Crow Wing County District 5: Tom Nixon
Current employment: North Memorial Ambulance, CRMC Education, J&J Medical sales.
Public office experience: Deerwood City Council since 2006, Rural Health Advisory Committee appointed by Gov. Pawlenty 2006-2010
What are your county’s biggest challenges and what will you do to meet those challenges?
We all need to continue to be vigilant to what services we are utilizing to the fullest potential and what services are not justifying their cost. Currently, the county needs to maintain the course of reducing the size of government and costs. I will: vote to keep costs down, protect our land use rights and most of all listen to my constituents. Additionally, the reliance on grants is dangerous which will prove to be as harmful as the loss of cities’ LGA. I will favor a conservative budget that meets the needs of the constituents and prepares for the future.
How would you balance conflicts between encouraging businesses and preserving the county’s natural resources?
Conflict cannot be avoided entirely, but when leadership makes an objective decision based on what our ordinances currently state we all know what to expect. I will be a steward for the health of our county’s natural assets relying on staff to inform on legitimate risks. It has been my experience many times opinions and fear of the worst deter progress. Business is good for everyone; we all need to get behind that. Much of our economy is our natural resources and that is what draws people here so I encourage business to grow from that while not harming it.
Are there any specific programs you would cut or eliminate?
When we talk budgets, sensational percentages distort the actual cost. What it all boils down to is objectively sorting out what is necessary. I would gather the facts and act accordingly. Every program and position is important to someone, so I am ready to accept responsibility when a vote I cast upsets someone. Our highways, public safety and public health are necessary and need to be sufficient and efficient. Our human services have become growingly expensive and need to be reduced. The government budget has also become large and I feel the board itself can take a reduction in total compensation.