July 6, 2016 Update - The County Board on a 4-1 vote (Commissioner Walker was the only NO vote) will spend up to $20 million dollars of your money financing a new Law Enforcement Complex.  Why? 
 
The Department of Corrections pushed the Board to resolve concerns with an aging jail. Commissioners saw a window of opportunity to give the Sheriff a law enforcement building attached to the jail.  It was wrong to imply to the public that it was all mandated by the state.  While a modest jail may be needed; the Law Enforcement Complex was unnecessary.  Why not save money and resolve jail sanctions by just building a jail ? 

I could have voted for a reasonable jail-only project IF other essential public needs were considered as well.  Funding from retiring bonds used to fund the new jail project should also have been used to fund road projects and provide property tax relief.   In the end, the rest of the board was unwilling to listen, compromise, or consider using this money for other needs. 

My comments about this topic in a recent newspaper story were misleading so I will clarify.  The board majority has now spent the money and started building the Law Enforcement Complex.  I consistently voted no. 
 
However, once the building is built, it becomes another one of your county assets.  As such, I will take responsibility for properly managing it, along with all other county buildings, by voting (yes or no) on issues that involve contracting for food and clothing for inmates, electricity, increased staffing, maintenance, etc. 
 
I hope this clarifies why up until this point my vote has been no to build, but in the future it may be yes regarding facility upkeep and maintenance.
 

For your information - A promotional brochure (campaign flyer) attempting to justify building a new jail is being distributed in the community. It was prepared and printed using your tax dollars. However, NO tax funding was used to prepare this document.

 

Reasons why I voted NO to building an expensive new jail:

Commissioners are counting on you to believe NO levy increases will be required to pay for this project. Decide for yourself.

 

1. Old Jail should be demolished. This is one thing all commissioners agree. For many years, the old jail building was not properly maintained due to campaigns to build a new jail. It was easier to "justify" building something new if the old structure was falling apart. As a direct result, it has failed to meet the high standards of the Dept. of Corrections (DOC) and has become functionally obsolete.

 

2. NO outside, independent assessment of options. Jail options were only analyzed by county staff. NO independent review or analysis was conducted. It was agreed, however, that financial misstatements were made but never corrected. This was very disappointing. Treating or affecting all plans equally cannot occur if the only analysis is conducted by an interested party. Anyone who can reasonably benefit from the end result cannot be considered or viewed as impartial to only the facts.

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A proven leader for Chisago County, Lora Walker is committed to providing responsible leadership, guiding Chisago County into the future with vision, while respecting it's heritage.

We should seek to develop; not just grow in size. A delicate balance of affordable homes, provision of services to residents, reliable roads and accessible bridges, increased local employment, schools and retail, are all key to a successful, vibrant community. A community our children can look forward to living in 25 years from now. Working for the common good, as your Commissioner, I will continue to advocate for a community that is balanced and sustainable. 

We don't often talk about our County's financial position. I feel we must meet citizen's needs without taxing them out of their homes.  I understand the impact of taxes on families and businesses and the importance of government spending within its means, and have worked hard toward that goal.  

My work led the way with NO county levy increases 6-years in a row and tax levy DECREASES the past 2-years!  My service on the County Budget Committee produced strong fiscal management resulting in our county bond rating being upgraded twice in recent years, saving many thousands of dollars in bond interest payments.

I have supported fiscal policies that cut waste, prioritized needs, and fulfilled State and Federal mandates.  We deserve action-oriented, independent leadership; I believe I offer that leadership.   

Information contained on this website is provided in real time as events occur, to increase transparency to local government actions, and so taxpayers in our community can easily follow current events.  All informative posts are dated and can alter as time progresses and more relevant information becomes available.                                    

"Keep the Unity in our Community"

 

Representing Chisago County District 1

North Branch C, Chisago City, Lent Township, and North Chisago Lakes Township

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