Home / Meet Jim
I have lived in Olmsted County since 1979 and served on the County Board since 2002, overseeing many changes throughout that time. In my time here, I have gotten to know the community, developed relationships in order to help Olmsted County thrive, and been involved to help those changes take place. I am also an inaugural member of the DMCC board and serve as Treasurer and representative for the county.
Prior to moving here, I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated with a Plant Pathology degree in 1979. I started working at Seneca Foods in various jobs ending as the Plant Superintendent in 1991. Next, I moved to Crenlo as a purchasing agent until 1995 when I became a stay at home dad and farmer. I am married with three adult children.
Before serving on the County Board, I was on the Planning Advisory Board for Olmsted County in 1986 and was a supervisor on the Kalmar Town Board for many years. I was also a member on many other boards including RAEDI, RYHA, Knights of Columbus, and Channel One Board of Directors. I am a supporter of the Rochester Area Foundation with specific interest in their mission to increase affordable housing in Olmsted County.
As a town board member, I helped create an orderly annexation agreement between Kalmar and the cities of Rochester and Byron. This template is still used today and brought an end to one of the major disagreements between cities and townships in the 1990s. I have worked to emphasize that we are a diverse community and need both urban and rural styles of living for our area to thrive.
As County Commissioner, I have supported transportation in all forms and realize that our economy, whether urban or rural, depends on a well-functioning transportation system to efficiently move people and goods- specifically, the extension of the 55th St NW bridge by Essex Park with its associated bike lanes and walking trails. This year we will be opening a similar project by the new Pine Island school. I continue to advocate for a grade separation at the very dangerous intersection of Hwy 14 and county road 44 (formerly 104).
Further, though we have one of the highest recycling rates in the state (about 50%), we still need to manage our other waste. I supported our expansion of the waste-to-energy facility to produce steam and electricity from our waste stream with no impact on property taxes.
I support our human services staff in their mission and encourage testing and implementation of new ideas. This has been very successful as Olmsted County is recognized throughout the state as being innovative and finding creative solutions.
The County recently was awarded a large grant from the state to expand Oxbow Park. I have been a tireless advocate of our park system. It is important that we have a variety of recreational activities for people to enjoy in the county.
All of this has been accomplished with an eye on keeping property taxes in check. It is easy to promise many services and ideas if you have an unlimited checkbook which we do not have. I have been diligent in meeting required government mandates and county services while containing costs.