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Nystrom takes Crow Wing County Board reins

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Crow Wing County Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom was elected chair Tuesday as the board met in its first session of the new year.

Nystrom, who represents District 3, was previously vice chair. Traditionally, Crow Wing County rotates the chair position. Rosemary Franzen is vice chair.

Paul Koering, First-time commissioner, was sworn in by District Judge Earl Maus. Koering’s father, Bernard, held the bible for the swearing in ceremony.

The board looked at Association of Minnesota Counties’ policy committee appointments for commissioners covering areas from public safety to the environment and transportation among others. Commissioner Rosemary Franzen expressed interest in continuing to be involved with transportation. Koering said he’d refer to more senior members, but is interested in corrections.

Nystrom asked commissioners for feedback at what they’d like to be involved in, and take that under advisement for a later decision. In the meantime, commissioners will continue to serve on their existing commissions and Koering will assume former Commissioner Phil Trusty’s appointments.

In committee reports, Commissioner Paul Thiede said Crosslake was working on a proposal to potentially collaborate with the county on planning and zoning.

After the meeting, Koering said the first day — typically a short meeting — went well with his dad present for the ceremony and much of the meeting. Koering already sees differences from his time in the state Senate noting at the Capitol a lot of discussion is involved but action on decisions can come in a flurry at the end of a session, while the county board faces decisions at every meeting.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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