Two candidates are vying for your support to be the next Rice County District 2 commissioner, which represents all but two Northfield precincts in Rice County (see attached map).
The two candidates are:
- Galen Malecha
- Jeff Quinnell
Patch asked candidates to respond to a series of questions. Below, you will find responses from Malecha. You can also read responses from Quinnell here. Responses are written by the candidates and have not been edited by Patch.
In the coming weeks we'll run video interviews for candidates who are on Nov. 6's ballot in Northfield-related races. You can also find out more information about the candidates by checking out our election guide for all election-related stories.
Occupation: Manager, Northfield Eagles Club
Education: Inver Hills Community College, Crown College
Political/community involvement: Northfield Planning Commission, 1 year; Northfield City Council, 8 years; Rice County Commissioner, 6 years; Volunteer for many community organizations
Why are you running for a seat on the Rice County Board of Commissioners?
I am a fifth generation Rice County resident, and understand the nature of the county and its needs. I have always been passionate about local government and representing the needs of the residents. I want to continue to bring my experience to address the county’s issues.
What’s the most pressing issue facing Rice County Board of Commissioners?
Several issues are prominent; one does not take precedence. Commissioners must be able to balance these issues.
- Meeting obligations to Rice County citizens and responding to unfunded state mandates while balancing our $48 million budget.
- Determining how to fund $100 million in transportation needs.
- Appropriately responding to increased demand for social services.
What is something you think the current board has done well?
I am particularly proud of the work the current board has done in economic development. As one of the county board’s priorities, we have focused on opportunities that bring living wage jobs to the county and add to our tax base. We will continue to work to build relationships with the municipalities, existing businesses, and people who are interested in expanding or moving to this area. We must keep our finger on the pulse of emerging opportunities. Our economic development director ensures we are in a position to pursue appropriate opportunities.
What is something you think the current board hasn’t done well?
Our response to the social services issues was not as timely as it could have been.
What would you have tried to do differently?
As a board, we should have addressed the issue sooner than we did.
Why should constituents vote for you on Election Day? What makes you a better choice than your opponent?
I have 14 years combined experience in local government, where I have consistently advocated for the needs and desires of the people I represent. As a representative, I have been active with my constituents, listening to concerns and finding creative solutions. I have worked with my fellow commissioners to develop a board where we can hold diverse opinions and find ways to meet the needs of Rice County residents.
I am always willing to listen to the people I represent and share their concerns.