Great Commissioners Are Not Elected They Are Grown

Many things are necessary to be a successful county commissioner. At the top of the list are strong working relationships and deep knowledge of our needs, challenges and opportunities. 

Neither of these things happen overnight. I was a good commissioner when I came into office; I am a far better one today, thanks to the knowledge I’ve gained and the relationships I’ve built.

At least one of my opponents is making change for the sake of change one of the main themes of his campaign. Our leadership at the county does change regularly. I came into office as the junior commissioner and now I’m senior in point of service. In fact, I’m now one of the longest-serving commissioners in the state.

What about my opponents? Three of them have never held elective office before; one has been a city councilor for a little over a year.

“Time for a change,” or similar words, are the theme of every challenger attempting to beat an incumbent. 

Even though continuity in office is a good thing (including the stability it brings), let’s look at our county board. I came into office as the newbie. Commissioner Lindly retired in 2012 and we appointed Commissioner Hunt in his place; Commissioner Jacobsen was elected in 2018. Each has brought new energy, focus and perspectives to their work. Each of them had strong records in management and civic engagement.

I came into office having had deep interaction with the county organization for 18 years—not only attending 90 percent of the regular board and budget meetings but developing a deep understanding of the entire operation and its many government and community partners. Despite that, I had something of a learning curve.

This isn’t an entry-level position. You need to have a level of knowledge and experience that allow you to take on these responsibilities quickly. I I encourage you will keep my experience working to build better communities and better lives for all of us.

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