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Write-in candidate seeks county board position

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A write-in candidate has emerged for the Douglas County Board District 5 position.

Bill Dropik announced his plans last week. He's running against incumbent Dan Olson, the only one who filed for the seat in May.

District 5 includes Alexandria Township and Alexandria's City Ward 3.

Dropik said that he regrets that he didn't file before the deadline but after serious consideration and support from others, he decided to get in the race.

"I feel voters deserve a choice when voting on a ballot," he said.

Dropik believes he has the ability to work well with others individually and in groups - something he hopes to bring to the board.

"I believe the county and the city of Alexandria should work together for the best interests of all residents and taxpayers," he said.

Dropik added that the issue involving the new county jail and the Law Enforcement Center - Alexandria is pursuing its own police station separate from the sheriff's office - is an example "where more effort should have been used in those projects" to construct only one shared facility.

Dropik also believes he has the experience for the position because he's served on previous boards dealing with budgets of up to $20 million, and he's worked with unions and employees.

"I'm asking the citizens of District 5 for their support," he said.

Olson said he's seeking his third term in office to complete many projects that he helped plan - the new jail, the hospital expansion and the incinerator upgrade.

"I want to see those projects through," he said.

In his next term, he said he wants to continue to explore cost sharing ideas with other counties, such as the five-county public health agreement that the board approved this week.

"I think we can merge more things with other counties to be more cost efficient," he said.

Olson said that tough decisions need to be made to keep the county budget under control. He added that he's a "common-sense type of guy" who doesn't like to micromanage.

Olson said he wants to stay closely connected with District 5 constituents, responding to their concerns and questions. "I've tried to represent the district well and I've also worked with the Alexandria Township Board," he said.

Olson has served on many other boards that work with the commissioners - West Central Community Action (as treasurer), Rainbow Rider (vice chair), Prime West Health, Douglas/Pope Solid Waste Management and Lakeland Mental Health, for example.

"I also work with the lake associations for good results," he added. "I try to be consistent and open."

The Douglas County Board election will take place on November 2.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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