From the Desk of: County opens communication lines with monthly column

By: 
Jean Bender, County Commission Chairperson
Meeting with constituents on a regular basis is an important part of serving as an elected official. Each week, the County Commission considers important matters on a range of subjects from highways, law enforcement, planning and zoning items, and an array of other issues. As a Commission, it is our goal to create the conditions for the private sector to flourish and the Minnehaha County offices to better serve residents.  
The County Commission recently conducted the third annual tour of Minnehaha County. The tour is hosted in partnership with the Minnehaha County Economic Development Association (MCEDA).
Each year, for the past three years, the Commission, several department heads, staff, and other stakeholders have toured agriculture producers, manufacturing, infrastructure, utility, and other operations like gravel mines. It is a great opportunity to get out in the county and visit with people to get updates on how decisions the Commission votes on each week affect businesses and residents.
We notice the sense of pride local businesses and their employees have when we tour their workplace. On the tours, Commissioners get the opportunity to listen and learn about how animal feeding operations, water treatment plants, fire truck engineering, and others serve their customers. We see business owners and employees working hard to grow and expand their businesses, which growth benefits the entire tax base across the county.
The tours help the Commission see the impact of responding to severe weather events in a less-formal setting than the Commission meeting room. This year we received briefings about how a rural electric provider restored power after the ice storm earlier this year and we inspected areas impacted by flooding.
Our appreciation of the magnitude and weight of items that come before the Commission each week is deepened by the continued dialogue with residents. The county supports innovation, taking a forward-thinking approach to solving problems. We seek perspectives from multiple stakeholders to make informed decisions which benefit taxpayers now, and in the years ahead.  
In closing, the Commission looks forward to communicating with readers in future monthly columns from a rotating Commissioner. These columns will discuss important issues and decisions Minnehaha County faces to secure a better future.

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