Incumbent Wright County Commissioner Michael Potter is seeking reelection to District 4. He is being challenged by Mary Wetter. District 4 includes: Albertville, St. Michael Precinct 1A; Hanover Precincts 2 and 3; Rockford Township; and Rockford.
The candidates were asked to include their thoughts in statements. Each were asked to include a short biography of themselves and their backgrounds as well as their personal and professional experiences. They were also asked to comment on two questions that were asked. (See questions belows in each statement).
The responses received include:
Address: 11650 57th St. NE, Albertville
Education: 1976 Graduate of Buffalo High School I attended North Hennepin Vo-tech and North Hennepin Community College for sales and Marketing with finance. Occupation: Currently your commissioner, own a resort and have rental property.
Community involvement: I have a long history of serving my town from Park board for five years, City Council for two years and Mayor for four years. I brokered the Outlet mall, owned a Liquor store. Recently I have worked with numerous partners to increase safety and capacity To our transportation system. I-94, Hwy 55 and our County road system.
1. What adjustments, if any, should be made to the county’s public safety budget? and 2. What should the county do to maintain its services in the event of a prolonged economic downturn?
Wright County is in a Strong financial position to weather a prolonged downturn. We are mindful to the trends and are prepared to make adjustments where needed. As always core functions of government first. Wright county has healthy fund balances and recently had our bond rating go from AA to a AA+.
Address: Rockford Township
Education: Bachelor of Science, Medical Technology, University of Minnesota
Occupation: Retired medical technologist, retired dairy and crop farmer
Community involvement: Wright Soil and Water Conservation District, 18 years; Legislative and Finance Committees; Metropolitan Conservation Technical Services Board; past State Soil and Water Association Area Director; past Buffalo Hospital Laboratory manager; past 4-H leader and Extension Committee member/chair
1. What adjustments, if any, should be made to the county’s public safety budget?
The County’s public safety can be looked at in two ways. The roads and bridges should be well maintained and the Sheriff’s department should be funded to keep its officers safe, well equipped, trained, and staffed to do efficient patrolling on those roads and neighborhoods as needed to keep down crime. Since the Sheriff is an elected position, I would hope that the Sheriff will keep the county board informed of his needs and the board will listen and act accordingly. The highway department head must also keep the board informed of road and bridge situations. So far, Wright County has planned ahead to address these needs.
2. What should the county do to maintain its services in the event of a prolonged economic downturn?
If the economy continues in a downturn, the County Board must use common sense to spend within its means and adhere to its budget, even making cuts in strategic places to stop the overspending and overbuilding that they have been doing in the past. They must start listening to their constituents and better manage the tax dollars taken in without increasing the tax load on their constituents. In the process, their constituents should be treated with respect. The County should also explore state and federal grant opportunities. If those opportunities dry up, the board has to tighten its belt and provide its services the best way they can without the excessive spending and taxing of the past so that businesses and families can recover.