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Nobles County commissioner candidates make their case

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District 1

Keith Stubbe

I feel I should be elected because I would bring a common sense approach to the issues facing the county. One way is to explore other options to the proposed new $13 million library.

With the current strains on the county, we must prioritize our needs and our wants. Part of being an effective commissioner is not only saying "yes" to good projects, but also being able to say "no" to wasteful spending.

My priorities will be to bring better communication between county commissioners and county department heads and employees, city officials, township boards and citizens of Nobles County.

I also feel now is the time to explore expansion of present and potential projects and programs with surrounding counties.

Other priorities are to develop an aggressive economic development policy to expand the tax base in the county; bring true and dependable high speed Internet to all of Nobles County; and, if not accomplished, hire a county administrator/coordinator.

I feel I would be a strong voice for the communities and rural areas of District 1. I look forward to working with the constituents of my district with an open-door policy to solve the upcoming challenges facing our county and look forward to your ideas to strengthen our communities.

Please remember the public hearing on the bonding hearing on the bonding for the new $13 million dollar library scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Farmers Room.

You have heard my thoughts and positions on several topics. Now I invite yours. If you have any concerns and/or ideas, feel free to contact me at home (507) 945-8292, work (507) 372-2235, or cell (507) 360-8437. Thank you for your vote.

Marvin Zylstra

I appreciate the support of the residents of District 1 as your Nobles County commissioner. I would ask for your vote on Nov. 6 to keep me working hard for you.

I have the knowledge of the county and the issues facing its residents. I worked with Round Lake officials when the announcement of the Farley's & Sathers closing came out. I worked with the city of Brewster council to turn Zeh Avenue, along the soybean processing plant, to a county state aid highway. I attended public meetings in Reading/Summit Lake Township on a proposed centralized sewer system. I welcome the opportunity to work with Seward Township residents/township officials on issues they're facing the next four years.

I have had the opportunity to serve you as District 1 Commissioner for 10 years. This, along with good common sense and studying the issues, will serve me well going into the next four years.

As your commissioner, I have the proven performance to get the job done. On several occasions, I've had to cast "no" votes. The one that stands out is the lone "no" vote I case on the pay increase for commissioners in December 2010.

If re-elected, my first goal would be hiring a new county administrator. I am one of seven members of the selection committee and would like to continue in that process.

A second goal would be working with cities, WREDC and other counties to create jobs and improve government. Finally, a goal would be continuing discussion on a new library.

I will continue to bring "leadership you can depend on" for not just for District 1, but Nobles County as a whole. Thank you.

District 2

Bruce Loosbrock

As candidate for Nobles County Commissioner District 2, I feel I should be elected because I feel my familiarity with the community and its members will help to open a line of communication with citizens and other board members. I feel that my honesty, responsibility and integrity will help me accomplish the goals I have for our district.

My main goal is to get our county more involved with the concerns of our great citizens. If elected, I plan to work with the county administrator to make sound budget decisions and to keep an open mind about old and new decisions that may arise. I would also like to see the Sheriff and EMS departments working together under one roof for the betterment of the county. I would like to make sure public safety issues are being addressed and handled appropriately. I think it is also important to address maintenance and improvements for roads and bridges.

I plan to address all questions and concerns from citizens by providing them with informed information. I would like to see all departments working together to maintain fairness and to keep an open line of communication between all departments, commissioners and citizens.

Gene Metz

I am Gene Metz, and am seeking the commissioner position for Nobles County District 2.

I am a life-long resident of Nobles County, having lived in the Adrian and Lismore area. Along with my wife, Mary, and four children, we have operated a grain and livestock farm for 40 years. During that time, I have also served in leadership roles in many community, church, business and commodity organizations.

I have never served on a board with my own personal agenda. My belief has been to work for what is best for that particular organization. I feel my strongest asset has been to discuss the present and future needs of the group and then through the collaboration of the entire body bring about the best solution.

I do not seek a county commissioner role with any pre-set agenda. While campaigning, three issues commonly surfaced--don't waste our tax dollars, try to maintain and upgrade our roads and bridges and protect the needs of Western Nobles County.

If elected, I will continue to listen to your needs and work to the best of my ability to represent you well while building a county government we can be proud of again.

District 3

David Benson

My name is David Benson and I live with my wife, Sally Anne, in Ransom Township, Section 26, Bigelow. I have been a livestock/grain farmer and mechanic since 1971. My history includes 4H membership for 10 years, attending SF State and Bethel University, and serving as Ransom Township's treasurer.

As a county commissioner, I've been eager to understand and work very hard in areas that are important to the people of Nobles County; especially transportation, law enforcement/mental health and energy. I have been willing to look into and confront difficult situations. I consider it a privilege to work with other members of the community and region on many issues.

My top priority has been to develop a management team to rebuild trust among all county elected officials, department heads and staff by establishing open communication and transparency.

Other important issues are the continuation of the Wind Energy Production Tax under threat of elimination by the Minnesota Legislature ($827,000 added to the county in 2012). This revenue is needed to maintain our road system and other infrastructure without resorting to a property tax increase. We must stay active with our state legislators in a non-partisan manner on this issue as well as many others.

Matt Widboom

This Tuesday, the citizens of Nobles County will have a choice. Re-elect the current group of commissioners who allowed personnel issues -- and not the business of the people -- to be the primary focus, or re-elect new forward-thinking county leaders who put people first. My number one goal is to serve the people of the county on all levels, attending city council, township, fire department meetings. I will set aside time to speak with county employees, not just department heads but all staff, and ensure they are comfortable sharing any concerns they may have.

Since graduating from Worthington High School in 1993 and South Dakota State University in 1997, then moving back to my family's farm, I have chosen to follow the lifestyle of "live to give." Winston Churchill said, "Do what you've always done and you'll get what you've always gotten." As I spoke with community leaders in my district over the past few months, many couldn't recall the last time they were visited by a commissioner.

Representation on state committees is indeed important, but my priority as your commissioner will be to give of my time for open, honest and continuous communication with the people of Nobles County. The choice is yours.

District 4

Robert Demuth Jr.

I believe I should be re-elected to the Nobles County Board of Commissioners based on my past history as an insurance agent/owner for 31 years, my community involvement and my experience of being a seated county commissioner for the past 20 months.

I have sat on many community, social, church and fraternal organizations, and many of them as chairman.

There have been many positive changes and accomplishments this past year in Nobles County government, and I'm proud to be involved in these changes as your Nobles County commissioner for District 4. We need to keep those changes moving forward into the future. I feel there is a value to being re-elected as your Nobles County commissioner that has had hands-on involvement with these important changes.

I plan to accomplish this by hiring a new administrator, improving communications, increasing flexibility in work hours for county employees, and transition planning for new board members and administrators and retiring department heads.

My long-term goals are collaboration, internally among the departments and externally with cities, counties, school districts etc.

In closing, I would be honored to continue to represent my constituents in District 4.

Mike Kuhle

As Election Day approaches, please consider my bid for Nobles County Commissioner.

Raising a family and working in Worthington over the past 33 years, I am committed to working hard to ensure future growth to our great county. As an active city council member and other board experience, I bring the necessary experience needed to do the job.

Collaboration and efficiency are two elements I will bring to Nobles County government services. Working together, various elected officials and department heads can ensure more prompt actions and accountability.

In a time of tight budgets, a conservative, working together approach will help ensure a plan that works for all communities within the county. Serving on the City Planning and Zoning Commission, we have been able to make improvements that I would like to continue on the county level.

Our county is always changing and I would like to be a part of its success. I will support good quality of life while holding down the tax burden placed on Nobles County residents.

Above all, please remember to exercise your right to vote. Please consider me in your vote for Nobles County commissioner.

District 5

Donald Linssen

As county commissioner, I feel that foremost an elected official represents the people of that district. I plan to listen to each person that contacts me regarding an issue that is of concern to them.

My experience in the working environment includes managing a working department of 20-plus employees, developing and monitoring a substantial budget, and maintaining a relationship with other agencies within the city, county, and surrounding communities for 15 years. I would propose to develop these same relationships as a county commissioner.

As a commissioner, it is necessary to promote a quality working environment for all employees. There is a need to develop budgets that are workable and strive for a balanced budget for the county. Involvement by constituents should be a priority to move this county forward in the future.

If elected, I will bring years of experience in managing budgets and staff along with a willingness to serve this district to the best of my ability.

Marlyn Mammen

A few years back, I was asked by a group of people if I would consider running for county commissioner. At that time, I felt I had the dedication and skill set to be an effective commissioner, but was unable to dedicate adequate time to the position. I now have the time and still have dedication to effectively serve in the position of county commissioner. I therefore have decided to seek election.

With the experience of managing large businesses, I can bring a wealth of knowledge and integrity to this position. I am very conservative, but know that there is a certain amount of money that needs to be spent to keep the county roads and assets in a high repair. I believe we must assess each project and see how it can be done on the most efficient and most cost effective basis. I feel we no longer can spend on wishes or wants, but must focus on needs.

If elected and I would welcome any discussion(s) and each resident of District 5 can be reassured that I will stand up for what I believe is best for Nobles County.

I have sent out a letter and/or attempted to visit with each household in District 5. If I missed someone, please give me a call. Let me be a voice for you in Nobles County. I would appreciate your vote on Tuesday.