Carl Ernst – Candidate for Canton City Council
Tell us about yourself: My name is Carl Ernst. Virginia and I have lived in Canton for almost 40 years. I am an avid sportsman and also enjoy flower gardening.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I have been employed at Harmony Enterprises for 37 years. There I work as a welder ,building a large variety of recycling compactors. Our compactors are sold worldwide and used to recycle a large variety of materials.
Tell us why you are running for office: Having served on the city council for three terms, I feel I am qualified to serve another. Canton’s small town and all the citizens know me here. They know they can talk to me at any time to give me their input or voice concerns. As a whole, the council does the best we can to keep Canton running while addressing the problems and making improvements to make it a better place. If reelected, I will do the best I can to serve the people of Canton. Remember to cast your vote in this election year, thanks for your support.
Cindy Shanks – Candidate for Canton City Council
Tell us about yourself: I have lived in the city of Canton for 37 years with my husband Mike. I have two children and their spouses, three grandchildren and three grand-dogs.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I work for an Avionics Company in the Quality Assurance Dept. I do the audits, calibration, documentation, etc. I have volunteered for various committees over the years. Currently I’m on the Canton Day Off Committee; to raise money for this event I volunteer every Tuesday night for bingo.
Tell us why you are running for office: I have years of experience working with the community and the city council. I believe in any office you may run for, you shall have the people/community number one in any decisions that need to be made. That’s why they chose you to be their spokesperson. You have to believe in your community as they do in you to make the right choices for the city. I enjoy supporting the community and city council and look forward to your support in this election.
Deb Swenson – Candidate for Harmony City Council
Tell us about yourself: My name is Deb Swenson. I have two children, Aubrey and Cory; and two grandchildren, Dacoda and Raen. I have lived in Harmony all of my adult life.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I currently work at Harmony Foods. I also serve on church council, zoning board, EDA board and personnel committee.
Tell us why you are running for office: I am running because I believe community involvement is important. I have served on the council for eight years and it and continues to be a tremendous learning experience. Limiting spending and keeping our taxes affordable is a high priority. Maintaining our infrastructure is of extreme importance. I feel that I am good listener when presented with information. I work in a unique position that makes me available on a regular basis to the members of our community. I want Harmony to be and stay a community that people want to live in and operate businesses.
Emily Ernest – Candidate for Houston City Council
Tell us about yourself: I moved to Houston at a young age, graduated from Houston High School, and purchased a home with my husband last year.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I graduated from the Social Work Program at Viterbo University and have been employed at Hiawatha Valley Mental Center since 2014 as a mental health practitioner.
Tell us why you are running for office: I want Houston to be an amazing place to live, work, and raise a family. I want to see the city and the people flourish. I know the residents of Houston have ideas on what they would like to see happen and I want to be that voice.
Marge Drake – Candidate for Lanesboro City Council
Tell us about yourself: I’m a lifelong resident of Lanesboro – born, raised, graduated from LHS, married, raised one daughter and three sons (all LHS graduates), aand retired here. “My heart belongs to Lanesboro.”
Tell us about your work/life experience: Lifelong member of Bethlehem Church, church council, volunteer, member of Root River Rec, raising thousands of dollars to benefit city parks; park board member, retired deputy clerk after 12 years of service, which was an open window, learning how city government works. Summary: Definitely an education.
Tell us why you are running for office: With many serious problems and decisions facing Lanesboro and its citizens, I wondered if it would be wiser to “run away” form this job rather than “running for it!” After being contacted by a number of people and serious consideration, I filed because I believe the council’s number one obligation is caring for our infrastructure; our basic needs. We also have other concerns which we must work toward in a thoughtful and intelligent way. Communicating with our constituents means listening to their concerns and ideas, but remember, there is no magic fix to our problems. Summary: Lanesboro’s needs first.
Bridget Harvey – Candidate for Lanesboro City Council
Tell us about yourself: I am from Saint Paul, but moved to Lanesboro 12 years ago. I am from a close knit family of eight kids. My perfect day is going for a run on the trail, spending time with family outside, visiting with neighbors and picking out a good book from the library.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I am a nurse practitioner in cardiovascular surgery. I have a husband of 16 years, four children, two grandchildren, and an exchange student. I enjoy public service and was in AmeriCorps, (domestic Peace Corps). I have participated in community service jobs when family and graduate school commitments permitted.
Tell us why you are running for office: I love Lanesboro and I am invested in this community. This is where we have chosen to raise our family. Our children have been at Lanesboro School since daycare, my husband is on the fire department for the past 12 years, and our church is here. There are big decisions to be made for Lanesboro and I want to represent my fellow townspeople. We need to focus on smart growth, infrastructure, and attracting young families to increase our tax base. I am interested in expanding community education, promoting collaboration with the school and greater utilization of our resources.
Tom Smith – Candidate for Lanesboro City Council
Tell us about yourself: Retired, married with four children and three grandchildren. Have been a Lanesboro resident since 1976. Homeowner and former business owner in Lanesboro. Have a BA degree in social science and business. Currently serve on city council.
Tell us about your work/life experience: Former owner of Anderson Greenhouse in Lanesboro. Employed at Fillmore County as jail administrator for 23 years – retired. Prior to coming to Lanesboro, was a probation agent for Department of Corrections, State of Minnesota and also an insurance agent.
Tell us why you are running for office: I have a deep and true interest in the future of Lanesboro. I see the need to attract new people and business to Lanesboro and keep those we have. My four years on the council has shown that we need to continue to develop our assets, such as tourism, arts, and school system, to attract people and business. I will strive to keep our spending and taxes at an acceptable level. Much work needs to be done and I feel my experience on the council making Lanesboro an affordable place to live and work makes me an ideal candidate.
Chris Grindland – Candidate for Peterson City Council
Tell us about yourself: I was born and raised in Peterson and graduated from Rushford-Peterson high school. After graduation I joined the Air Force where I spent 20 years serving our country, both stateside and overseas. After retiring from service, I now hold the position of Human Resource Coordinator at Menards.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I began my Air Force career as Military Police. From there, I attended the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy, where I earned the title of Special Agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. I have completed several deployments and have performed counter-intelligence missions throughout Europe and Africa.
Tell us why you are running for office: I have lived all over the world, but Peterson has always been my home. Now that my service to our country has ended, I am living back in the town within the small community that has known me since I was a child. I am running for office to keep Peterson the best place to raise a family and continue to foster the strong sense of community we have here. My father served on the city council for several years and now it’s my turn to serve the city of Peterson.
Donald “Lewie” Olson – Candidate for Peterson City Council
Tell us about yourself: I’ve lived in Peterson for most of my life, as I moved here when I was 13-years-old. I lost my father the year after. I enlisted and served in the Army, and am a member of the Peterson Legion. I previously worked many years for the City of Peterson.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I’ve worked a variety of jobs throughout my life, including as a truck driver, cab driver, and bus driver, worked on a turkey farm, and worked for the City of Peterson.
Tell us why you are running for office: I am running for office because I think we need a change in the city council. I believe that city government should be open and honest, and decisions should be made at open public meetings.
Loren Rue – Candidate for Peterson City Council
Tell us about yourself: At 73, I enjoy the involvement in community, such as past president of RP Lions Club, Peterson City Council, Zoning Administrator, president of Friends of Peterson, as well as volunteering to glean vegetables for R-P Schools, Rushford Food Shelves and Channel One Food Bank
Tell us about your work/life experience: After attending Minnesota School of Business and U of M for accounting, I have spent my working years as office manager, accounting controller and purchasing department manager. I continue to enjoy working as the owner of Purchasing Power.
Tell us why you are running for office: I strive to be a good listener with an open mind, approaching each issue fairly with outcomes that will reach positively into the future. The council is currently involved with many projects, completion of County 25, mapping of all city utilities, protection of the city water system, upgrading capital equipment and bringing properties into compliance with the zoning ordinances. I feel a responsibility to see these completed and to work on future items such as the city park upgrade, the school property and repaving city streets.
David Collett – Candidate for Preston City Council
Tell us about yourself: I am 72-years-old and have lived in Preston since 1992. I have five children and am a high school graduate. I’ve lived in Preston most of my life.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I worked in construction, served two years in the Army, and have been farming since 1968. Worked for auction company for 20+ years, drove truck for Root River Hardwoods and Mehmert Tiling.
Tell us why you are running for office:I want to promote Preston businesses, would like to see Preston grow, be responsible with spending, and keep taxes as low as possible.
David Harrison – Candidate for Preston City Council
Tell us about yourself: My name is David Harrison. I live in Preston with my family. I am married to Nancy Harrison and we have three sons; Nathaniel, Christian and Michael, a senior at Fillmore Central. We are active members of Christ Lutheran Church.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I am a 1994 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and I am currently the chef at Intermission Restaurant. I am also a board member of the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
Tell us why you are running for office: I am running for another term as your city council representative because I believe that my experiences as a business owner, family man, and nine years on the council help me to make decisions that are in the best interest of the people of Preston. I have served on the following boards for the city of Preston: Park Board, Tourism, Planning and Zoning, and EDA. I hope to continue to serve as a member of the Preston City Council. Thank you.
Holly Zuck – Candidate for Preston City Council
Tell us about yourself: I first came to Preston in September 2000 where I was the general manager of Country Trails Inn & Suites. My husband, Kevin and I have resided in Preston since July 2003. What do we enjoy most about Preston? The feeling of family, growth, and stability.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I am a management recruiter with Kwik Trip, Inc. I have served on EDA and Planning and Zoning, and continue to serve on Tourism Board. I also served on PACCA and the Preston Chamber and have volunteered at many community events, including Lions Club and ECFE events.
Tell us why you are running for office: Preston’s infrastructure is handled locally. When a situation occurs, staff is available to correct the problem quickly and efficiently. Upgrades are constantly needed and how to pay for the upgrades is of concern. As a tax payer, I would like to explore revenue sources other than increasing taxes or utility rates.
Preston has an established and active EDA. Through their efforts the Trout Center, Casey’s General Store, Family Dollar and the Industrial Park came to be. We need to continue supporting their efforts, along with Planning/Zoning and other groups to aid in Preston’s growth.
Michael Ebner – Candidate for Rushford Village City Council
Tell us about yourself: My name is Michael Ebner. My wife, Patty and I are life-long residents of the Rushford area. We have two children: Bobby and wife Jackie, and son Josh live in Goodhue, Minn., and our youngest son, Bradley lives in Rochester, Minn.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I am employed at Tri-County Electric. Have served on Rushford’s Fire Department and Ambulance Service, Planning and Electrical Commissions. Also served on Rushford Lutheran Church Council. Presently serving on Planning & Zoning for Rushford Village.
Tell us why you are running for office: After Patty and I moved into Rushford Village in July of 2015, I was asked to fill a vacancy on the Village Planning and Zoning. While working with the great staff, employees and council, I felt like I wanted to take a bigger role in Rushford Village government. I also felt that my experience of working with city of Rushford, Peterson, and surrounding townships where I served as Rushford fire chief for nine years might be helpful.
Jessy Betts – Candidate for Spring Valley City Council
Tell us about yourself: I have lived in Spring Valley for the majority of my life. I graduated from Kingsland High School. I am married with three fantastic children. My wife and I are both employed within Spring Valley while my children are enrolled in the Kingsland School District.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I received a bachelor’s degree from Winona State University, majoring in criminal justice, minor in sociology. During school, I was youth mentor for at-risk children. Since 2013, I have been a deputy for Fillmore County. I also serve as a board member for the Spring Valley Public Library.
Tell us why you are running for office: I enjoy being involved in the community and helping out where I can. Along with day to day upkeep a council member will be required to make tough decisions that affect all city residents. If elected, I look forward to the process of listening to citizens, taking all available information, and doing what is best for the residents of Spring Valley.
Gerald Jacobson Sr. – Candidate for Wykoff City Council
Tell us about yourself: I’ve lived in Fillmore County since 1952. I was married in August 1966 to Lois, who passed away in March 1998. I have two children, Leanne Schnabl, who lives in Merrill, Wis., and Gerald Jr., who lives in St. Louis Park, Minn. I graduated from Wykoff High School in 1959.
Tell us about your work/life experience: I worked in Wykoff 51 years, retired from the fire department in 2004 after 37 years, was on Wykoff Ambulance a few years, and was a member of Wykoff Area Jaycees. I’ve been a homeowner since 1966 and am a charter member of the board of directors of Wykoff Area Historical Society (WAHS).
Tell us why you are running for office: I think it’s time to give something back to the community. I feel I have experience to know about some of the city issues and will be a valuable leader of the City of Wykoff.