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Franzen to seek re-election to county board

Crow Wing County Commissioner Rosemary Franzen announced her intention to seek a third term on the Crow Wing County Board.

“As I seek re-election to the Crow Wing County Board, I am proud of my accomplishments. I want to continue being an effective and responsive representative of the people,” Franzen said in a news release. “The county board has made important decisions about the county budget, about county services and about many projects that will shape the future of the county.

“I’m running for re-election because I want to continue to put the brakes on spending while promoting innovative approaches to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of county services. I love this job and believe I can still make a difference for the people of Crow Wing County,” Franzen said.

She said the last few years have been the most financially challenging that the county has encountered in decades. She said she has worked hard to reduce the county tax levy. Since 2010 Crow Wing County has reduced local property taxes by $1.5 million through an ongoing focus on operational efficiencies, she said.

“With this unprecedented run of four successive years of reducing the tax levy in Crow Wing County, we have accomplished what few other counties, states or the federal government have been able to achieve,” Franzen said. “I will continue to strive to obtain this goal, to be a ‘fiscal watchdog’ for your money. I am hopeful that the taxpayers of District 4 will give me a chance to continue this work.”

Franzen is assigned by the county board to more than 20 committees. Many are related to transportation. In the last three years, she said her work on these committees has helped secure more than $2 million in federal dollars for road construction and almost $200,000 for transit in Crow Wing County.

“These are dollars that Crow Wing County would have needed to levy for if our efforts hadn’t been successful,” she said.

Franzen said accessibility and transparency are qualities of successful governance. Since her election, Franzen said the board has implemented televised board meetings, public comment periods for many actions and enhanced communication to citizens via local media and through an expanded and improved web page.

“I have worked hard to make our actions more transparent and visible to the public, and I want to make sure we continue these efforts,” she said.

In the next four years, Franzen wants to further pursue the important reform agenda that the county has started. During her first term, the board combined five departments into one Land Services Department, which realized a savings of $3.6 million.

“At the same time, we significantly improved our customer service in areas like planning and zoning and the assessor’s office,” she said. “In the county’s largest and most expensive Department — Community Services — we have completed a comprehensive assessment and now need to implement reforms to improve outcomes and reduce costs to taxpayers.”

Crow Wing County is uniquely positioned to be a leader among Minnesota counties in this transformation to a more efficient and effective approach to delivering social services, Franzen said, noting she wants to continue this effort.

“My experience as a commissioner has been challenging and rewarding. I enjoy serving and I take the responsibility very seriously,” she said. “I am a high energy person who is committed to working hard for all the citizens of Crow Wing County to create a better long term future and to make Crow Wing County a preferred place to live. You will find that my record and actions show that I think deeply and listen to all viewpoints in an effort to ensure a county that is progressing and improving.”

Franzen and her husband, Mike, live in Baxter. They have been married for 45 years and have three grown sons and nine grandchildren. Before being elected in 2006, Franzen worked for the Brainerd School District for more then 30 years.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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