Letters to the editor issued Nov. 1, 2006

Watched Pott from beginning
To the editor:

I was the police chief in Stillwater when Steve Pott started his law enforcement career. I have had the opportunity to watch Steve as he advanced throughout his career, and develop into an exceptional leader. I was elected to the Washington County Board after serving as mayor of Stillwater. One of my committee assignments was to serve on the Metropolitan Radio Board. Steve represented Washington County in the 800 MHz planning process. Steve worked very hard to influence the design of the system so it would meet the needs of Washington County. He was willing to take a position that was good for Washington County, even though it was not popular with the planning group. Steve is a person who will stand up for what is right, and will continue to work hard for you as sheriff.
Wally Abrahamson
Former Washington County commissioner

Molnau for LeClair
To the editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank your State Senator, Brian LeClair, for his "yes" vote on the 2003 Pawlenty/Molnau Transportation Funding Initiative. One of the most important safety and preservation projects we were then able to fund was the addition of a third lane of traffic on I-94 just west of Highway 120 in Washington County.
That project, completed on time in December 2005, will improve mobility and safety on this bottleneck area of I-94 near 3M that carries 100,000 vehicles per day and had seen 151 crashes (43 percent rear end collisions) from 2000-02.
The new third lane, along with the resurfacing and bridge work, provides a smoother riding surface and adds years of use to this aging roadway.
Senator LeClair was there for us when we needed the votes to pass our bill in the Senate. Governor Pawlenty and I look forward to working with him to repeat this great success story in the future.
Lt. Governor Carol Molnau
Commissioner of Transportation

Pulkrabek good for Lake Elmo
To the editor:

I have known Washington County Board Chairman Bill Pulkrabek for more than 25 years. I know Bill to be a hardworking, honest and fair person who always pursues the best interests of the people he represents.
Bill Pulkrabek has been a great friend and promoter of Lake Elmo. Whether it be keeping property taxes low, protecting our autonomy or opening the new Rosalie Wahl Library in the Old Village, Bill has done a great job.
Bill's fellow commissioners have recognized his talent by making him the chair of the Washington County Board. I appreciate his dedication to our city of Lake Elmo as well, and I look forward to voting for him on Nov. 7.
Rose Armstrong
Former Lake Elmo City Council member

Cullen, friend of family
To the editor:

We would like to encourage the voters in Lake Elmo and Oakdale to vote for Sandy Cullen for Washington County Commissioner. We know Sandy because our family used to live in Woodbury just down the street from Sandy's family.
Her children go to Lake Elmo Elementary School with our children. Sandy is a hard-working mom who is active in our community. She is the Vice President of the Lake Elmo Elementary PTA this year. She has been a Sunday school teacher at our church, St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic Church, since the church was meeting at Woodbury High School. We also like the fact that Sandy was a county employee for over 10 years. She knows how the county operates and has been a proven leader in the transportation department. We know that Sandy will work hard for us as our county commissioner, so join us in voting for her on Nov. 7.
Richard and Erin Mathaus
Lake Elmo

Hutton respects all people
To the editor:

Yes, Bill Hutton is very well qualified to become sheriff of Washington County. He has worked on all types of felony cases, has been in law enforcement for over 23 years, is a captain of the Oakdale Police Dept., has been an executive director of a Youth Service Bureau, has been on many task forces, is endorsed by many law enforcement colleagues, etc. etc. etc. But you know why I will vote for him to be the sheriff? I like the way he treats all kinds of people, whether they be employees, other public safety employees or the public; whether he agrees with you or not, whether he likes you or not. I think you can be in administration and in law enforcement but still respect people.
Yes, I am on Bill's campaign committee, which allows me to see Bill in many public forums like the county fair, parades, fundraisers, etc. And privately, I have seen him at campaign meetings and with his family and friends. What I have observed throughout the past year is he sincerely treats all people with respect and listens to them. He expects the same high standard from those around him.
Bill Hutton has the knowledge, skills and experience to be sheriff and treats people with respect.
Carol Trudeau
Forest Lake

Bunn: economist, neighbor
To the editor:

Julie Bunn, candidate for 56A state representative, is known largely as an experienced economist, policy analyst and tax expert. To me, Julie is a friend, neighbor and dedicated community leader. She cares about people. As a mother, she wants the best for children. She has opened her heart and home to AFS and Rotary exchange students. She and her husband Marlon graciously share their time and talents with family and community, everything from hosting a teen book club for girls to Julie's active work in the community. Julie decided to run for office because it is another way to serve her community and our state and make these a better place to live. I will be voting for Julie on Nov. 7.
Bonnie Butenhoff
Lake Elmo

Johnston has made progress
To the editor:

We would like to encourage everyone to get out and vote. As you approach the poles please take note of the positive progress in Lake Elmo with the leadership of Dean Johnston as our Mayor. Positive progress has been made in spite of all the challenges that have arisen at this critical juncture in Lake Elmo. Mayor Johnston has proven he has been able to find the middle ground with the Met Council. Our library is back open. Mayor Johnston has brought us the Lake Elmo Center for the Arts, a wonderful addition to our city. We feel confident in Mayor Johnston to continue this progress for the benefit of all citizens. Please vote this November.
Susan & Dennis Kane
Lake Elmo

Dotas supports parks
To the editor:

I have been coaching sports in Oakdale for over 10 years. Well-maintained parks and athletic fields are important to me. I have really noticed the improvement to our parks in the last few years. Walton, Skyview, Tanners and Goosepond Parks are all much improved. I have also noticed that our fields seem to be much better maintained and cleaner and, for me, that is very important.
The new OAA meeting and equipment facility at Walton Park looks great. The additional parking at the facility will also help parking on busy nights at Walton. I am also glad to see that Kent has been supporting the upcoming improvements to Walton Park. Walton is such a busy park that I think these improvements are needed and will be very exciting.
I also spend a lot of time riding my bicycle and appreciate what Oakdale has done in adding new biking/walking trails throughout our city. I have heard Kent talk during the council meetings about how important these trails are because all of the residents can utilize these trails. He must be right because I am amazed at how many people I see on these trails.
I will be supporting Kent Dotas for re-election to the Oakdale City Council because of his strong commitment and support for improving our parks and trials.
Dan Jackson

'Yes' on levy is 'crucial'
To the editor:

Please vote yes for the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District levy. A yes vote is crucial to the vitality of our communities. Through strong schools and an excellent educational system we provide for our children and our future. Our country has been built on a strong education system. An informed and educated populace is the main ingredient in allowing this nation to become great and prosperous.
By voting yes, not only do we ensure quality education to the students of our community, but we also provide the economic foundation for our community and nation. Remember on Nov. 7 that the welfare of our community and over 11,000 students are counting on us. Even though I no longer have children in our school system, I feel that they and the community have reaped the benefits of our great educational system. Thank you for your support.
Dede Fendt

Wiger there if you need him
To the editor:

Senator Chuck Wiger has worked tirelessly for the residents of Senate District 55. The senator is regularly seen at nearly every event in the area, talking to and listening to his constituents. He also goes out of his way to schedule special town hall meetings so that all in the area can come and share in the discussion of timely issues.
But what really, in my opinion, makes Chuck stand head and shoulders above the rest is his desire to take on individual issues for his constituents. I had to contact him requesting his help with a specific legislative issue. Sen. Wiger made himself available to me at all times of the day and night. Chuck stayed on top of the issue and provided me regular feedback on the legislation. I felt very secure knowing that Chuck was overseeing the process and keeping me informed. I want to publicly thank Sen. Wiger and ask the voting public to re-elect Chuck because I know he will be there for you if and when the need arises.
Dennis Fendt

American war casualties
To the editor:

This month the United States is expecting its 3 millionth citizen to be born. There will most certainly be a big celebration to mark the event. The sad fact is we passed that milestone years ago. With all the campaign issues out there, listen for the issue of life and where does the candidate stand on that issue. A vote for a pro-choice candidate is a vote for abortion.
In the past 200 years over 1 million Americans have died for their country in dozens of wars. Monuments have been built and speeches have been delivered honoring these American heroes. America continues to be engaged in a war where there are no heroes, no monuments or accolades, only victims. Our society continues with this war on its most helpless members, our unborn children, taking them from the safest place in our universe, their mother's womb. Since this war was declared on Jan. 22, 1973, there have been over 47 million deaths. We as a human race have been accepting and funding this awful war. To list a few, just how many doctors, teachers, inventors, religious and business leaders, and, yes, even politicians have been extinguished by the act of abortion? Now with the "morning after" pill, abortions are done at an earlier stage. I wonder if these numbers will be added to the current calculations of the regular abortions being performed? It is possible in our lifetime that the number of abortions can go well over 100 million. How many is enough to get our attention? Together we can stop this 33-year one-sided war and stop the culture of death that we have come to accept as the norm. Do the right thing for the future of the human race, vote for pro-life candidates for every elected office on Nov. 7, 2006!
Edward T. Gorman
Lake Elmo

A look inside the sheriff's office
To the editor:

I know firsthand that the Washington County Sheriff's Office has successfully engaged in developing highly trained professionals, a new squad car computer system and a new radio communications system to ensure police, fire and ambulance can cross communicate.
They've provided active shooter training to all sworn staff, coordinated multi-agency crowd control training, expanded their multi-agency drug task force, currently participate in the MN Gang Strike Force, continue to help operate a multi-agency special response team, are lead agency in managing a multi-city, $65,000 Safe and Sober Grant and provide D.A.R.E and school resource officers to area schools.
They've scored a 100 percent compliance score in meeting state correctional institution standards since 1995, have an active Volunteer Program, expanded their investigative computer forensic capabilities and have managed all of this in a fiscally responsible manner. Sheriff Steve Pott has and continues to do good things!
Timothy B. Tuthill
Washington County patrol commander

Bunn will serve environment well
To the editor:

My wife Nancy, our three kids and I moved to Lake Elmo because of the good schools, the rural setting and proximity to the many and varied outdoor recreation opportunities in the St. Croix Valley. We love this community and want to see it continue as a great place to live and raise a family.
But Lake Elmo faces considerable challenges. We have been forced to accept more dense development. Greater and greater numbers of families are learning that toxic plumes in our underground aquifers have rendered their well water undrinkable. And we have increasing traffic and road safety issues on Highway 5 and elsewhere.
Given these challenges, the vision, knowledge and skills of who we elect to represent us in St. Paul are more important than ever.
In the 56A House race, Julie Bunn is the better choice. As a resident of Lake Elmo, a former Lake Elmo Planning Commissioner and someone with a background in environmental policy and economics, she will serve us well.
Julie Bunn is also one of only 27 state office candidates (both Republicans and Democrats) endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, a non-partisan organization whose mission is to support candidates who will "champion efforts to preserve our water, air, wildlife and habitat." Julie was also endorsed by the Minnesota Clean Water Action Alliance.
For the future of our community, I ask you to join Nancy and me in voting for Julie Bunn on Nov. 7.
Gary Van Cleve
Lake Elmo

Pulkrabek and low taxes
To the editor:

As a local elected official, I know the challenges of balancing the needs of a community with keeping taxes affordable. Speaking as a resident of Washington County, I commend Washington County Chairman Bill Pulkrabek for his leadership in this area. Washington County does a great job providing core programs and services to its residents; libraries, roads, court system, parks, human services, while keeping property taxes low.
How low? Washington County has the lowest property tax rate in the entire state of Minnesota. Bill Pulkrabek has been a champion for keeping a lid on taxes and has helped the county become a model for other counties to follow. I will be voting for Bill Pulkrabek on Nov. 7.
Paul Reinke
Oakdale City Council member

Cullen ready for new challenge
To the editor:

Sandy Cullen is the candidate for Washington County commissioner, District 2, that will be getting my vote. I met Sandy when we were working together at BRW Inc. She was a young, hardworking civil engineer. I knew she would do well in her career. She left BRW for the opportunity to become Washington County's traffic/transportation engineer. She was then promoted to Transportation Manager. I was happy to find out that Sandy was taking on a new challenge and running for County Commissioner. We need new, active representation on the County Board and I know Sandy will do a good job.
Join me in voting for Sandy on Nov. 7.
Bill Rasmussen

Second Sessing response
To the editor:

My response to Anne Smith's letter has elicited two responses, from Council member Anne Smith and my neighbor Joan Ziertman. When reading those letters I think that one can sense how difficult it has been for me to move forward when they have turned their anger into an unending crusade. Personally, I couldn't care less about their tirades. For the sake of those that support my run for mayor, however, I must be concerned about their attempts to sabotage my campaign.
Both letters state that there is "documented" evidence against me. I know that they worked very hard to find such evidence. At one point, my neighbors even hid a video camera in a birdhouse overlooking my property (the Ziertmans deny this). If this evidence was so damning, however, then why is it that the city wound up paying me to end the lawsuit that they started? They had a chance to state their case in a court of law and when the time came to put up or shut up, they settled. Unfortunately, they refuse to shut up.
Since the court case ended, Anne and Joan have continued to seek new evidence against me. Anne claims that e-mails show that I received "preferential treatment" from city staff. Is being sued really "preferential treatment" in their minds? These e-mails are merely questions that I put to city staff about my interpretation of the city code. If the staff agreed with me, then I suppose Anne would consider that "preferential." Publish the e-mails Anne, I have nothing to hide. Stop waving papers at the camera during council meetings, pretending that you have found a smoking gun.
The voters may be hearing rumors and innuendos about me during the campaign season. Keep in mind that the source of this gossip had a chance to produce a case and could not. As I stated in my previous letter, I would prefer to not answer these letters. But voters need to know the full story, and they need to know that some stories just won't hold up in court.
Rod Sessing
Lake Elmo

Wiger proven leader
To the editor:

In a time when we are continually seeking accountability from our elected officials, Senator Chuck Wiger is exactly what we need. My family and I have known Sen. Wiger for over 15 years. In that time he has proven himself to be dedicated, accountable and trustworthy. Over those 15 years there are numerous anecdotes of his kindness and compassion. On of my favorites: When I was applying for colleges I asked Sen. Wiger for a letter of recommendation, noting that there was no hurry. He had delivered the letter to my house later that evening.
Throughout my years at North High, St. Olaf College and as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, I have always received personal phone calls and e-mails from Sen. Wiger to follow my progress. Long after that letter, Sen. Wiger continues to take an active interest in my well being. What is most impressive about Sen. Wiger is in stalwart support of both our community and educational system. As a future educator, there is no one I would rather trust to ensure the success of our schools. I challenge his opponents to replicate Sen. Wiger's demonstrated track record of educational advocacy.
Wiger's strong background in education and the community will serve us well. We need his combination of experience and caring to keep our area a great place to live, work and attend school. It is for these reasons I strongly advise you to protect our community and vote for Sen. Wiger.
Jeff Neidt
North St. Paul

Dotas gets high quality
To the editor:

I am really impressed with Oakdale City Council Member Kent Dotas when it comes to his approach to development. He is very committed to open space and realizes that high quality, well planned development can be environmentally sensitive. I realize that quality development provides significant tax dollars and reduces the property taxes that residents like me pay.
I have watched Kent on the council meetings and I like his aggressiveness with the developers. He pushes for the highest quality development with the smallest environmental impact. He pushes for project upgrades and features like wetlands, ponds, and trails, making our recent developments much better.
Kent understood the city's need for more quality restaurants. I have been very happy with the new restaurants, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, IHOP, Buffalo Wild Wings and Sergeant Peppers. I have also heard there will be restaurants coming to the development by Target very soon.
We have also been successful in attracting high quality retail business. I just love the new Target store, Best Buy and Sports Authority. I appreciate the city retaining Menards with its building, parking lot and landscaping upgrades.
I also appreciate Kent Dotas' hard work on The Oaks Office Park. This development will be the top valued office park in the east metro. It will attract high paying jobs and include extensive trails, wetlands and ponds we can all enjoy.
I appreciate Kent's eight years of hard work as a city council member and I will be voting to re-elect him.
Brian Thoreen

Bunn 'excellent' for planning
To the editor:

Julie Bunn would do an excellent job representing House District 56A. During a time of significant challenges for the city, Julie served four years on the Lake Elmo Planning Commission. She brought preparedness and an ability to communicate effectively about complex issues to her work with the commission.
Her peers acknowledged these contributions by appointing her to special sub-committees to guide the larger commission, by electing her to leadership, and by having her back to lead workshops for the commission after she had stepped down.
Like many of us, her goals on the commission were to preserve open space and water quality in our community, while still meeting the needs of our teachers, firefighters, small business people and seniors for medium-priced and life-cycle housing. She did an admirable job of furthering these goals.
Julie will listen and will investigate the issues to find the truth and bring forth real solutions. She cares about people and our communities and will fight to protect our quality of life.
I encourage you to vote for Julie Bunn as our next state representative.
Liz Johnson
Lake Elmo City Council member

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