County Commissioner - District 3 Candidate: Jerry RappRunning for County Commissioner - District 3
Q: Please list your background and specific qualifications for this position.
A: I was born and raised in Alexandria and have been a resident of Carlos Township for 45 years. My wife, Jane, and I have four children, Jeremy, Maggie, Robert and Lane.
I am a graduate of Jefferson High School and Alexandria Technical College. I am a veteran of the United States Army, having served our country from 1969-1971. I am also a lifetime member of Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria.
My parents, Bob and Lavon Rapp, live in the Alexandria area.
I am co-owner of Rapp Construction, Inc., with more than 40 years’ experience in commercial and residential construction, on-site sewer treatment installations and hooking up ALASD sewer connections.
I have also been active in farming for the past 40 years, and I am well aware of all the challenges that the farmers fact to make a living today. I know what it takes to keep the fuel tanks full and the equipment running. I believe that with my background as a business owner in my fields, that I can provide the positive leadership required and bring new direction to the voters and taxpayers of Douglas County in District 3.
Q: What do you view as the biggest challenge facing the county right now and how would you deal with it?
A: I feel the biggest challenge facing the county right now is stabilizing taxes. I realize there are necessary expenses in running the county government. Growth is very important, but if this growth costs the taxpayers more in tax dollars, then we need to take a better look at the spending. I do believe we have to take a conservative approach when spending your tax dollars.
We need to support and encourage our small businesses. Employers cannot hire employees without the work to make it profitable. We shouldn’t move people into Douglas County without available jobs or this will burden our already stressed economy. We need to be knowledgeable, caring and cautious about all decision making but still be aggressive enough to make smart decisions.
I am also well aware of the day-to-day issues and concerns that face seniors. People on fixed incomes are greatly affected by the rising real estate taxes.
With my leadership as your District 3 county commissioner, I would aim to do whatever is necessary to maintain stability with expenditures to control your taxes. We need to stabilize real estate taxes to prevent being taxed out of our homes.
Q: Would you say the current board has shown commitment and follow through on current projects, for example the law enforcement and services center and courtroom remodel? What would your strategy be to further progress?
A: The projects that are currently in motion for Douglas County are committed and need to be followed through to completion.
As District 3 county commissioner, I would be hands-on future projects. I would make certain that as many of the products and materials being used are available locally. This would help our local economy, as well as being efficient with budget spending.
Q: Is there anything more the county can do to combat aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels? Share other thoughts about protecting water quality.
A: As far as the issue to combat the aquatic invasive species, the obvious way to control the zebra mussels is to personally take every precaution to not remove any watercraft, dock, boatlift, anchors or bait from infected waters and move them to uninfected waters. Without a doubt, we have an uphill battle.
If you sell any items that have been in any infected waters, you must take responsibility and inform the buyer what needs to be done before transferring. It is absolutely everyone’s responsibility to monitor ourselves to keep the problem from getting worse.
Q: County commissioners have recently opened communication with the Alexandria City Council. What would you contribute to this partnership?
A: I think that open communication with the city council is a very positive move forward. There are many business owners that live outside of Alexandria city limits and cannot vote on issues that affect their businesses in the city of Alexandria. With this open communication between the county and the city, it will bring positive representation for District 3 to the business owners that fall under this guideline. With the city and county working together, this should bring better decision making for all taxpayers.
The small towns in District 3, Carlos, Miltona, Nelson and Osakis, are great small towns to raise a family, and I personally want to see them maintain their own identity.
Your vote for me, Jerry Rapp, as District 3 county commissioner, will bring positive impact with fresh ideas and new direction. Thank you for your support!