The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 21, 2012

Budgets, finances top issues for Nicollet County Board District 4 candidates

By Brian Ojanpa
Free Press Staff Writer

— Incumbent Jack Kolars is being challenged by outgoing North Mankato City Councilor Bill Schindle for the District 4 seat on the Nicollet County Board.

Kolars, a Realtor and Mankato radio program host, has been on the County Board since 1997 and is its longest-serving member.

“I believe I have demonstrated the experience to serve the citizens of the district and the county in a fair and common sense fashion,” he said.

“A good county commissioner possesses the ability to blend common sense, community vision and consensus building into the representation of county residents.”

He said the board has worked diligently to provide needed and mandated services to residents as state and federal funds dwindle. He said that has been achieved by using reserves to keep a rein on the county tax levy.

He said he has long been a proponent of county transportation needs, including expansion of Highway 14 from North Mankato to New Ulm, and has been a member of the Highway 14 Partnership and has served on the transportation committee of the Association of Minnesota Counties.

He said he also has a keen interest in the areas of public health, public safety and social services.

Schindle, a North Mankato homebuilder, has been a North Mankato City Council member for 20 years.

He said he’s running for county office because he’s concerned about the funding cuts that have come down from the state to local governments, and how they affect property taxes, especially for seniors on fixed incomes and young families trying to afford staying in their homes.

He said he’d also like to work with other commissioners to bring more industry and jobs to the area.

“After living in North Mankato for 60 years and serving on the North Mankato City Council for 20 years, I feel that I know the needs and concerns of North Mankato residents as well or better than anybody.”

He said he’s also familiar with Nicollet County’s concerns, having been active on the Nicollet County/North Mankato Liaison Committee, and has worked closely with municipal budgets and planning, zoning and infrastructure issues.

As commissioner, he said he’d take particular interest working in the areas of budgets, fiscal and strategic planning, planning and zoning and working with other communities to build more partnerships and further collaborate in order to share services and equipment.

District 4 includes North Mankato precincts 4, 5, and 6.