Four years ago, Sherburne County citizens elected three new county commissioners: Barbara Burandt, Tim Dolan and Lisa Fobbe. They arrived with very different educational, work and political backgrounds but they all were equally committed to making Sherburne County a better place to live.

When 3/5 of the board changes, county staff are concerned about how this will affect our work. New commissioners need to be educated about the operations of each department. These three commissioners dug into their new role, studied and asked lots of questions. They worked cooperatively with the other two commissioners as they have dealt with the Government Center expansion, improving roads, adding parks, providing support for new businesses, making county government more transparent, and being accessible to their constituents.

The current County Board of Commissioners has also dealt with a number of very controversial issues. When making these decisions, they have listened respectfully to all sides, gotten advice from experts, and debated among themselves. In each case, they have made decisions to protect the citizens of Sherburne County. And in the past 6 months, the Board has been actively involved in guiding county staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and in moving CARES Act funding out to the community as quickly as possible.

Commissioners Burandt, Dolan and Fobbe will bring four years of experience to their new terms. They have proven their effectiveness. They have established respectful working relationships with each other, their constituents, state and local legislators, and county staff. The election of a commissioner is not supposed to be a partisan process and these three have put aside their personal beliefs in order to be good leaders for Sherburne County.

I strongly encourage you to re-elect them to their positions. — MaryJo Cobb (Editor’s note: Cobb is the retired former director of Sherburne County Health & Human Services)

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