of the way. Business will thrive if government doesn’t hinder it. 5) The main priority for Cambridge is to continue the excellent local government services we have enjoyed and come to expect, at the most efficient cost possible. A well-staffed, well-trained public safety department and a well-equipped public works department must take priority over other expenditures.

Cambridge City Council candidates Joseph Morin and Ronald Patrick did not respond.


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Isanti City Council Member - City of Isanti 1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Isanti City Council member. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced city budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in the city of Isanti? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to Isanti City Council?

Kimberly Horst 1) My name is Kimberly Horst. I was born overseas and was placed in a family through adoption and became the eldest daughter to a jungle pilot anthropologist and a teacher/stay at home mother. My parents who are both civic oriented raised me to be of the same mind-set. I graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School, Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1990 and from Bethel University in 1994. I serve currently on the City of Isanti Park and Recreation Board. I used to serve on the Isanti County Human Rights Board. I have lived here since 2001 and am invested into this city because of my jobs that for the most part, all include teaching. I work for Cambridge-Isanti 911 as well as for Cambridge Christian School. I currently volunteer on committees at my church. The church I attend has a motto and it is important to me, “Love God, Love People, Serve the World” some people think that just involves being a overseas serving in missions, I have done that too. But you can be a world changer by investing into your community. I believe part of being part of this world is giving back and serving. 2) Clean cities are an important. One way to have a clean city is to seek alternative transportation methods. I see many people carpool down to the cities. I know that there are carpool vans that meet up at several places. That is awesome. People took leadership in that area as citizens all on their own. Though I don’t work in the cities, I know that a large percentage of people do. Having ridden the commuter rail and seen the convince of it, it would be a great relief to have that alternative transportation available. With the Northstar Commuter Rail, it has exceeded expectations and used widely, It certainly is worth the time to explore all possibilities, however since Anoka County commissioners voted in June of 2012 to pull out of the Northern Lights Express Project, it might be harder than ever to go forward. Anoka is a vital part of that Northern Lights Expansion that would lead to Duluth, we would have to work really hard to develop a new plan. As for bus service, I currently don’t know of any buses that travel to the cities specifically for the working sector from this area. That might be worth looking into and perhaps, cheaper. All things must involve taxpayer’s money, so wisdom is needed to make a good choice. 3) I am committed to working together with the city of Isanti and the departments there of to help keep a balanced budget by not spending money we don’t have. That is how the United States, we the people, have gotten into financial trouble. It is common sense. As the sole generator of income for my family and balancing several jobs to meet the needs of my household, I know a thing or two about not spending senseless money. When it comes down to it, it is not even our money. It is the city money, given in taxes by the people who trust the city to handle it wisely. I will do my best to be a good steward and to work hard with others to keep a balanced budget. 4) When there is a government crunch, it seems like small towns take a hit and that is sad because small towns offer a slower, but high quality of life and can create a strong sense of value in every resident. Small towns offer a place “Where everybody knows your name.” I know that way to keep the pulse of a town is to see how the businesses are doing and what kind of business growth is there. To attract a new business there are key factors such as the location of a business and what their service will be that they will offer and is that a fit for our town. It isn’t easy to find a perfect fit. One thing that can be done before new businesses come in to Isanti is to change the way we shop and do our best to shop local. Keeping our money in our town. Then, encourage entrepreneurship. Isanti is an historical town, showcasing that as well as adding family centered activities is a great thing. Understanding the vision of the economic development committee and having citizens passionate about that is essential. Where there is no vision, there will not be a flourishing city, town or family. We have everything it takes to create a great city. But it is something we all need to invest in. If a business comes in and it is not supported by patronage, then the business will die. The blame does not fall on the city. It falls on you and me. Together, a city is built. 5) It takes a large group of people to help a city function. There are people from all areas that contribute to the welfare of the city. The blame or accolades for how a city rises or falls does not and should not rest on one solitary person. I believe the priorities of any group of people is not to do what is in their best interest but do that which is in the best interest of others and in this case, it would be the town and the citizens there of. It takes 5 people to vote, but many people to contribute. I have no great agenda, other than to support and hear the city voters concerning issues and do my best to move the city forward in the right direction for the future. In fact, I find it humorous that people campaign with these amazing agendas, which I have noticed since I have been a voter the fall of 1990, often get forgotten when they become elected. I care about people, my jobs involve just that. I am just running for council to say, I care about my city. I care about the people that live in it. I will do my best to hear your concerns and to help create a better place for all of us to live, work and play.

Steven Lundeen (Current Member) 1) I have been on the Isanti City Council for the last 2 years, Public Works Board, Planning Commission, Property Committee, and am a lifelong resident of the county. I have lived in the city of Isanti for several years, and own my own business, SDL Services LLC, providing plumbing, heating and air conditioning services to people in the area. I had served on the Isanti Volunteer Fire Dept. for several years, am an active member of the Faith Lutheran Church, having served on many church committees. I worked with my father’s business, “Don’s Plumbing and Heating” for several years. This gave me the opportunity to both meet and know many of the residents of Isanti and an understanding of the infrastructure of the city. As a plumber in the Local 15 Union in Minneapolis, I was the foreman on many jobs running projects ranging from 25 people to 3 people. This provided me with the experience to run budgets, manage labor, and ensure the projects were completed within budget and time frames. 2) I am in favor of any alternative transit that can be self-sustaining. It could serve our area well. Everyone should not pay for what only a few people use. If it can be installed and pay for itself within the first 2-3 years, it could be a valuable choice for our residents. If it cannot be self-supporting, it will be a constant drain of our residents’ funds for many years to keep up the operation of the alternative choice of transit. 3) I support a tight, balanced, fair city budget for the service of our residents. If efficiencies can be obtained, we will seek them out. If concerns affect a large percentage of our residents, we will research the best options, timetables, and plans before anything is possibly implemented. All city related items have to be prioritized, and budgeted, and implementations have to have accountability. Make sure the financial responsibility is followed in the city of Isanti by using common sense being applied to each situation that presents itself. 4) I plan to continue to work to add commercial/industrial businesses to our community. Keeping taxes within reason for commercial/industrial businesses is important to all concerned. If taxes are exorbitant, they will find other locations to settle in. If taxes are within reason, they add to the tax base of the city, as well as employ residents – a “Win-Win-Win” for city, business, and residents. Isanti could also have better use of our railroad system. Possibilities include adding shared spur service for the rail line. 5) The biggest issue for Isanti is controlling costs for the residents of Isanti. This would remain the top issue, making wise choices with the funds available for the city’s budget. Listening to the residents of the city of Isanti in answering their questions and concerns is always the most important responsibility of a council member.

Athens Township Supervisors face challengers in election Three Athens Township Supervisors are being challenged in the Nov. 6 election. Township Supervisor (Seat A) Barb Kilpatrick is being challenged by Craig Ahlstrom. Township Supervisor (Seat B) Dave Henderson is being challenged by Daniel Woodfill. Township Supervisor (Seat D) Rick McVenes is being challenged by David Beckstrom. Town Treasurer Marlys Balfany is running unopposed. Athens Township Hall is located at 883 261st NE Ave., Isanti.

The Voter Area for Isanti Council is: • Residents of the city of Isanti

Adam Johnson 1) I grew up in Dalbo, Minn. on my family’s crop farm and have lived in the Cambridge-Isanti area most of my life. After graduating from Cambridge-Isanti HS in 2002, I attended Bemidji State and Cambridge Community College, and soon entered the workforce as a CNC machinist. I quickly advanced in the machining world from CNC machinist, to Quality Tech, to Quality Manager. As the Quality Control Manager of my current company, I have helped them grow and prosper over the past 5 years. I am married to my wonderful wife Ashley, and we have a beautiful 4 year old son Austin. We have chosen to stay and build our lives and future in Isanti because of its strong sense of community. My wife and I are small business owners in Isanti County, and as such, I believe I can help bring “good business sense” to the City of Isanti. I’ve worked hard to get where I am today and would love to work just as hard for you and help guide this city into the future. I have a broad perspective in dealing with daily issues, I can see the big picture, and I am data driven. As a small business owner, I am well aware of the challenges that we face in today’s economy. It takes sacrifice and tough decisions to survive. I am objective and can make the tough calls necessary to serve the citizens of Isanti well. 2) The subject of alternative transit has not yet come up in conversation on the campaign trail. To be totally honest, I have not put much thought into this topic. The question I asked myself was simply, does this make sense for our city? In my opinion it doesn’t. I believe this is a decision that should be made on a county level. If alternative transit were to benefit the citizens of Isanti, it would need the support of neighboring cities and townships. 3) The plan I propose to keep a balanced city budget is zero-based budgeting. In a nutshell, a zero-based budget requires a detailed review of items/programs in the previous budget before they are once again approved in the new budget. I believe taking this approach will drive us to be more cost effective, and identify areas of wasteful spending. 4) I am a huge small business advocate. It is my belief that you cannot have a successful city without successful businesses within that city. I want to build the economic base in Isanti and bring in businesses that are profitable and growing. In today’s economy, it is tough to start or grow a small business. I know this first hand as my wife and I bought our business a little over a year ago, and it has been no easy feat. We must reduce the “red tape” and taxes to provide an easy path to starting and/or growing one’s business here, in Isanti. Another way the City of Isanti can attract new businesses is to build positive relationships with the businesses we already have. It is important to business owners to know that they are appreciated in a community. As I stated earlier, the success of our city depends on the success of our businesses. 5) If elected to the Isanti City Council, I would work hard to help grow and mold our town into a place everyone can be proud of calling home. If elected, I will make my word one of my biggest priorities. If I say something, I will mean it, and I will stick by it no matter what the situation. If elected, I will strive to help grow our business district and work towards building positive relationships with the businesses that are within our community.

Mike Streiff (Appointed June 5, 2012) 1) My name is Mike Streiff, and I am seeking reelection to a four year term on the Isanti City Council. I seek this office not to oppose any other man or woman, rather to propose new ideas that are rooted in common sense and lead to both long-term and short-term enhancements of Isanti. I feel strongly in the need for more voices being heard and considered in each piece of legislation that comes before the Isanti City Council. My background and qualifications for office are as follows: Heidi and I are raising our 6 children in the City of Isanti 7 year resident of Isanti 10 year community banker Life-long farmer and promoter of common sense Active outdoorsman in hunting, ATVs, snowmobiling, and classic car restoration 5 year member of the Isanti Planning Commission College degree in\ Business Management / Finance Appointed to the Isanti City Council in June 2012 Current member of the Isanti Finance Committee, Isanti Development Advisory Committee, Isanti Personnel Committee, Isanti Police Committee, and the Isanti Liquor Store Committee Active member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church Current volunteer with Feed My Starving Children and the Twin Cities United Way 2) As a daily commuter to the Twin Cities, I definitely support the development of alternative forms of transportation. The rising cost of fuel, as well as the stagnant economy, could deter potential residents in considering Isanti as an area to call home and consider viable for daily commuting into the Twin Cities. I believe the development of alternative forms of transportation in our area will be essential to reducing the volume of foreclosed properties in Isanti and restoring the overall value of residential homes in Isanti. The continued attraction of permanent families into the Isanti area to purchase a foreclosed home from our existing inventory is better in the long run for all within Isanti. I would consider it a priority as a council member to develop a bus station/ park and ride within our community. 3) In order to maintain a balanced budget, it is important that all council members keep at the forefront that the city of Isanti should be governed in a similar fashion to a business. The tax revenue the city receives and the investment of these dollars in both the short and long run needs to continue to be diversified. For instance, upgrading obsolete city infrastructure such as old roads and sewer systems on their last leg prior to a costly emergency situation is being a good steward of your tax dollars. I believe long-range planning and budgeting that is not only focused on the next year but the next 5 and 10 years is being a good steward of your tax dollars. City operations should be governed in a fashion that is “lean and mean” and meets the objective of the needs of our city. As a current member of the Isanti Finance Committee, I have worked to maximize every tax dollar in the 2013 budgeting process to enhance our city and provide affordable taxes for all residents and businesses. 4) As many small businesses in the Twin Cities and outer ring suburbs begin to look at capital investment and ways to operate their businesses more efficiently, it is important that all council members work to promote that Isanti is open for business. The cost of labor as well as leasing or purchasing property is cheaper in Isanti than any of our neighboring communities to the south. In my job within business finance and as a member of the Isanti Development Advisory Committee, I come across 2,000+ businesses a year who are seeking ideas on more efficient ways to operate. At the forefront of my conversations with business owners will continue be the bottom line enhancements to housing a business within the City of Isanti. To many business owners, the red tape involved with operating a business in a larger community is a constraint to doing business. I will work to ensure that the policies and procedures that govern Isanti are never a constraint to running a profitable business. 5) As an elected council member, my five areas of commitment to you will be as follows: 1) Affordable taxes for all residents and businesses in the Isanti. As council member I would continue to strictly manage the bottom line and ensure adequate long-range planning and budgeting for the city. No new taxes, bottom line. 2) A strong voice for all in local government policies and procedures. In voting for policies and procedures as an Isanti Council Member, I would solicit input and ideas from all. I will only vote for changes that make good sense, are for the benefit of all the people within Isanti, and provide a clear long-term benefit to the city. 3) Reduced government bureaucracy. I firmly believe in government policies and procedures that make sense and actually work. Local government policies should not be a constraint to running a profitable business or maintaining a positive household budget. 4) A strong local police and fire department. I believe a key part of Isanti being a great place to live, work, and raise a family is the superb police and fire protection that is provided. I will only support policies and procedures that will keep Isanti safe 24/7. 5) Ethical decision-making and strong steward of Isanti. My youth was spent on my father’s farm, thus I developed a strong sense of right and wrong. As an Isanti Council Member, I will carry a strong ethical approach to all that I am involved in. I will also work as a good steward of the city in attracting additional businesses and residents to this city. My background in finance/banking and as a husband and father to 6 children in Isanti will go a long way in my ability to promote Isanti.

Tuesday, November 6

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Braham City Council Member - City of Braham

— Vote for up to 2 candidates

1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Braham City Council member. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced city budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in the city of Braham? 5) What would be your priorities if elected to Braham City Council?

Vicky Ethen 1) I have lived in the Braham community for 30 years and have two adult children who were raised in the community. My husband and I own Braham Oil - a business that has been part of this community for 40+ years. I am also an active member of the Planning Commission, former member of the Braham Park Board and the Isanti County Park Board. Served on Braham City Council from 1999 – 2006. I am an active member of our local church and taught religious education classes. I am seeking a seat on the Braham City Council because I feel that the council can utilize my experience from the past, and I would like to see the City of Braham prosper. 2) I am generally in favor of at least looking into expanded services for the citizens – it is important to understand any financial liability as well as determining if the schedules and locations are advantageous to Braham’s citizens. I am not in favor of funding any part of this initiative through increased property tax dollars. 3) Braham has challenges working within the constraints of the budget - I will analyze all expenses and listen to citizens to balance all needs. We must balance the needs of the public with the limits of the budget. 4) My plan to promote new business would be to aggressively market the property the city owns in the industrial park. We need to understand what other cities are doing to promote their industrial parks. I have seen in some areas, land costs get greatly reduced in an effort to get the jobs in the community along with getting that property on the tax rolls. I would be in favor of this approach under the right circumstances. 5) Fiscal responsibility. We need to be fiscally responsible with tax payer money while balancing the needs of the public. The council also has the responsibility to listen to citizens along with ensuring Braham is a safe community to raise our families.

Jason Lande 1) My name is Jason Lande and I’m running for Braham City Council. First a little bit about me. I grew up in Maple Grove, graduated in 1991 from Osseo Senior High, and attended Bismarck State College. Eight years ago, a career change brought my family and me to the city of Braham. Prior to coming to Braham, I lived in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis, and was a manager in the transportation industry. In 2004, I began working at East Central Energy. Working in the engineering department has given me the opportunity to work with many levels of government and numerous landowners in the community. I have been married to my wonderful wife Cindy for 14 years, and we have two awesome teenage boys. I enjoy hunting and fishing, I am a member of the Elk River Sportsman Club, and National Rifle Association. Why am I running for City Council? It’s certainly not because I’m a suit and tie politician. I’m running because I care. I care about my neighbors and my community. I care about Braham’s past, and want to be a part of its future. I want to be part of the solution to the problems facing Braham. 2) While I am a user of the NorthStar Commuter rail, going into downtown Minneapolis, it’s hard for me to support a commuter rail train coming into the city of Braham, while also trying to be fiscally responsible. Commuter rail is a highly subsidized transportation system. A Star Tribune article from July 2012 states that even with the current $3.50 to $7 fare prices the government is paying about 80 percent of the $24 per-passenger cost. That’s money that comes right out of the taxpayers pocket. I’m not saying that someday commuter rail service won’t be an option, I just think that right now is not the time. The key point here is whether I would vote yes or no to the increased alternative transit, and I would refer to the citizens of Braham for input. 3) Maintaining a balanced budget is an issue that few are immune from. Personal budgets are not much different from city, state or federal budgets. You can’t spend more money than you take in. In order to do this we need careful planning and fiscal responsibility. When a city has its spending under control, it creates the appearance of being stable. 4) There is no question that attracting new businesses and the jobs they bring has to be a primary concern of the city. Being a bedroom community, bringing more jobs to the city would reduce drive time and allow area residents to spend more time with their families. Working close to home has always been a priority to me, and I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity. I would work with our local, and county business leaders on ways to attract new business to the city of Braham. I know we can improve our economic development efforts and that is what I will work to do. I have no doubt that we will grow, and careful planning of how we handle this growth will be a priority during my term as city councilman. 5) My priorities are the concerns of the residents of Braham. Our city is not so large that council members, or the mayor, should not be available to speak with citizens directly and listen to their concerns and acquire their input. Other priorities include, welcoming the new Braham Community center and making it a valuable asset to our city. Maintaining safe and clean neighborhoods, by supporting the police department, enforcing city ordinances, and supporting innovative community safety strategies. Also, supporting and encouraging new business growth within the city of Braham.

The Voter Area for Braham Council is: • Residents of the city of Braham

Jeremy Kunshier 1) I was born and raised in Isanti county. I grew up in Grandy and graduated from Cambridge High School. I moved to Braham in 1997. I married my childhood sweetheart, Katie in 1999 and we are proud to have made Braham our home. We have two daughters, Savannah, 10 and Alexandra, 4. We are active in our local church and currently am on the Learning Committee. Having lived in Braham 15 years, I feel it is time to become more involved in my community. 2) I’m open to hear more about what options are available, including trails for running/bicycling and all around being more active. 3) I’m excited to learn more about all budget constraints or issues Braham may or may not have. 4) I truly enjoy living in, and being part of, the community of Braham. I believe at one time there were tax incentives for new business, perhaps we could look into vacant spaces and do some brainstorming about how to fill that space. 5) Continued growth and responsible maintenance of city owned infrastructure are important issues. I look forward to learning more and working together with other city council members to implement ideas in our community.

Allan Larson 1) My name is Allan Larson. I’m running for the City Council position. I have lived in Braham for over 23 years. Previously I served on the Park Board and Planning Commission. I am seeking the office of council member because I care about what happens to Braham. Small-town living is great. I have the time and energy to do the job. 2) I am in favor of alternative transit; less congestion on highways for people working in the Twin Cities; and less miles put on cars. As a result, cars will last longer. 3) The city has been dealing with lean budgets the past three or four years. They are doing a great job. Just continue on doing what they have been doing. 4) My plan would be to use the TIF districts, and give possible tax breaks to companies willing to locate Braham. The city of Braham already has an Industrial Park with lots for purchase. 5) My priorities would be to have a Comprehensive Plan for repairing of streets. They do need repair. Also Public Safety to be kept at current levels.

Raymond Purdy 1) I’m Ray Purdy of Braham. I have lived in Braham for 42 years with my wife Gerri and we’ve been married for 43 years, we have one daughter. I worked for the city of Braham for 24+ years. In this job I have held the positions of Street Maintenance; 24 years, and Water and Waste Water Supervisor for 15 years. I feel that with my experience I do know how a municipality works. I am seeking the position of council member for that reason. There are many things that are in need of attention in the city and I will try to resolve some of them. Yes, the times have changed, but the everyday working have not. 2) Yes, I’m for alternative transit. When we moved to the city there was a bus line that came to Braham. The people that use it always said that it was a very good transit, and many from the area used it. Today, with the gas prices being high, I feel people and our area would profit from this. Not only the working class, but the elderly also. Some of them have no other way to get from Braham to the cities or they have to wait for someone to take them. This would give them some independence back; something that we all need. 3) In this time of the economy being high prices, the city would have better budget if some of the work that is hired out be done by the employees. Granted, not everything will be able to be done by the employees. 4) The best way of attracting new business is to work with the planning committee to promote economic development, there should be some time of help that the city could help with. Lighter in water and sewer prices or maybe a tax break for a couple of years. All of this has to be planned out and a strong committee to work on this type of progress. 5) To have the streets maintained better and the water that is coming from the new well. Many people that I have talked with say that the streets and water are bad.

Braham Mayor 1) Please introduce yourself. Provide background and qualifications and explain why you are seeking the office of Mayor of Braham. 2) Are you in favor of alternative transit, such as commuter rail or increased bus service between here and the Twin Cities? Please explain why you’re for or against this initiative. 3) How do you propose to keep a balanced city budget? 4) What is your plan to attract new businesses and promote economic development in the city of Braham? 5) What would be your priorities if elected as Mayor of Braham?

Patricia (Tish) Carlson is running unopposed.

Patricia (Tish) Carlson 1) My name is Patricia (Tish) Carlson, I am wife, a mother of 3 adult children, leader, coleader and Service Unit Manager for the Braham Area Girl Scouts, a member of the Blue Star Mom Pine City Chapter, Craft Fair Coordinator for Braham Pie Days, a small Business owner Carlson Fence, a housekeeper, a Braham City Council Member and Braham’s current Mayor. I have been a member of the Braham Community for 20+ years, and have seen what works and doesn’t work with in the community. I have held a city council/ mayor seat for the past 9 years and have learned a lot and am still learning every day. The same concerns that most residents have, I also am concerned about. My goal is not to just help run a city, but to help make it a town that you are proud to live in and call home. Because without residents we can’t be Braham and we aren’t work towards Braham motto of “Building a Better Tomorrow.” 2) The idea of alternate transit to the south and north is a good idea as the gas prices rise or having affordable car insurance, owning a car or having to pay a car payment is not always easy in this tough economy. I could see people using it for more than just work. But if you are talking commuter rail, through the town of Braham this may not be an easy sale as we stand to possible lose a lot and what it could do to our downtown area. Yes we need growth and updates but we need to remember at what costs do we need these. 3) I think every small town has the same concerns lack of money – foreclosed homes – street repairs – protecting jobs and lack of businesses. I myself cannot fix anything without help from the council member – city staff – members of the community and business owners. We need to work together to pinpoint and address major concerns first and work from there. Of course money plays a huge factory in any job. We need to remember we are small town on a small budget. 4) I invite business owners to come to town and check out our town and our 25-acre industrial park located on Isanti CR 4 between Hwy. 107 and Hwy. 65. The city also offers incentives such as tax increment financing or JOBZ. As a homeowner and or passerby we also invite you to come check out our local businesses, events, chamber, fire dept. etc ... We have a lot of community spirit and would like to share it and show it off. 5) To work as a team, being open minded, fair and listen to what others are saying. This is not a one person show—everyone needs to work together so city business/community can run smoothly, efficiently and effectively. We should all share a common goal.

District 3

Representing • Bradford Township • Stanford Township • Spencer Brook Township

Bringing Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability to Local Government Paid advertisement. Prepared for by Duff for County Commissioner Campaign Committee, 28555 Bayshore Dr. NW, Isanti, MN 55040

Isanti County News Voter's Guide  

Isanti County News Voter's Guide