State Representative - District 12B Candidate: Rick Rosenfield, DFLRunning for State Representative - District 12B
Q: Please list your background and specific qualifications for this position.
A: I graduated from Villard High School and then received a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Minnesota at Morris. My career has been in manufacturing management and executive management.
I retired in 2009 after 34 years at Douglas Machine, where I achieved the position of vice president over two business units. For the last five years, I was director of Douglas Metal Finishing, where we completed a joint venture with Alexandria Extrusion, building and operating the largest aluminum anodizing line in Greater Minnesota.
My years of problem solving, consensus building, analytical thinking and successful results give me a unique background to work in the Legislature.
I was a National Ski Patrol member for 20 years, a volunteer football coach at Osakis and Villard, a reserve police officer in Osakis, and my wife and I raised quarter horses for 40-plus years.
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: For opposite sides to reach a consensus, you must find the common ground and expand on it. Working with the negatives will get you nowhere. People must be open to all options and then narrow them down to one final idea.
This is the hardest task in moving a project forward because you must start with different solutions or it will not be a strong result. Differences make us strong, but only if they can be molded into one strong operating plan for the state.
I have the experience and willingness to reach the results that will make Minnesota stronger and a leader again.
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: The last-minute deal to remove the homestead credit was wrong and must be reversed. Property taxes have surpassed income tax as the state’s number-one source of revenue. Rural businesses and property owners will see much higher property taxes than in the metro areas.
We need to start with a blank sheet of paper and build a new property tax system that is fair and is not an abnormal burden on any group.
Q: Is the state taking the right approach to battling aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels? What more can be done?
A: I am not a marine biologist or an environmental specialist. It just seems to me that the ideas we have so far are very expensive and somewhat impractical. We must rely on our specialists to come up with ways to combat this problem and give them the resourcing that they need to accomplish their goals. This is too important of an issue for Minnesota to ignore or not give our all to solve.
Q: What priority will you give to energy efficiency and renewable energies? What energy future do you envision for upcoming generations in Minnesota?
A: After speaking to persons in the field of energy, it seems to me that we have two different types of providers in Minnesota, but we treat them the same.
The first is the for-profit company, which has a main goal of providing profit for its stockholders.
The second is the non-profit, cooperative company, which has a main goal of providing energy to its customers and members at the lowest possible price. Many of the energy goals set forth by the state are putting an undue financial burden on the cooperatives. All companies have reached their 2012 goals and are now looking to meet their 2025 targets in renewable energy.
In the future, we must look to all energy sources and keep improving the technologies, and we must not cease our efforts in energy conservation.