My name is Keith Englund and I am your District 1 Douglas County Commissioner. I was born and raised in the Evansville, Melby area and still live there with Bonnie, my wife of 46 years. I learned the importance of teamwork playing sports in high school. I found as board chair that no one player can make you a winner, but teamwork can. We do have a great team of county employees and commissioners. Thank you to our 37,000-plus residents for your patience and willingness to do what we need to do to keep us safe during this COVID-19 health crisis.

I am in my fourth year as a commissioner and am still learning the ins and outs of what it takes to be an effective commissioner and now chairman. I hope I have helped steer the county in a good direction. I know that as a commissioner we are not able to make everyone happy, but we do our best. We need to hear from our constituents, both pros and cons when a big decision is going to be voted on. Remember, if a topic has a hearing, for example, a planning and zoning issue, road, or roundabout, the public needs to show up and speak up because if the topic gets to the commissioners for a vote, it is too late to speak up.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, much of our time had to be dedicated to keeping you safe as well as ourselves and our county staff. Staff members put in a lot of time to figure out how to efficiently respond to the governor’s executive orders to work from home, disinfect more often and more thoroughly, and ultimately to our decision to temporarily close the exterior doors to the public.

Those doors are now open, but we still prefer, if you don’t have to see us in person, please call or email us with questions or to make an appointment.

We put up drop boxes at the courthouse and the services center to make it easier for people needing to exchange documents with the county. We’ve shared information on how to email us, use our online services and to call for appointment-only services. It’s a new way of doing things and hopefully will keep our COVID-19 cases down.

We have been able to reopen the playgrounds and our campsites are available for rent in Chippewa County Park. Please let your friends and relatives know they are welcome to come visit our beautiful area. The lake water is warm, the fish are biting, and the restaurants and businesses are finding creative ways to be open!

We very much appreciate the cooperation we have received from the community and the county employees.

I feel it is an honor and privilege to be a Douglas County commissioner. I believe this COVID-19 is going to change our normal lives but we will get through it and life will go on in this beautiful country, state and Douglas County community we live in. Thank you for hearing my thoughts and ideas.

Keith Englund is the chair of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. In the Know is a rotating column written by community leaders from the Douglas County area.