LETTER: Jessup: Seeking a better functioning county board

To the Editor:

 

The current Ramsey County Board of Commissioners is in a questionable condition to serve the public well. I am running for county commissioner in District 1 because I want to improve the board’s governance so it better represents area residents. Here’s how:

First, I value accessibility and will push for evening board meetings. Currently, the board meets Tuesday mornings. These meetings are not well attended by the public, and the board desperately needs public input — an evening meeting time would be more conducive to public engagement.

Second, I believe diverse ideas are foundational to good decision-making. A recent Pioneer Press article pointed out that there was minimal public debate and not a single “no” vote at board meetings from January to June 2019.  

Healthy boards typically generate at least a few split votes. Consistently one-sided tallies indicate a narrow consideration of ideas. I will add balance and breadth to board discussions.

Third, I value commitment. Ramsey County breached its agreement with Arden Hills on the Rice Creek Commons development, an agreement the county reaffirmed just last September. Now Ramsey County has sued the city. This is wrong; taxpayers are losing while lawyers win. I will take a leadership role in resolving this conflict.

I ask for residents’ votes in the Aug. 13 primary. I will bring leadership, integrity and collaboration to this position and will work hard to build access, transparency, dialogue and trust between residents, and city and county leaders. We can do better!

 

Randy Jessup 

Ramsey County District 1 

Commissioner candidate 

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