Paid political letter: Kindra Ramaker for County Commissioner

The primary election for Olmsted County Commissioner District 4 is on Tues, Aug 9. This election is worth paying attention to. Olmsted Co government administers nearly $300 million per year. Commissioners make decisions about land use, transportation, housing, our environment, and many other things that affect our lives.

Of the 4 candidates running for District 4, only one, Kindra Ramaker, is qualified and motivated to bring positive change to our county. 

Kindra Ramaker is a Stewartville resident who works at Mayo Clinic as a project manager. She has a master’s degree in Public Affairs. She chaired the Olmsted Co Human Rights Commission, and is part of two other community boards. Because of this volunteer work she is intimately aware of the toughest problems that people in our county face. At last week’s Candidate Forum, she was the only candidate who was prepared, knowledgeable, and communicated ideas about the best ways to serve our county. She stressed the importance of innovation and public-private partnerships, especially in health and human services and transportation. Ramaker is forward thinking in considering the impact of policies on the natural world around us.

Steve Connelly is probably best known as the guy who cut down trees containing 25 great blue heron nests - about half of the heron nesting site that Save the Rookery, a local citizen’s group, is working to preserve. Connelly has touted his role as an elected official with the Olmsted Co Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). The SWCD mission is to promote protection of natural resources. During Connelly’s 22 years with SWCD, over 50 bodies of water were added to the impaired list of Olmsted Co. It is laughable that Connelly cites his “conservation experience” as a reason he should have the Commissioner position.

Brian Mueller was on the Rochester Township Board for 18 years before being defeated this March. I’d expect he would have a lot to say about issues affecting our area. In last week’s Candidate Forum, instead of answering questions, Mueller said again and again: “I don’t have a comment on that.” Candidates who refuse to tell voters where they stand on public issues should not be elected.

Bill Pirkl has not held elected office and did not attend last week’s Candidate Forum.

I plan to vote for Kindra Ramaker for County Commissioner. She will help make our county a better place to live.

Lynn Cornell
Rochester, Minn.