The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Election 2008

October 29, 2008

Former sheriff challenging incumbent

Commissioner seat up for grabs in District 3

ST. JAMES — If ever a race in Watonwan County had a hint of celebrity, it’s this year’s race for county commissioner District 3.

The race pits incumbent Bill Berg against Joe Dahl, the man who has made news in the past for felonies, Paintball, a successful run for sheriff, an unsuccessful attempt to keep that job, ultralight aircraft crashes and unapproved classroom demonstrations gone awry.

Berg, on the other hand, has been the quieter one and, in fact, hinted that he’d rather not participate in the news process this time if Dahl couldn’t be reached for comment.

The Free Press made several calls to Dahl, none of which had been returned.

Berg, who retired in 2003 after working 39 years in a vet clinic, said he is running because he enjoys the decision-making process and serving the community.

He says the top issues in the county are jobs, the local economy and controlling and maintaining property taxes.“As for jobs, it’s very difficult to bring in an enterprise, but we should be open for any opportunity to bring in new jobs.”

On the economy, he said, “We’re just going to have to sit back ... In all honesty, in Watonwan County we’re not all that bad off.

“We need to take care of our roads and bridges. You can’t avoid maintain or repairing what you have. You can’t postpone seal coating. It might end up ruining a road and spending a lot more to fix it later.”

Dahl, while he didn’t respond to The Free Press, did respond to the St. James Plaindealer. When asked what he believed to be the three most important issues county residents will face in the coming year, Dahl said, “I will work earnestly to represent their interests locally, on the state level and even the national level. We all have the same ultimate goal: To make Watonwan County the best county in

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