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