Rep. Susan Akland, R-St. Peter, has been mischaracterized recently by former Rep. Jeff Brand, DFL-St. Peter, as being against firemen, citing her vote against her own bill for the local sales tax option.

In truth Akland’s leadership in the Legislature actually got the bill into law as she was the chief author of the bill that would give the citizens of St. Peter the option to vote on whether to raise the local sales tax to build a new fire hall.

At the St. Peter City Council meeting on July 6, which I attended, Akland stated, “I had to stay true to my promise to the citizens of 19A not to raise taxes, so I had to vote 'No' on the omnibus tax bill. However, I knew that the omnibus bill would pass the House floor, so my local option sales tax bill (included in the omnibus bill) was safe.”

She went on to say that she had been told by the chair of the Senate Tax Committee, that she should take full credit for the bill being included in the final omnibus bill because had it not been for her persistent calls and emails to the chair, this bill would not have been included in the final omnibus bill.

Akland also stated that she feels we do need a new fire house, but that it is not up to her to raise our taxes. Her actions allowed the citizens of St. Peter to vote for themselves on whether to raise the sales tax to build a new fire hall.

Is Akland against firemen as Brand stated in his recent letter? Not at all.

Sorry Brand, wrong again.

Eric Litynski

St. Peter

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