County Commissioner - District 4 Candidate: Paul C. Anderson (Incumbent)Running for County Commissioner - District 4
Q: Please list your background and specific qualifications for this position.
A: I was raised in Pope County as a farm boy. Following my education, my military service was in the Army Security Agency in administration. Most of my military time was in Kyoto, Japan.
Following that, I spent 31 years in the insurance industry and at the same time served Alexandria Township as clerk/treasurer. I have served on the board of directors for the Association of Minnesota Counties and as District 4 chair of the 11 counties in western Minnesota.
My wife Velma and I have been married for the past 64 years. During this relationship we were blessed with two children, Sandy, who passed away in 1999 at age 49 and Dan, who is a teacher in Florida.
Q: What do you view as the biggest challenge facing the county right now and how would you deal with it?
A: All units of government, federal, state and local, are becoming too large to be efficient. We must do whatever is necessary to become more efficient in our delivery of services such as cooperating with other units of government and working closer with our Legislature, urging them to enact legislation that would enable us to deliver services more efficiently. I would continue to do as I have advocated in the past.
This would include combining services with other entities locally and other counties. We must rid ourselves of the “us and they” attitude and work together. If we can do this, we would be able to deliver the needed services more efficiently. Please remember, we have five unions in our courthouse who represent many of our employees. Through hours of negotiation, we were able to set our levy for 2013 at 2.03 percent, and hopefully by December 15, we will be able to reduce this to 1 percent or lower.
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: I for one am not happy with the construction costs involved in our law enforcement buildings. This is an area where cooperation between county and city could have saved us many dollars. But we cannot look back, we must move forward. This is where the long range plan would come into the picture. We have the plan. Now we must use it.
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: This is an area where we must depend on experts in the field such as DNR and citizens who are trained in this effort. We must look at the most economical solution.
If you, as our taxpayers, have any ideas, let us know. We will listen.
Q: County commissioners have recently opened communication with the Alexandria City Council. What would you contribute to this partnership?
A: Cooperation with the city of Alexandria on various boards would naturally save money, and we are beginning a dialog with the council. If we don’t start cooperating with our various units of local government, cities and townships, and neighboring counties, I can see the state of Minnesota doing it for us, and that we do not need. Let’s keep it local.