A recent Star Tribune editorial endorsed Maureen Scallen Failor’s opponent for the open Hennepin County Board position in Bloomington, Richfield and southern Eden Prairie (“Richfield mayor for Hennepin Co. seat,” Oct. 25).

We actually live in and have been elected from the Fifth District, and we strongly support Scallen Failor.

While the editorial praised Richfield Mayor Debbie Goettel’s “strong record of working on regional issues,” the Star Tribune Editorial Board could not provide much evidence of any success resulting from all the regional meetings she attends. As to “redeveloping downtown Richfield,” almost all the serious work was done before she was mayor. Importantly, Goettel actually voted against (and lost the support of) her council on the important 66th Street improvement project that will make developing downtown Richfield a reality and not just another campaign slogan.

The Hennepin County Board has commissioners with an abundance of “political experience” — more than 110 years collectively. But they have almost no business experience. We need Scallen Failor, with her hands-on, profit-and-loss, meet-the-payroll experience, to bring a balanced perspective to the board and keep its top AAA bond rating.

Maureen is not only a successful businesswoman, she is an active volunteer in our community. She has served on the board of directors of Cornerstone (helping victims of domestic abuse) and Veterans Educational Assistance Program (helping our neighbors in need).

She understands the importance of Sheriff Rich Stanek’s 21st-century law-enforcement program, and she has his support, too.

We who are signing this article have a variety of views on politics and parties. One reason Hennepin County works well is that, under state law, the office of board member is nonpartisan. If Scallen Failor’s opponent is elected, it will be an extension of extremely liberal south Minneapolis Democratic politics to southern Hennepin County. And it will mean that six of seven Hennepin County Commissioners identify as Democrats. That has not worked well for Minneapolis. We believe thoughtful political balance is important.


Randy Johnson, who represents the Fifth District on the Hennepin County Board, is retiring. Gene Winstead is the mayor of Bloomington. Nancy Tyra-Lukens is the mayor of Eden Prairie. John Gibbs is a member of the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners.