Candidate Q&A: District 2 County Commissioner ConradRick Conrad
14788 Co 9 Blvd, Goodhue
Family: Wife, Taffy
Public involvement: Attend township meetings; speak at Planning Advisory Commission and County Board meetings; and blog about the wind issue in Goodhue County.
Education: Red Wing Vo-tech, computer programming; U.S. Army Intelligence School FT Defense; Ft. Benjamin Harrison, computer programming and information management.
Work: Red Wing Shoe Co., equipment maintenance tech.
What is main issue that you would address as a county commissioner?
I am very concerned about industrial wind development. I feel we need better setbacks that will insure that people who do not want to sign over property rights and wind rights will not suffer from adverse effects.
I personally believe in alternative energy and I would like the opportunity to help shape county policies and ordinances that will allow alternative energy development that fits the community. I would also like to ensure that there is local control and that more of revenue from these projects goes to citizens living in Goodhue County, especially those citizens living near turbines.
The county faces a budget crunch that looks to continue into the years ahead. How would you address the county's ongoing budget issues?
Instead of turning over government services to private corporations because they may find ways do it more efficiently, we need to start running our government services as efficiently as possible. If we turn recycling services over to a private corporation, the county will save money, but will the citizens pay less?
We must look to the business models that reduce costs and waste and apply them to the county. Before eliminating services we need to examine why we provided them in the first place. If there was a good reason, then we need to know if that reason still exists.
Over the past year, wind energy has been at the forefront of county politics. What role do you think the county should play in large-scale wind development projects?
The county's role should be above all to protect the health and safety of the citizens. Ensure that industrial wind development does not damage the tax base. Ensure that county government will not have to assume the cost of dismantling abandoned wind projects. Ensure the maximum economic benefit to the county and its citizens.
What are some qualities that make you well suited to be a county commissioner?<
I question everything. I notice things that other people miss. One of the elementary aspects of computer programming is problem definition. In most cases, until you understand what the problem is, you will not be able to solve it.