Election 2022: County Commissioner
Women Candidates for Olmsted County Commissioner

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Catherine Davis, Candidate for Olmsted County District 5 Commissioner

Why are you running?
I’m running Olmsted County Commissioner District 5 because I care about Olmsted County citizens. As a 30-year resident, I have been actively involved in our community, learning about and working towards a county that works for us all.  I want to take my career and volunteer experience to the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners to build on previous work as well as reimagine how we deliver services to meet everyone’s needs.   

What are your top two priorities if elected?
My top two priorities are effective and efficient government and strengthening our communities so we are inclusive for all citizens.  I will examine how we are investing tax dollars to assure we are allocating resources responsibly. I will be an advocate for the implementation of racism as a public health issue recommendations, assistance for our people so everyone can live life to their fullest potential and working collaboratively to create more affordable housing. 

What have you learned as a candidate?
The top thing I’ve learned is that our residents care about our community.  Many residents are also unaware of the work the County does to support people, infrastructure, and our environment.  For me, this campaign has created an opportunity to share what the county does, the role of the County Commissioner, and how important it is to elect individuals who want to listen, include, and represent their constituents.

 

Sheila Kiscaden, Candidate for Olmsted County District 6 Commissioner

Why are you running?
After a long public service career, including ten years on the County Board, I had planned to retire this year. My plans changed when four other Board colleagues announced their retirements. Driven by the desire to provide continuity and an orderly transition, I decided to stand for re-election. I believe my knowledge and experience will be valuable for the decisions, oversight, and evaluation of services the county provides to our residents and communities. 

What are my top two priorities?
What I hear from constituents and community organizations is that Olmsted County’s performance generally meets resident’s expectations.  However, more attention, innovation and solutions are needed to increase the supply and affordability of housing for our residents, and to address the increased demand for mental health prevention and treatment services, especially services for children and adolescents. 

What have I learned as a candidate?
Olmsted County Government is nearly invisible to the average resident, despite the broad array of services that it provides.  Olmsted County is consistently recognized as a leader in delivery of services from parks and waste management to corrections, public health and human services. It achieves the highest financial management ratings; has a wide variety of community partners; is recognized as an innovator. If Olmsted County’s solid performance result in its invisibility, that’s actually a good sign.

 

Laurel Podulke, Candidate for Olmsted County District 1 Commissioner

Why are you running?
I am running for Olmsted County Commissioner because I believe in the power of public service to improve the everyday lives of people. As a dedicated community leader, I bring strong collaborative skills, optimistic thinking, and creative problem solving to local government. With 20 years of experience in education, healthcare, volunteerism, and small business, I understand the importance of working together to get things done. 

What are your top two priorities if elected?
1. Affordable Housing. Olmsted County is experiencing a critical housing shortage. The solution requires a long-range effort on the part of state, city, and county leadership to work with builders, business leaders, non-profits, and the greater community to prioritize affordable housing for all Olmsted County residents. 

2. Public Safety. Law enforcement, emergency preparedness, and public safety are critical services Olmsted County provides to the community. When elected I will use my experience as a Mayo Clinic Safety Advocate and emergency preparedness trainer, as well as my interest in community organizing, to support all public safety initiatives.

What have you learned as a candidate?
When I decided to run for public office I set out to learn everything I could about Olmsted County. I joined numerous boards, commissions, and local non-profits. I earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. I met regularly with local leaders, toured Olmsted County’s facilities, followed the local news closely and watched every County Board meeting. But the true education began when I started door knocking. So far, I have visited 5000 homes and talked with 1000 neighbors. I am well poised to govern because I have in-depth knowledge of every District One neighborhood, and I know what’s on the minds of voters.

 

Kindra Ramaker, Candidate for Olmsted County District 4 Commissioner

Why are you running?
I’m running so that the people in District 4 have an elected leader who is qualified to help solve problems and make decisions on the full scope of County responsibilities, not just someone who knows about roads and land development.  I’m running to ensure that someone brings a voice to the problems happening in our County in the care economy, and who can advocate for solving those issues.

What are your top two priorities if elected?
First –  I will prioritize policy that will help solve the issues in our care economy, while staying in the lane of what the government should get involved with.

Second – Government policies, or poor government policies are many times what undermines the social and environmental progress that is needed.  I intend to spend time understanding why Olmsted County’s land use policies are not guided by principles of environmentalism.  

What have I learned as a candidate?
As a candidate, every day, I learn that perseverance, patience, and passion for community are the fuel you need to keep going through the grueling campaign process.  A mentor once said to me, “Kindra, good leaders know what to do even when they don’t know what to do – now WHAT are you going to do about this?”  That advice served me well as a first time candidate.

 

Michelle Rossman, Candidate for Olmsted County District 5 Commissioner

Why are you running?
I want to apply my skills, life experience and commitment to giving back to Olmsted County in the role of County Commissioner.  Fiscal responsibility, open communication, transparency in decision making, strategic planning and the ability to combine data insights with citizen feedback are attributes that I will apply in county government decisions in representing District 5. My experience as a mom,  small business owner, community volunteer and agricultural systems expert will be valuable in this role.

What are your top two priorities?
A priority is to listen to and learn from the residents of District 5.  As their representative in county government discussions, it will be imperative to clearly understand and be able to articulate their needs.  Building relationships and collaborative partnerships to ensure the resources are available to support the needed infrastructure in our county is another priority.  Olmsted County is thriving and a strategic vision must be maintained to manage the infrastructure and land use needs. 

What have you learned as a candidate?
As I”ve visited with fellow residents, county staff and elected officials I’ve learned that the programs and services provided by Olmsted County are extensive and diverse.  Creative thinking, collaborative partnerships and revenue streams and input from residents will all play a role as we work together to support the long-term vision for a county in which residents can flourish.

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