Meyer's thoughful decision making
From the Winona Post 9/7/2022
I met Chris Meyer five years ago, when we were both participating in a program to learn and practice intentional listening and civil discourse. Chris cares deeply about our community here in Winona. Despite the incivility and rancor, I know she experiences as a county commissioner, she is patient, thoughtful, and treats her colleagues with respect. She works hard, does her research, considers the opinions of others, and makes decisions for the greatest public good.
Chris has a positive vision and goals for us to all live safely and thrive. She leads with tolerance and common sense.
I support re-electing Chris Meyer as District One county commissioner.
Linda Wilfahrt, Winona
Meyer’s thoughtful decision-making
From the Winona Post, 9/7/2022
I met Chris Meyer five years ago, when we were both participating in a program to learn and practice intentional listening and civil discourse. Chris cares deeply about our community here in Winona. Despite the incivility and rancor, I know she experiences as a county commissioner, she is patient, thoughtful, and treats her colleagues with respect. She works hard, does her research, considers the opinions of others, and makes decisions for the greatest public good. Chris has a positive vision and goals for us to all live safely and thrive. She leads with tolerance and common sense. I support re-electing Chris Meyer as District One county commissioner.
Linda Wilfahrt, Winona
From the Winona Daily News, August 31, 2022
I first met Chris Meyer in 2015 when we attended a week-long Blandin Foundation Rural Leadership training seminar. Chris’ passion and commitment to the Winona area was evident from the beginning.
One of my favorite things about Chris is that she takes times to listen, think and reflect, rather than jumping on a partisan bandwagon. This can be frustrating to her opponents, both on the right and left, who might prefer that she react in an ideological fashion to the question or problem at hand.
Chris has listened carefully to my, and other citizens, concerns about the sometimes dangerously low staffing levels in some county departments. We all saw the impact of inadequate staffing during the recent pandemic. She has become a tireless advocate for adequate staff because Chris understands that our community is only as strong as the most vulnerable among us.
Chris is now a leader on several committees working to provide training and information for referral agencies on how county residents can access help when needed. She has also recently engaged the full board to review the past several years of state audits. She is striving to empower the interim administrator to correct issues identified in these audits related to deficient controls on federal Medicaid program eligibility that were because of too few Health and Human Services employees.
Chris has been an excellent county commissioner and she should be re-elected. She understands the needs of the community, is realistic about budget constraints, and is knowledgeable about the laws and requirements that face Minnesota counties. Let’s re-elect Chris Meyer.
Marcia Hintz, Winona
From the Winona Daily News, 8/28/2022
I support Chris Meyer as county commissioner. She has been working hard during her four-year mandate already, to effectively support the needs of Winona County residents (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).
I appreciated then her commitment to following public health protocols for controlling the spreading of the deadly infection, rather than relying on unscientific ideas that were proposed by some incompetent leaders. Chris operates within this rational framework, and she is rigorous, transparent in fulfilling her responsibilities as a commissioner. She is always available to hear her constituents’ opinions and she listens and responds to dissenting thoughts with distinctive grace and humility.
The latter stems from the recognition that any decision will never be perfect, yet it is the outcome of a rational process that aims at the welfare of a community rather than a few individuals. This combination of traits such as education, dedication to community and values like humility, make (in my opinion) a good leader. I think that Chris Meyer embodies these attributes.
Quality of life for all stands at the top of her goals because she understands that this kind of quality is unattainable without effective approaches that boost environmental sustainability, through stewardship and conservation of natural resources (soil, water, air, energy). Therefore, I applaud her for opposing requests about increasing the cap for animal units in farms of our county, or for expanding silica sand mining operations, and similar extractive ventures. Meyer understands that these are relevant economic activities though; however, she recognizes that these should be highly regulated due to the fragility of the territory we all inhabit here in Winona County.
For these reasons I think Chris Meyer is deserving to be re-elected on November 8.
Bruno Borsari, Winona
From the Winona Daily News, 8/20/2022
I have followed Commissioner Chris Meyer’s work on the county board and appreciate her thorough knowledge of the details.
She understands that parts of the county have high percentages of well contamination and that incorporating best farming practices could have a positive impact on ground and surface water, reducing soil erosion, and ultimately keeping our ground water safe to drink for future generations. Meyer has proposed to increase the county SWCD budget to be in line with smaller less populated counties. Doing so could add staff to a depleted SWCD and enable workers to apply for and obtain more grants, and state and federal dollars that will help landowners put best practices to work on their land.
Prior to the board, while on the Planning Commission she addressed the Frac Sand debate using data that showed the industry would only benefit a very few people, while lowering property values on nearby ownerships and along trucking routes, while damaging the surrounding environment.
Chris understood the concerns with chronic wasting disease (CWD) and the potential negative impact the disease could have on the county deer population and encouraged state officials to take action.
She knows our Minnesota values include caring for the environment, that farmers are in a tough industry and need our help and support to be the stewards of the land that they want to be, and that our trout streams are a precious resource. She has my vote and I encourage all her constituents to vote for her.
Eric Nelson, Winona
Read the full story here or the YouTube video of Chris's interview.
Winona Daily News, Rachel Mergen, 1/21/2022
: What made you want to work in your current position?
A: “Well, if we think of my current position as being a county commissioner, then it’s because I care.
“Now, being an elected official working in the community is really different than what I did for my job for 30 years. I wrote software and I was a technical expert for IT projects. And, in software, it either works or it doesn’t and it’s really not someone’s opinion, but it’s not like that in public life. Everyone has an opinion. They don’t often correspond to what you think is the thing that might have been successful.
“But I will say that the drive to use data, to take whatever research, whatever information that you have and use that to make the best possible decision rather than to base your decisions on an etiology is that technical part of my job that I’ve really tried to bring to being a county commissioner.
“Now, I will say that aside from that, I also believe that government is here to help people. In my job at General Mills, I traveled to India. I went to several countries in South America, places where you can’t drink the tap water and places where infrastructure like the sewage, electricity, telephone, the streets, that stuff barely works or is completely nonexistent and where people live on the sidewalks and ditches alongside of the roads. And we have so much more than that here in the U.S. Because I think that collectively, we can help everyone to be lifted up in our society.
“So that is my vision that government is here to help people. And if I think about programs that we do, some of them that I’ve learned about in the time that I’ve spent with the county, it’s not just that they’re the right thing to do. It’s not just that they help people. It’s that they also have a positive return. By giving somebody help here to get off their addiction, you save so much later in terms of services that they might require and not just pain that they and their families might experience. So my goal is really that I want to be wise but also compassionate in the use of our resources.”
Read the full story here.
Chris Meyer elected Winona County Board chair
Winona Daily News
Jan 13, 2022
Chris Meyer, elected as the new Winona County Board chair, has had plenty of local government experience to get to this point.
She previously served as a member of the county Parks and Environmental committee, as well as the county planning commission.
During her time on the planning commission is when Meyer decided to take things one step further.
“Jim Pomeroy, the former District One county commissioner, asked me if I’d be interested in running several years prior to my decision,” Meyer said. “I became interested because while people think that state and federal office hold greater importance, I realized that at the local level there is an immediate impact on one’s neighbors.”
Meyer: Why I support the new jail plan
You can read the full editorial here .
Winona Post, Dec 29, 2020
I am County Commissioner Chris Meyer, representing District 1 of Winona County on the Winona County Board. The following statement is mine alone.
Many people have reached out to me with concerns about the Winona County jail replacement project, and I wanted to share some of the main reasons I believe we must move forward. I don’t want to overbuild the jail. I definitely want the county to provide mental health services and social supports to help people stay out of jail. I recognize the injustice and racism that exists in the criminal justice system. It angers me, as I think it does many of the people who are coming forward. Having said that, there are compelling reasons for the jail to be built. I hope to separate the social justice and the criminal justice issues that citizens have expressed surrounding the jail project so we make progress on both.
A Jail Design and Construction Committee has been meeting for a year and provided us four options at the board meeting of December 22. The committee’s recommendation, which is contained in the board agenda packet available now online, is that the board adopt a “jail only” option. It will be the bare minimum with 53 cells (80 bed total with double bunking cells) and space for programming. It proposes subsequent phases to allow discussion about juvenile beds, updates to our dispatch center, space considerations for the Winona Police Department, and health and safety issues with the existing Law Enforcement Center. The cost of the “jail only” option will be between $18-20 million.
Endorsement from the Winona Daily News
Read the full article here.
Winona Daily News endorsements: Meyer, Kovecsi and Ward for the county board
There’s no shortage of hot-button issues that await the next Winona County Board.
Something needs to be done about the Winona County Jail. A proposed feedlot expansion could bring back discussion of the Animal Unit cap. And the legality of the frac sand ban is, again, under judicial review.
Needless to say, there’s going to be some debate.
Winona County needs commissioners who are going to be fair, who do their homework and who represent the needs of their constituents. There needs to be a mix of push and pull when it comes to what the county can and can’t do in providing social services, in spurring economic development and in maintaining infrastructure.
With that in mind, we are endorsing Chris Meyer in the 1st District, Marie Kovecsi in the 2nd District and Marcia Ward in the 5th District.
1st District: Chris Meyer
Chris Meyer grew up on a dairy farm, worked in finance for a Fortune 500 company and now works part-time on sustainability and energy efficiency efforts. Those experiences have given her a pretty good perspective with which to tackle the various issues that come before our county commissioners.
But if there’s something she didn’t know all too well, we have no doubt that Meyer will do the research necessary. That’s what she’s done on the Winona County Planning Commission and, before that, the Winona County Parks and Environment Commission. So impressive was her preparedness that outgoing 1st District commissioner Jim Pomeroy endorsed her as his replacement.
While Meyer said the board needs to be efficient with taxpayers’ money, she doesn’t think that constantly cutting programs and lowering taxes is a vision. She wants to emphasize economic development and enter Winona County into regional partnerships to take advantage of grant money for transit projects or to find a way to benefit from Rochester’s Destination Medical Center initiative.
“There’s a lot of cutting that we’ve already done,” she said. “We should try some other strategies to increase our tax base and increase our growth.”
Read the full letter to the editor in the Winona Daily News here
I have known Chris Meyer for several years. I am so impressed with how she researches all of the issues facing Winona County. As a member of the Parks and Environmental Committee and more recently as a member of the Winona County Planning Commission, Chris has demonstrated that she is very up to the hard work that she would be involved with as a Winona County Commissioner. Chris has a calm demeanor and a very respectful attitude. Chris is a consensus builder utilizing logic and a reasonable approach to solving problems. Join me in voting for Chris Meyer for Winona County Commissioner District 1.
James Pomeroy, Winona
Editor's note: James Pomeroy is the outgoing District 1 commissioner on the Winona County Board.