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County Board District 5 candidates go head-to-head in debate

With the last opportunity for Goodhue County Board candidates to discuss their platform before Election Day, Nov. 8, the District 5 candidates, incumbent Ted Seifert and Paul Drotos, as well as District 1 candidate, Ron Allen, gathered for a forum at the St. James Hotel.

With various issues on the table Thursday, Nov. 3, Seifert tended to focus on public safety while Drotos emphasized environmental issues.

While going through a laundry list of topics, Seifert said, "Public safety is number one. Law enforcement is more capable of handling situations with the new BearCat," he said. "County reaction time to special events is the next one."

During the hour debate, a hot topic was brought up by an audience member regarding how each candidate would work to improve the lives of children in Goodhue County.

Commissioner Allen mentioned his work in, as well as future plans for, mental health opportunities. "One of the things that we've done over the past three years is change our mental health," he said. "We switched from having four therapists, with a two-month backlog and no psychiatric care for children in the county, entered in a joint agreement with Hiawatha Mental Health, and now we do have psychiatric nurses with adolescent experience to provide treatment for children."

Seifert focused on schools during the question and stated that he will ensure citizens will be able to keep money in their pockets.

"What I plan to do for our constituents is to try to keep our county portion of the taxes low."

Drotos said his creation of Rubin the Blue Bin, the area's recycling mascot, has every school child realizing the little bit each of us does, adds up to big things.

The opportunity allowed candidates to express their different viewpoints on topics such as solar, waste management and growth in the area.

Drotos stated, "The landscape of the economy is changing and the best thing is to focus on prosperity."

At the end, each candidate closed the debate with final comments in hopes of gaining more votes for this year's election.

Kit Murray

Kit Murray joined Red Wing Republican Eagle in Aug. 2016, covering government, transportation and public safety. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and philosophy. 

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