Meet the local candidates: Gene MetzName: Gene Metz Commissioner District: 2 City or Township in which you reside: Larkin Township
Name: Gene Metz
Commissioner District: 2
City or Township in which you reside: Larkin Township
Occupation: Crop and livestock farmer. Owner of Metz Waste Applicators.
What qualifications do you have for seeking a county board seat? I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Business. I have served as President of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association and the Minnesota Custom Applicators Association. I have served the Adrian Area Schools as a school board member for 14 years. I also served as chair of both the Nobles County and Regional Joint-Powers Extension Committees. I presently serve on both New Vision Coop and Lismore Coop Telephone Boards. I believe my past service indicates I have knowledge of both private and government operations and the ability to lead such groups.
What is your top priority in county government? I have two. District 2 presently comprises 45 percent of the land mass of Nobles County. Rural and city residents, as well as small business owners, are very dependent on a profitable agricultural industry. I believe we need to support these opportunities and the infrastructure needed to continue to make this successful.
Real estate values have increased dramatically over the last few years. The tax consequence for property owners has likewise increased. I believe County government must be careful about not using this “windfall” to its maximum potential and be prepared for a possible downturn in the ag economy and a relaxing of land prices and its tax base.
Explain ideas you have to address your top priority: The world is growing in population and industrial spending ability. There will be an ever-increasing demand for both lowest cost commodities as well as specialty market niche products. I would propose that Nobles County continues to promote agriculture-friendly expansion within Federal, State and County guidelines. As yields and animal numbers increase, we must continue to upgrade and replace our bridge and road system to allow safe delivery of products. We must also do everything in our power to see that the Lewis & Clark Water System is completed soon. We must explore a means to help and encourage our immigrant work force to become documented and more involved in our community affairs. There has to be a system put in place to stop the Federal and State governments from passing on its fiscal responsibility to local jurisdictions. We cannot continue to fund County government by increasing real estate tax consequences.
What would you like to see accomplished in the county in the next four years? The present Board of Commissioners has totally lost credibility with its constituents and work force with the leadership controversy that has occurred over the last six months. A well-researched plan for County government operations must be implemented quickly. I would like all of the present restricted bridges brought up to full weight status. I would like to explore sharing our personnel resources with neighboring counties. As staff retires, we can use technology to use our best people to cover more areas. As our immigrant population continues to grow, I would like our communities to find means to understand their cultures so they can more understand ours.
Additional comments: I am not a very radical speaker. I promise to be a sounding board for the ideas and concerns of the constituents of District 2. I believe I have proven through my past activities that I have the ability to listen to an idea, research it and then bring forth a collaborative solution to it. I have a strong desire to commit the time to make Nobles County a place to be proud of.