By Brian Ojanpa
Free Press Staff Writer
LE SUEUR — First-time office seekers John King and Todd Redmann are vying for the District 3 seat on the Le Sueur County Board of Commissioners.
King, a veterinarian and lifelong Le Sueur resident as well as a farmer, said his deep commitment to the area and his fondness for grass-roots government spurred his choice to run.
“One foot is planted where I live, in the city of Le Sueur. My other foot is firmly rooted in our family farm in Tyrone Township. I understand both urban and rural issues, and I have considerable experience with both.”
King said administering a budget as executive director of the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine and being a small-business owner has given him the skills to chart sound financial courses, a key element in dealing with the the fiscal challenges counties face today.
“Finding a balance between providing services and funding the costs to provide them is a significant challenge in Le Sueur County.”
On land use and maintaining what he terms “the rural/urban/recreational interface” he says this:
“We need to continue to maintain apppropriate agricultural land use and well thought out and planned urban/residential and recreational land use.”
He said urban expansion and residential land use can create an increased tax base, but it must be managed in a thoughtful and considerate way so as not to prevent agricultural businesses from making a living.
Redmann, a former Le Sueur-Henderson Schools classroom teacher, is executive director of LSH Youth Opportunities, a nonprofit providing out-of-school activities and programs for local youth.
He said his public involvement is guided by a single principle — “to make our area a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
“I would like to stress that I am not running against anyone in seeking this office. Rather, I have always viewed my candidacy simply as a continuation of my efforts to serve my community.”
He said the two major budgetary categories in county government — transportation and human services — will continue to challege county boards, and he brings no particular agenda to either category, though he’d like to address the ongoing impacts of sand and gravel transport on District 3 roads.
On the budget front, he said Le Sueur County, like all fiscally strapped local government units, is at the point where further cuts jeopardize the effectiveness of key county services.
“Any ‘fat’ that existed in the system is long gone, and in having to make future cuts we’ll be doing damage to the actual ‘muscle and bone.’”
He said as commissioner he’d work with legislative representatives to maintain and strengthen funding mechanisms that are in place, taking care to improve efficiencies in ways that don’t jeopardize key services to local commerce, the aging general population and the most vulnerable among us.
District 3 includes the city of Le Sueur and the townships of Tyrone and Derrynane.