CANDIDATE PROFILE - BOX; Thomas Bjerke, Houston County Commissioner -- District 5

Age: 42.

Address: 325 1st Ave. S.W., Spring Grove.

Family: Married, three children.

Work history: Owner of Bjerke's True Value for eight years and worked at Ace Hardware in La Crosse for three years before that.

Education history: Winona State University with a business degree.


Community activities: Member of Lions, Commercial Club, Economic Development Committee. Trinity Lutheran Church Commission member, vice president of Spring Grove Telephone Board, volunteer firefighter.

Government history: None.

Contact information: Phone, (507) 498-5310 or (507) 498-5422.

Top three issues:

1. Economic development in the area.

2. Jail.

3. Houston County Airport.

Candidate's statement:


I want to offer my open-mindedness and business experience to help build Houston County into a place where people would want to come and settle.

Thomas Bjerke believes commissioners receive enough money for the work they perform, and he wants to bring a business sense to the board.

"With my experience in business and being brought up in the area, I understand the different governmental issues and conflicts (commissioners) face day to day, and I believe I can offer an educated comment -- or ideas to help them delegate on the different issues they face," Bjerke said.

As budgets get squeezed, he'd like to see the county spend its money wisely.

"Being a small-business owner, I understand the complexity of the taxes and how the ever-increasing cost of goods puts a burden on the county," he said.

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