Mary Liz Holberg, Chuck Halberg bring legislative experience to Dakota County Board race

  • Article by: MEGHAN HOLDEN , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 21, 2014 - 4:59 PM

Each hopes that past experience in state government and heavy involvement in the area will win the seat.

Mary Liz Holberg • Minnesota House of Representatives, 1998-2014 (is stepping down after eight terms)

 

Two Lakeville residents with hefty experience in the Legislature are vying for a seat on the Dakota County board.

Former senator and representative Chuck Halberg will run against Rep. Mary Liz Holberg to represent the city. Each hopes that past experience in state government and heavy involvement in the area will win the seat.

Halberg was in both bodies as a Republican from Burnsville in the 1980s and early ’90s, later moving to Lakeville.

“I think I have a perspective that’s very unique and very different than most of them,” he said.

While Halberg has worked in the business community since then, Holberg is about to leave the statehouse after nearly 16 years as a Republican legislator. Before that, Holberg served on Lakeville’s City Council.

Both said they’re reaching out to the community to learn more about the area’s needs and residents’ concerns.

They also share a common goal for the county: keeping taxes down.

Halberg said he’s especially concerned with the way the state requires the county to pay for a large portion of projects that it wants done. And funding for those projects sometimes trickles down to small towns that might not be able to afford them, he said.

“I think it puts a tremendous squeeze upon the local units of governments to fund [the state’s] priorities,” he said. “The tension over funding projects is going to become increasingly a problem.”

As commissioner, he said he’ll work to reassess this strategy to lessen the financial strain on cities.

Holberg said keeping taxes low is also a top priority for her and she’s capable of keeping them down, considering her state-level budgeting experience.

“I’m pretty tightfisted with the money, so I’d look for that to continue,” she said.

One way to keep down taxes, she said, is to work to move people who are on welfare toward self-sufficiency so they’re not dependent on public dollars.

“I think anytime that somebody has to depend on government help, we should make sure that we’re providing the appropriate support but also not making them dependent.”

Programs that provide more education or help those with drug dependencies could help people move toward supporting themselves, she said.

Halberg has his own ideas for the community.

Three projects he hopes to work on if he’s elected include building a veteran’s war memorial, creating programs that promote healthy aging for senior citizens, and a county program that emphasizes the importance of fathers’ presence in their families.

  • related content

  • Chuck Halberg• Minnesota House of Representatives, 1979-86• Minnesota Senate, 1991-92

  • Paul Krause has been on the County Board since 1995.

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