Kindra Ramaker for County Commissioner – Post Bulletin

The primary election for Olmsted County Commissioner’s District 4 will be held on Tuesday, August 9. This election deserves attention. The Olmsted Co government administers nearly $300 million a year. Commissioners make decisions about land use, transportation, housing, our environment, and many other things that affect our lives.

Of the 4 candidates vying for District 4, only one, Kindra Ramaker, is qualified and motivated to bring about positive change in our county.

Kindra Ramaker is a resident of Stewartville who works at the Mayo Clinic as a project manager. She holds a master’s degree in public affairs. She chaired the Olmsted Co Human Rights Commission and served on two other community boards. Because of this volunteer work, she is intimately aware of the most difficult issues facing the people of our county. At last week’s Candidates Forum, she was the only candidate who was prepared, knowledgeable and shared ideas on how best to serve our county. She stressed the importance of innovation and public-private partnerships, particularly in the areas of health and social services and transport. Ramaker is forward-thinking in considering the impact of policies on the natural world around us.

Steve Connelly is probably best known as the guy who cut down the trees containing 25 great blue heron nests – about half of the blue heron nesting site that Save the Rookery, a local citizens’ group, is working to preserve. Connelly touted his role as an elected official with the Olmsted Co Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). The mission of the SWCD is to promote the protection of natural resources. In Connelly’s 22 years with SWCD, more than 50 bodies of water have been added to Olmsted Co’s disabled list. It’s laughable that Connelly cites his “conservation experience” as the reason he should occupy the post of commissioner.

Brian Mueller served on Rochester Township Council for 18 years before being defeated last March. I expected him to have a lot to say about the issues affecting our region. At last week’s nominee forum, instead of answering questions, Mueller repeatedly said, “I have no comment on that.” Candidates who refuse to tell voters where they stand on public issues should not be elected.

Bill Pirkl did not hold elected office and did not attend last week’s Candidates Forum.

I intend to vote for Kindra Ramaker for County Commissioner. It will help make our county a better place to live.

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