Martin to seek Crow Wing County District 2 commissioner seat
Kurt Martin, 56, of rural Brainerd, announced his candidacy for Crow Wing County District 2 commissioner.
Martin said his mission as a county commissioner would be to reduce county spending to be within the means of the county residents.
Martin said that in 2007 the present county board, with the exception of Commissioner Paul Koering, received a mandate from the voters to reduce county spending from the plus 80 percent increase in the levy imposed by the previous board.
Martin said that despite this, the present county board has not only failed to achieve this mandate, but continued to increase the levy over the next three years, regardless of the dire economic conditions county residents were and continue to endure.
Martin acknowledges that the incumbent boasts of the 0.22 percent reduction in this year’s levy and that it is the fourth consecutive year it has decreased. However, those four decreases, which have combined annual totals of a meager 4.37 percent, fail to even offset half of the previous three years’ combined annual increases of nearly 9 percent imposed by the current board.
These levy increases and the continued shuttering of businesses have resulted in significant property tax increases for county residents despite rapidly declining market values. These tax increases have compounded the financial hardships suffered by many county residents, especially those on fixed incomes and the unemployed, which is well over 20 percent of the county work force.
Martin also said that, if elected, he would strive to repeal portions of the job-killing Land Use Ordinance. Despite being aggressively opposed by the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors, Mid-Minnesota Builders Association, a number of business concerns and property owners, the present county board enacted this ordinance.
Moreover, this was despite the fact the supporting “scientific study” was conducted on the East Coast and had demographics and watershed differences that were starkly different and were not even remotely applicable to Crow Wing County.
Martin also claims that several sound and reputable scientific studies have determined that the shoreland vegetative buffers, adopted in the ordinance, are a leap backward in reducing runoff nutrient load as compared to turf grass.
Martin was born and raised in northeast Brainerd, graduated from Brainerd High School and lives in rural Brainerd with his wife, Tami, who is a public school superintendent. He has owned and operated Martin Communications Inc., a technology company, for more than 25 years.
Martin said this operating experience has given him a unique insight and understanding of the issues facing other businesses, manufacturers, utilities, schools, hospitals and local units of governments, all of which his company regularly interacts with.
Martin said he would draw upon not only this experience, but those relationships to streamline county government.