To the editor:

It is my pleasure to write in support of the candidacy of Mary Hamann-Roland for District 7 Dakota County commissioner.

I have known Mary since she was a member of the District 196 School Board in the mid-1990s. As an educator with 37 years in District 196, I have witnessed her dedication to our citizens and community. She has been a strong advocate for kids and education. I am a retired choir director at Rosemount, Eagan and Eastview high schools, and Mary showed her support in many tangible ways, including attending concerts and displaying her constant passion and dedication to the arts.

As mayor, Mary was keenly interested in how she could better the community. I have always known that I could call Mary with ideas and suggestions and that she would meet those with gratitude. Her dedication for improving our quality of life has been unparalleled. We have all benefited from the many offerings she has championed. As the founder of the Apple Valley Arts Foundation, Mary spearheaded the Summer Concert Series in Kelley Park and the Frozen Apple winter concerts, creating a forum to bring our community together. Under her leadership, the Arts Foundation has contributed over $300,000 to quality arts education. Currently, I direct the Minnesota Valley Women’s Chorale. We perform two concerts per year in Apple Valley, and Mary is always in attendance. Just this week with strong advocacy from our mayor, the Minnesota Zoo received funding to transform the old monorail system into the world’s largest zoo skyway in the state’s bonding bill.

Among her many fine qualities as an individual, Mary has a gift of making people feel welcomed and valued. She listens to people knowing that doing so helps her to be a better community steward. It is no surprise that she has received significant recognition for her work, including being the recipient of the League of Minnesota Cities C.C. Ludwig Award for her vision, statesmanship and commitment to the public good.

Please join me in supporting Mary as she seeks this office as an extension of her lifetime of public service.

Judy Sagen

Retired District 196 teacher

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