Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dennis Fink, Incumbent 1st District County Commissioner Candidate

Why are you running?

Counties administer the laws of the state and federal government at the local level. Our job is to assure equal access to every citizen. The only limit is our citizens’ resistance to more taxes. Herein lies the issue and the reason I am a candidate in 2010.

The economy is not recovering as projected. Even the optimists are visualizing a long slow return to normal and suggest that the status quo is not sustainable.

The answer is not our traditional “math problem” approach of increasing taxes and/or cutting spending. We have been doing that for some time now. The answer will require structural changes.

These changes will not take place in the county boardroom but in St. Paul and Washington D.C. If St. Louis County is to have a voice, we must be at the table to protect the good things and offer sensible, innovative, economic, and futurist suggestions. I’ve earned a seat at that table over the years. I also started a statewide County Futures Group whose charge is redesigning the future of county government. Ten areas ripe for change have already been developed. They are listed on my web-page: www.thinkfinkagain.com

Why care about mining and forestry?

[St. Louis County is a huge county, over 6,000 square miles [It is larger than three of our smallest states: Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island]. We have an abundance of natural resources including mining and lumber. Why should people in the core neighborhoods of Duluth be concerned with issues related to mining and forestry?]

St. Louis County’s economy is dependent on its natural resources. Our core community should indeed be concerned about the health and welfare of the region’s top two economic engines. The jobs these industries create, both the primary and secondary jobs, are vital to the entire county. And while jobs remain most important, the environmental health of our forests, tailing piles and ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and ground water is essential to maintaining the natural order and recreational value of the resources and our community.

Maintaining the appropriate balance within these extractive industries between the environment, economy and society should be of concern to every citizen of St. Louis County.