Nystrom to seek third term
Crow Wing County Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom announced Friday that she’ll run for re-election for District 3.
Nystrom, 59, has served on the Crow Wing County Board since January of 2007. She is seeking her third term.
“I am proud of our accomplishments,” she said in a news release. “We’re providing better services for less money. The county levy has been reduced for the past four years. It’s never been done before. Crow Wing County has the ninth lowest tax rate among Minnesota’s 87 counties. That’s impressive when the cost of doing business continues to climb.”
Nystrom cited tighter budgets and improved customer service as the major accomplishments of her tenure.
“When I was first elected to the county board Crow Wing County was staggering under a debt of $50 million dollars. Now, eight years later, we have steadily decreased the amount and expect to be nearly debt free in 2020,” Nystrom said. “We’ve also reduced the county work force 15 percent through retirements and attrition. Our employees are working harder and smarter.”
Despite shrinking budgets and a smaller work force, Crow Wing County customers report high marks for service, she said.
“Improved customer service was the impetus for reorganizing the Land Services and Community Services departments and it’s working,” Nystrom stated. “Our customers appreciate streamlined processing when they’re applying for permits, gathering information or seeking help. Many of our services can be accessed online.
“With 550 lakes, millions of trees and a population that quadruples during the summer months, Crow Wing County is everybody’s favorite place,” said Nystrom. “Our continued challenge is to protect the environment while improving our economic climate.”
After attending hundreds of public meetings as a journalist, Nystrom said by phone Friday that her eight years on the county board has given her an enhanced perspective.
“Now that I’m on the other side of the table ... I’m still astonished at how complicated, how difficult some of the decisions are. They’re very tough and they’re very challenging. When I look back at the track record I’m pleased. It’s a big job but I think we’ve done a really good job.”
She said the most satisfying work she has done on the board is to have been part of the selection process for the county’s senior management team.
“We have excellent managers,” she said.
Nystrom represents District 3 in Crow Wing County, which encompasses the cities of Baxter and Brainerd south of Washington Street and Highway 210.
Nystrom is co-chairman of Futures, a leadership and development statewide committee of the Association of Minnesota Counties. She also serves on the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission, Central Minnesota Community Corrections Executive Committee, Central Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Joint Powers Board, Minnesota Community Health Advisory Committee, as well as the Personnel, Extension, Community Health and Public Health Advisory Crow Wing County committees.
Nystrom is a journalist and worked for Minnesota Public Radio before her time on the county board. She and her husband, Bob, have lived in Baxter for 33 years. They are the parents of Thor, 29, Quinn, 28, and Will, 22.