LET Rural-urban cooperation necessary

By Jeff Gustafson

My name is Jeff Gustafson and I am a candidate for Olmsted County Commissioner, District 2. This is my second run for commissioner.

My primary reasons for running are my longtime interest in local government and commitment to public service. As a sixth generation resident of this county I feel a strong sense of obligation to its citizens. What government does or does not act upon today will have a major impact on the quality of life, opportunities, and freedoms for present and future generations. Our involvement makes the difference.

In addition to my position as manager with Qwest Communications, I am also a Chief (E-9) in the Civil Engineers of the 934th Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve. As a member of the military, I periodically take an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were formed to protect individual rights and freedoms. It is important that our office holders keep these two documents in mind as they govern. Responsible government should not infringe on the rights of its citizens. In addition, government must do what it can to help those who are unable to fend for themselves with the end goal of self-reliance.

An issue I am particularly concerned about is the relationship between rural and urban government. Divisive politics gets us nowhere and can be expensive. Government is all interconnected and is stronger and more efficient when it works together. Tri-government meetings must include township officials.


The overall state of our county government is in great shape. Sound financial management has led to the awarding of the coveted triple-A bond rating. Construction of the waste-to-energy incinerator has lessened the use of landfill space. The level of services provided by Olmsted County is unmatched by many other counties. It is important that we stay the course but we need to continue exploring ways to conserve. Problems will persist with our rapid growth. Strong leadership and management principles will help address these problems.

I have enjoyed meeting many of you throughout the campaign. I continue to ask your help in identifying the issues that concern you. I look forward to working with you towards solutions and improvements. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

Gustafson of Rochester is a candidate for the 2nd District seat on the Olmsted County Board.

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