CANDIDATE PROFILE - Name: Donald Springer Wabasha County Commissioner District 3
Address: Route 1, Box 1210, Millville.
Family: Wife, two children.
Work history: Registered nurse in Saint Marys Hospital emergency room for the past 10 years. He has a nursing degree from Winona State University and is a member of the Elgin Ambulance Service; he is the former emergency management director for that service.
Government history: He was on the Elgin-Millville School Board five years and is a member of the Elgin Jaycees and Lions.
Contact information: Phone, (507) 534-3399; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top three issues
1. Wabasha County jail.
2. No commissioner raises for four years.
3. Advocate for children and families.
I have experience on the Wabasha County Board. I have no hidden agenda, and I will work hard for every resident in Wabasha County.
By John Weiss
If re-elected to the Wabasha County Board, one of the first things Donald Springer wants to do is to get the county moving on a solution for its aging jail.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections has told the county the jail must be closed in a few years. But the county is dragging its feet on finding answers, he said. "They need to push forward with a thorough cost analysis to find out exactly what it will cost our taxpayers and what our needs will be," said Springer
Springer is running against third-district incumbent Merl Norman. It will be the third face-off between the two. Springer won once, and then lost the last time they ran against each other.
Once the numbers come in on a jail, the county needs to decide what to do, Spriing said. He doesn't think it's necessary to go to voters. Instead, the board needs to make a decision based on what's best for taxpayers, he said.
A second complaint he has with the present board is that it doesn't deal well with the townships, he said. For example, Mazeppa Township asked the city to swap sections of roads, but the county board didn't even take that to a vote, he said.
Tight budgets for all governments will be a problem in Wabasha County, Springer said. But that doesn't mean the county can't be an advocate for families through programs such as 4-H and youth camps.
"You have to look for unique ways to finance it through the county board," he said. The county can look for grants. If the county does something to help youths now, it won't have so many problems with juvenile delinquency in the future, he said.
Finally, he said the county commissioners decided to give themselves the same raises as non-union employees, but he doesn't want any raises. "I think the commissioners need to lead by example," Springer said.