Q&A with Goodhue County Commissioner candidate Paul ReeseReese: Reclaim local control over government
What are the core functions of the county government and how would you, as commissioner, promote those functions?
Our county government's motto is, "To effectively promote the safety, health, and well-being of our residents." To accomplish this goal, the county must maintain its infrastructure, maintain a sheriff's department, and mediate land use issues.
In addition, the county must protect itself from overzealous state and federal governments that do not have our local interests in mind.
As commissioner, I will continue to study the statutes, rules, constitutions and case law regarding local control and demand clarification where needed. I will work to reclaim and maintain local control over the issues that affect the local people.
Programs independent of the county like 4-H and the Goodhue County Historical Society are facing funding cuts from the county next year. With ongoing budget issues, will the county need to re-evaluate its relationship with these non-mandated programs, or can they continue as before?
Everything must be examined on a cost vs. benefit basis. Rather than indiscriminant cuts to organizations such as 4-H or some of the other extension programs that allow participants to work on personal growth of their own choosing, the county should focus on eliminating funding for NGO's and PPP's that clearly have specific private agendas of social engineering in our county against our will.
The county historical society is already acting as the unofficial archive for the county. The lessons contained within the walls of the museum must be preserved both by private fundraising and county government compensation for the benefits it receives.
Goodhue Wind's proposed wind development has been in the news for the past year, but two other companies are also interested in building large-scale wind projects in Goodhue County. What should the county's long-term wind development goals be?
The county must follow its ordinance and protect the historical and existing uses of the land. It must protect all existing landowners and taxpayers from any undue burden caused by excessive industrialization of our agricultural land.
Currently, utility scale wind turbines are not economically viable without aggressive government subsidies and incentives. All available studies have shown that their deployment, maintenance and operation actually increase fossil fuel use and emissions. The county's long-term wind development goals should be cautious. The private landowner's right to responsibly build his own system should not be impeded, but the developers' desire to exploit should not be encouraged.
How do you distinguish yourself from your opponent?
I do not believe in raising taxes when the people are suffering. I do not believe in borrowing money when times are good only to be stuck with the burden of servicing that debt when times are bad. I believe that cosmetic changes to the budget will not fix the ingrained spending problem.
I have the courage to stand up to outside special interests that are looking to radically change our county against our will and in many cases, without our knowledge. I understand that true wealth is the product of the private economy and not a gift from government.