Tribune Editorial: Berg and Nissen are our choices for Kandiyohi County Board
Voters in Kandiyohi County's First and Third Districts will go to the polls on Nov. 6 to select their next commissioners. Both seats had primaries with multiple candidates in August. Two candidates in each district have advanced to the November e...
Voters in Kandiyohi County’s First and Third Districts will go to the polls on Nov. 6 to select their next commissioners. Both seats had primaries with multiple candidates in August. Two candidates in each district have advanced to the November election.
The First District features two political newcomers to the county - Dale L. Anderson and George “Corky” Berg - on the Nov. 6 ballot. The District 1 seat is open as Commissioner Jim Butterfield did not seek re-election after serving two terms.
Anderson and Berg are longtime Willmar residents as well as friends. Both candidates have run positive campaigns, for which we commend them.
Berg is the most qualified and experienced candidate among the two candidates. He is a retired social worker, supervisor and director for 28 years at the Kandiyohi County Family Services Department. Thus, he brings several decades of county knowledge to the table.
As a candidate, Berg has been attending the County Board and other meetings seeking to expand his knowledge base in order to be an effective commissioner from the start.
He knows the county and the issues facing us in the next four years. He has worked the majority of his career in our community and lived in District 1 for years. He has contributed to many community groups, including The BarnTheatre, United Way of West Central Minnesota, Kandiyohi County Area YMCA, Destination Playground and Bethel Church Council.
Throughout his career, he has worked collaboratively and demonstrated proven leadership. He was instrumental in the formation of the Mental Health Consortium and joint powers agreements that helped keep some services in the region following the Willmar Regional Treatment Center’s closing.
He is a candidate ready and able to serve on the Kandiyohi County Board. The West Central Tribune recommends voters elect Berg to represent District 1.
District 3 has the choice of two experienced county commissioners - current commissioner Rollie Nissen and former commissioner Bruce Shuck. Nissen is completing his first commissioner term, after being elected in 2014, and is seeking re-election. Shuck served as county commissioner from 1994-2002.
Shuck is a retired farmer, who lives and farmed in the district. Nissen is a retired Willmar business person, who grew up on a west central Minnesota farm.
Nissen deserves to be re-elected as District 3 commissioner.
He has done an excellent job adapting to the nonpartisan role of a county commissioner. He also has served well as the board chairman over the past year.
Nissen spent a career in the customer service business in retail and financial services and has made that a priority in his role as county commissioner. He has strived to listen to the residents in his district and help address their concerns.
Broadband is a critical issue as much of the northwest part of the district is either unserved or underserved. While the recent broadband effort failed, Nissen worked extremely hard to make the proposal reality. He has not ceased his efforts either as he funded his own way to Washington, D.C., to participate in a rural broadband meeting in May with federal officials.
Nissen continues to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. Following his conservative principles, he strives for prudent and efficient budgeting by the county. He also understands that the county faces many state mandates for specific funding, especially in human services programming.
And he is not afraid to end a revenue tax when appropriate. With the county having enacted a local option sales tax to help fund specific projects, Nissen is proposing to end the separate wheelage tax in the county.
Nissen has shown the ability to work collaboratively with staff, his fellow commissioners and officials outside the county. And he is updated on the issues and challenges facing the current Kandiyohi County Board.
The West Central Tribune recommends District 3 voters re-elect Nissen as their county commissioner.
This editorial is the opinion of the West Central Tribune’s Editorial Board of publisher Steve Ammermann and editor Kelly Boldan.