New Candidates Seek Election
Printed in the 6/4/2018 Edition of the Winona Post (Click here for the full article)
Two experienced candidates are vying to replacing outgoing County Board member Jim Pomeroy: Winona County Planning Commission member Chris Meyer and former Winona City Council member Paul Double.
Double and Meyer compete for Pomeroy’s seat
For the last 10 years, Jim Pomeroy has represented District One (eastern Winona) on the Winona County Board, often acting as a moderate voice and a swing vote on the sometimes-divided board. In late April, he announced he will not seek re-election, and now Meyer and Double are running for his seat.
Double is a local businessman who served a term on the Winona City Council before being defeated by Paul Schollmeier by a 17-point margin in 2016. Coincidentally, Schollmeier and Meyer are married. As a council member and candidate, Double opposed additional regulations on frac sand facilities, criticized the city’s use of stormwater fees to fund rain gardens, and proposed that the city swap land in Lake Park with the school district for the construction of a new public elementary school.
Meyer has spent the last two-and-a-half years serving on the county’s Planning Commission, where she voted for the frac sand ban, scrutinized feedlot expansions, and said that the government needs to do more to reduce nitrate pollution in drinking water. Prior to that, she served on the county’s Parks and Environment Committee. Meyer was a donor to County Board member Marie Kovecsi’s 2014 campaign.
Asked why she is running, Meyer pointed to Pomeroy’s example. “He’s been really even-handed and respectful and thoughtful and focused on the issues, and I would really like to follow in that sort of model of service,” she said. On policy, Meyer stated, “Sustainability and sustainable development is really the core of what I want for this county for the future.” She talked about how she left her hometown on the Iron Range because there was no economic opportunity. Winona County is fortunate to have both natural beauty and a diversified economy with jobs that can support people, she stated. Asked what the county should do about its jail, Meyer said she would need to learn more about the issue. She is sympathetic to investing in preventative criminal justice programs aimed at reducing incarceration and recidivism. “Are there things we should be doing that could reduce future costs if we were able to invest in them now?” Meyer asked, adding, “Reacting is a lot more expensive.”
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