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CROW WING COUNTY BOARD: Thiede talks about redistricting

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

The Crow Wing County Board expects to begin talks about redistricting. 

Board Chairman Paul Thiede said Tuesday a subcommittee with himself, Commissioner Rosemary Franzen and Auditor-Treasurer Laureen Borden would meet on the subject. 

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Commissioner Phil Trusty questioned if the issue shouldn’t be placed before the board’s Committee of the Whole first. Board members meet as the committee once a month to discuss issues more in depth or have more time for presentations.Thiede said the subcommittee could bring the information to the Committee of the Whole. 

Borden said Deborah Erickson, county elections coordinator and previous auditor, has been working on the redistricting and will be able to present information. 

Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom said she thought Thiede would ask for volunteers. Thiede said he was talking to Franzen at the time and offered it to her, but didn’t have a problem if the board wanted to realign the subcommittee. 

Nystrom said Franzen and Thiede already serve on the two most important committees — budget and personnel. Thiede said he didn’t realize the decision would be controversial, adding he had no objection to adding Nystrom to the subcommittee. Nystrom said she’d like to serve. 

In other business, the board:

Previously stated it would support Thiede’s campaign for second vice president with the Association of Minnesota Counties. Thiede said he didn’t see an expense to the county other than a few letters and said he had a desire to see AMC maintain a strong presence. Thiede said rural counties are under-represented. Commissioners agreed it was in the county’s interest to have someone who would advocate for rural counties.

Thiede asked what commissioners thought would be eligible for expense reimbursement. Administrator Tim Houle said expenses could be submitted and the board could consider them individually. Borden said the board could also pass a motion to support mileage for attendance. Nystrom said board members support Thiede’s candidacy but would stop short of saying they’d pay for everything. Trusty said he didn’t have problems supporting with per diem and expenses but not campaigning. 

“You better cancel your TV ads,” Commissioner Doug Houge joked.

Was presented with a Mississippi Headwaters Board guidebook by Thiede, a glossy coffee-table like book which will be available in book stores soon. Thiede is a member of the headwaters board. 

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5852.

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