When the questions were asked I answered.
If elected, what will your top three priorities be and why?
As a County Commissioner, my priorities include public safety, mental health services, and county parks. Every resident relies on our public safety network to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies, carry out the justice of the court system, and provide 24-hour operation of the emergency communication system. Mental health services need to match the community's needs as part of a more robust public safety program. Parks and trails build strong families and communities, attract economic development and growth, and preserve and protect our natural resources in their environments.
What actions would you take, if any, to address affordability of housing in your county?
The county government does not directly impact affordable housing through development, zoning, and codes like cities. The county makes Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding available to local non-profits to provide housing and assist local housing rehabilitation. I support this effort at the county level to revitalize available housing stock. Anoka County offers a variety of housing options, including apartments, condominiums, and single-family homes throughout its cities.
How would you ensure election laws do not create barriers to Minnesotan's freedom to vote while also ensuring safe and secure elections?
As an experienced head election judge at the city and county level, I am familiar with the election process and have actively worked to ensure safe and secure elections at the polls. State law governs the election process, and counties follow those laws. I believe in election integrity to defeat voter fraud. If the state should pass photo ID requirements, I support fee waivers to remove affordability obstacles to obtaining the ID without cost.
What do you see as the biggest challenges to mental health and social services in your county, and how would you address them?
I support using Anoka County's Mobile Crisis Response Teams through Canvas Health. However, we need to do more to evaluate if the incoming patient count matches available resources for the appropriate level of care. As cases rise in the community, so should the resources available. My priorities include providing suitable safe housing and facilitating access to mental health services during pre-trial incarceration to manage inmate health better.
If there were to be budget cuts during your term, what are the most essential county services that you would advocate to preserve?
Budget cuts vary based on the causation. Funding may shift from different departments during situations like the pandemic to provide adequate resources in an emerging crisis. My priorities include preserving funding for life safety, emergency services, communications, transportation, and behavioral health. Reducing costs may include cutting back on non-essential maintenance or delaying non-essential capital equipment and projects until the financial climate improves.