Commissioner races shape upCandidates set in Murray, Pipestone counties
By: Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe
SLAYTON — With the election a month away, voters are gathering as much information as possible so informed decisions can be made.
To aid in this, the Daily Globe asked candidates from Murray and Pipestone counties to answer a couple of questions.
Each candidate was asked why they chose to run for county commissioner and what qualities or experiences they have that would make them a good commissioner. The answers of those who replied to the questionnaire are printed in entirety, with corrections for spelling and grammar.
Murray District 1
For Murray County Commissioner District 1, the voters will have to decide between incumbent Kevin Vickerman of Tracy and Donna Kor of Slayton.
Vickerman: Murray County has a strong future, and I want to continue to help use the resources we have to meet the needs of the future our citizens deserve. This is being done by holding planning sessions and assessing what we have and how it functions.
In the past few years we have found it necessary to replace or repair buildings that have become less functional or needed to be updated to meet the ever changing code requirements. The Human Service building is one of our recent projects that now house several of the state required agencies under one roof.
Improvement needs at the fairgrounds have also been looked at for some time now. Repair and replacement to structures have been in the best interest of the county, as we use our fair grounds more than most counties. This could also make it the best choice if we go to a regional fair. Most of the improvement projects have been financed with money we have on hand that has been collected in the past and reserved for updating buildings.
Another major project that was accomplished was the redesign and installation of a sewer system at our lakes. There are still a few with hard feelings about the system, but I would like to thank everyone that sees the project as proactive in updating the area for the future.
There have also been many advances made at the Murray County Medical Center so we can keep our patients right here in the county instead of sending them elsewhere for health care. I am not in favor of spending unnecessary money, but we need to keep up with the demands that today’s lifestyle and technology require. If we do not continue to keep up with the times, we will become nothing more than an abandoned building site we all drive by.
All of these things help bring us to a goal that I hold dear, and that is making Murray County “The best place to live.”
I have many qualities and experiences that have been gained in my life. I’m a lifetime resident of Murray County and have participated in many clubs and organizations, giving me insight on how important it is to be involved in the community. I have served at the state level in many of these areas.
I have taken many leadership courses to continue learning so I can help achieve new goals for our community. One of those courses is the M.A.R.L .(Minnesota, Agriculture, Rural, and Leadership) class. It is offered by the U of M and Extension to prepare one on the vast differences this state has and what it takes to bring it all together.
As a present commissioner, I sit on the Legislator committee for A.M.C., an association in which all the counties throughout the state work together to legislate policies and keep up on new rules that may affect our county. I have gained a great deal of knowledge in drainage ditch systems that the county maintains and also sit on the R.C.R.C.A river board, which deals with all aspects of water quality.
I’m a board member of the Economical Development Authority, where we help new or existing businesses with Gap Funding Loans that provide a way for them to get started and grow. A recent success was a meat company that has added more than 50 new jobs and growing. I take great pride in the Murray County community and have kept myself knowledgeable of the skills it takes to make a difference.
Kor: I decided to run for commissioner because I want to help the county stay a great place to live. My goal as commissioner would be to provide informed, intelligent, and constructive spending decisions for the betterment of the entire county. I want to help ensure the assets of our county are utilized to their fullest potential and protected for future generations.
I have experience in financial planning, job creation, and short- and long-term goal planning. I am a self-motivated, organized person with attention to details.
I am a small business owner and have worked for a financial planner in the past, so I have experience in financial planning, and long- and short-term goal setting. I was also a Parish Assistant for a church, so I have experience in listening to people, researching and gathering information and making sure that decisions are made with the people in mind. I worked with budgeting, job creation, and many different boards and committees. I am a very self-motivated person who pays attention to details.
The District 2 race, which went to the primaries and was so close it prompted a recount, is between incumbent Bob Moline and Jamie Thomazin, whose answers to the questionnaire were printed before the primaries.
In District 5, incumbent Bill Sauer faces Arland Moger, both of Fulda.
Sauer: With my past experience in local and county government, I would continue to work with, listen to, serve and represent the residents of District 5 and all of Murray County. I would strive to keep Murray County a thriving, inviting and safe place to live by working with the City of Fulda, Bondin and Belfast townships, and Murray County officials and residents with street, road, bridge, drainage and lake projects and the retention of local businesses, farms, emergency and medical care.
My experience includes 16 years as clerk of Bondin Township and 16 years as commissioner of District 5. I also have experience working with the City of Fulda and Bondin and Belfast townships in street, road, bridge, drainage and lake projects.
Presently I am serving on the Murray County Park and Fair Boards, Murray County Memorial Hospital Board as chairman, Plum Creek Library Board as chairman, and Prairie Ecology Bus Center Board as treasurer. I have a knowledgeable and working relationship with all agencies and personnel in matters relating to rural, city and environmental issues in Murray County. I have used all the resources at my disposal to make just decisions affecting the people of my district and the county. I am always available as a contact person for residents of my district and other citizens of the county to feel free to call upon me for help when issues arise.
For the past 16 years, I have had the privilege of representing and serving the citizens of District 5 and Murray County. I would like to keep the lines of communication open between the commissioners and all residents of Murray County. By doing this, I feel I am capable of making fair and wise decisions in keeping Murray County a good place to live. As a county commissioner, you need to listen to all sides of issues, thus making the best decisions for the benefit of all residents.
Moger: Did not reply to questionnaire
Pipestone County districts
In Pipestone County, seats for Districts 1, 3 and 5 are up for grabs, but there were only two replies to the questionnaires.
In District 1, Marge De Ruyter faces Luke Johnson.
De Ruyter: My choice to run for Pipestone County Commissioner comes from a strong pride in my community, a long history of family ties to the area and a wanting to improve the quality of life through solid decision making and desire for growth.
As a Native American, I have ties to the area dating well back to my ancestors. I have fond memories of my youth, when my father was a crop farmer and my mother worked at the Pipestone National Monument. Still today my family continues to quarry Pipestone there.
I have served the community as an employee of the Southwest Crisis Center for more than eight years. I presently serve the Women of Color and Native Women Leadership Project of Minnesota, a state-level task force sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, and I serve locally on the board of the United Way. I am a family woman who believes in a strong work ethic, and I am open to changes for the betterment of our children’s future.
Johnson: Did not reply to questionnaire
In District 3, Richard Muyskins will go up against Marvin Tinklenberg.
Muyskins: I saw a lot of what has happened while I worked around the courthouse as a maintenance person. The people I talk to disapproved of a lot of what was happening, but no one cared or listened. Being close to the action and hearing what was said and who to believe prompted me to file. I will serve the people to see that their voice is heard. I was asked to run because they said I had good common sense.
I served in the Army and made staff sergeant in my time there. I had 34 men under me. I lead by example and honesty, truthfulness and to the best of my abilities. I worked as a contractor for 27 years and believe in doing items as much as possible locally, which is a big priority of mine. I served on church boards and with youth groups for many years. I thought I would get involved, rather than sit back and not try to change it.
Tinklenberg: Did not reply to questionnaire
In District 5, Ervin Pribyl faces Jerry Remund. Neither replied to the questionnaire.