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Editorial: Welle, Reese and Madsen for Kandiyohi County Board

Kandiyohi County voters will be electing three commissioners for the County Board in Tuesday's election. The candidates are Doug Reese in District 2, Roger Imdieke and Alan Welle in District 4 and incumbent Harlan Madsen in District 5.

Longtime commissioners Richard Larson of Willmar, representing District 2, and Dennis Peterson of Spicer, representing District 4, chose not run for re-election and are retiring. We thank both of these commissioners for their long and dedicated service to Kandiyohi County.

This election will result in two new members being elected to represent their respective districts and Kandiyohi County. The two new members will bring their unique perspective to the board.

District 4: The only competitive race for the County Board pits two good men -- Imdieke of New London and Welle of Willmar. Both men have a record of public service and care sincerely and deeply about Kandiyohi County.

Imdieke is a New London businessman and is involved in production agriculture. He has served on the Lake George Township Board, on the City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, and the New London Merchants Association. He has also completed the Minnesota Agricultural and Rural Leadership program and been involved in state and national agricultural programs.

He is concerned about the tourism sector of the county and would like to see more focus on northern Kandiyohi County. He is very concerned about invasive species, which is a major lake threat for the county. He believes the county should consider restructuring where appropriate.

Welle is a retired high school business teacher and current substitute teacher. He is a former state legislator and leader and also a small business owner. He has been a board member and leader for Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, Willmar Area Arts Council, Relay for Life of Kandiyohi County and Willmar Regional Treatment Center reuses taskforce. He is also a Vietnam veteran.

He believes Kandiyohi County is a good steward of taxpayer dollars, but supports the county's redesign efforts. He was originated the legislative effort allowing the county and Willmar to combine their economic development efforts, now the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, and believes in a county-wide economic development, including tourism support. He understands the importance of county and state effort coordination in dealing with invasive species.

We believe both men would do well if elected, but the West Central Tribune recommends District 4 voters elect Welle to the County Board.

Welle has a strong knowledge base and listening skills. He has local, county and legislative experience and knows how these government processes work. He has a strong record getting things done for the county. He knows how to work with both Willmar and the county. He understands the importance of representing his district and the county as a whole. As a lake resident, he is personally aware of the invasive species threat. His wide-ranging experience and excellent communication skills will allow Welle to hit the ground running and make strong contribution to the county board.

District 2: Reese of Willmar is running unopposed for this seat and should be elected. He has served 26 years on the Willmar City Council and can bring this experience to the County Board. He has a civil temperament and good governance background. He is supportive of the county's redesign efforts.

District 5: Madsen of Lake Lillian is running unopposed in this district and should be elected. He has served 17 years as County Commissioner. He has a record of researching the issues, seeking citizen input and making equitable decisions. He is committed to the county's redesign effort to improve services, maintain good customer service and use efficiencies to reduce costs.

The West Central Tribune believes electing Welle and Reese and re-electing Madsen will continue the strong and wise leadership for Kandiyohi County.

Letters in response to this editorial will be accepted through 3 p.m. today. Send letters to: