State Representative - District 12A Candidate: Jay McNamar, DFLRunning for State Representative - District 12A
Q: Please list your background and specific qualifications for this position.
A: I have lived my entire life in Western Minnesota; therefore, I’m aware of our communities and their unique situations. I have been a teacher at West Central Area Schools for 36 years plus two years at Waubun High School School, which has given me insight into the structure, curriculum, financing, etc. of our schools.
For the past 33 years, I have been involved in the EMS system as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, both of which have given me valuable knowledge of how our communities are protected.
Finally, the past four years, I’ve served as mayor of Elbow Lake, which has provided me knowledge and experience concerning taxation, funding, needs, etc. of our rural Minnesota cities. I feel I’m well suited for the position of state representative.
Q: The public is tired of the partisan politics that often bog down the work of the Legislature. Specifically, how will you work with legislators from the other political party to get things done?
A: There is no guarantee that I will be successful working with members of either party. However, I am willing to use a common ground, common sense approach to problem solving, which I have used all my life as a teacher, coach and mayor.
I would always be willing to meet, exchange ideas, listen and negotiate to get something done with fellow legislators. My motto for the past four years as mayor has been: “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”
Q: Many people saw significant increases in property taxes this year. If elected, what will you do to lower the property taxes for average/middle class home owners?
A: I have been fighting high property taxes the past four years as mayor. My city has lowered property taxes a small amount in the face of difficult economic times and drastic cuts in Local Government Aid (LGA). My solutions to lowering property taxes would be to first reinstate the Homestead Credit and secondly to gradually increase LGA to cities back to the 2008 level. With an increase in LGA, cities could lower their levies, thus reducing property taxes.
Q: Is the state taking the right approach to battling aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels? What more can be done?
A: The laws and regulations are fine, but enforcement and monitoring are what is needed to help prevent the spread of invasive species in our lakes, rivers and streams. The cost could be high, but if all our bodies of water become contaminated, what would that cost? We could limit access areas to waters designated as infested waters to make it easier to monitor water craft that could possibly spread an invasive species.
Q: What priority will you give to energy efficiency and renewable energies? What energy future do you envision for upcoming generations in Minnesota?
A: A high priority should be given to all renewable energy production. With a combination of wind, solar and biofuels, we can help reduce our reliance on foreign oils, create jobs, and provide markets for our agricultural products. In conjunction with renewable energy and the creation of more fuel efficient cars, homes and electrical appliances, we could conceivably become an energy self-reliant state and nation.
Our future depends on us to support energy conservation and renewable fuel production to be able to escape the hold foreign nations have on our economy.