Election Guide: Mike Ankeny for District 5 County Commissioner

Published 10:41 am Friday, October 29, 2010

Mike Ankeny, Incumbent Commissioner District 5

Note: Ankeny is running unopposed

Q. When facing budget deficits, county board members often have to choose between increasing taxes and reducing services to the
public. How would you find a balance between the two?

A. I would say that everyone is happy with the services that are provided now. I believe no one really would care to give services up. This is a reality that we are all facing. I’d say that no one likes tax increases. Trying to keep tax increases at a minimum is a very challenging task. Hopefully we can find a balance that is acceptable.

Q. After the state of Minnesota reduced funding to the Sentenced to Serve Program, the county began funding it. Do you think the county should continue to do so?

A. The state of Minnesota reduced funding for this program. The state still pays a portion of the STS program. The majority is on the county. The STS program does provide many labor saving expenses for the county. I think that this is a program the does work. The question will be, is this a service that we can live without?

Q. The county board will soon have to determine the future location of the Health and Human Services office. The board could renew the lease at Oak Park Mall, renovate space at the Mower County Government center or build a new home for the offices on the “Robbins block.” Which options would you support and why?

A.I would say that remodeling the building that we already have is the best choice. The question is when? The economy is down, construction prices are good and interest is low. But times are tough for the voters too. Who knows the future of Oak Park Mall? They haven’t paid their taxes, we are spending money on a building that isn’t ours, they haven’t paid for snow removal from last winter, etc. We rent 20,000 square feet, The existing building will have 23,000 square feet available. We still have to maintain, heat, and cool the existing building.

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Q. The county board is looking into the possibility of joining forces with Steele and Rice counties to regionally house Mower County’s dispatch services. Would you support this, and why?
A. This is being researched. This is a joint study between the city/county and a grant received from the Minnesota chamber of commerce.  It makes sense to at least  study this before any LEC remodeling plans are made. The key to the whole process is that 1. Will it save the county/city money? 2.The level of service must at least remain the same or increase.

Q. What skills do you have that you think are unique and make you stand out as a candidate?
A. I have a long business background, common sense approach, and feel it is an honor to serve the residents of Mower County.

Q. What other issue or issues are important to you as a candidate, and what policies do you favor in these areas?
A. Budget, Cities/County working together.