Candidate Q&A: District 2 County Commissioner HommedahlJeff Hommedahl
Residence: Cannon Falls
Family: Wife, Denise. We have three children: Alecia, 23, Jessica, 21, and Reid, 13.
Public involvement: Past president and board member of Cannon Falls Youth Athletic Association, youth sports coach.
Education: Graduated from Faribault Technical College with a degree in machine shop, and tool and die making; currently an engineering student at Inver Hills.
Work: Small business owner
What is main issue that you would address as a county commissioner?
Right now jobs and economic growth are at the top of the list. A growing economy will go a long way to solving many of our problems.
There are several other issues that will need to be addressed, such as the budget shortfall, wind energy and capital infrastructure needs such as roads.
The county faces a budget crunch that looks to continue into the years ahead. How would you address the county's ongoing budget issues?
We must balance the county budget without raising taxes. We will have to prioritize all spending and cut where we can.
I will start by cutting commissioner salary. I will serve the people, not myself.
A growing economy will solve a lot of our budget shortfall. When we can attract business we will grow jobs and attract people to Goodhue County. When foreclosed homes and businesses begin regaining ownership again, the property tax base will increase. That will help the county budget as well as well as local governments.
We may have to wait on some of the capital needs.
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?
Wind energy is not the most efficient way to produce electricity and I oppose it on those grounds. Without heavy government subsidies, wind would be the most expensive form of electrical production.
While I am in favor of business and job creation, the project that is proposed for Goodhue County has many problems. I support landowners right to use their property for any permitted enterprise, but the proposed 1,500-foot setback for this size windmill is not far enough.
Let's not use the strong arm of the government to someone's advantage. I would seek to find a balance.
What are some qualities that make you well suited to be a county commissioner?
With the downturn of the economy, owning a small business has been a challenge. These hard times have made me a stronger leader. I'm ready to bring new leadership to Goodhue County.
History has shown it is small business that creates the jobs and lifts the economy out of economic recessions. As the owner you have to often make difficult choices, even whether you will be able to take a paycheck.
I have a lot of practical waste cutting experience in business and I am looking forward to the challenge of bringing those ideas and experiences to Goodhue County government.