Redwood County commissioner candidate - District 4: Bob Van Hee

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

Why are you running for commissioner?

I’ve always enjoyed being involved with people who engage, in some manner, planning for and creating new ways/means for the betterment of the living standards for future generations. Also, being a County Commissioner, is a non-partisan, elected position, with no “party-affiliation” pressure to interfere with my ideas/thoughts, of what is best for the people. This allows me to freely represent and serve the people, and not be “subordinate” to party rule/policy. People that dialogue do solve problems and very often create new ideas, that are useful for many generations to come. The key words are communication/cooperation.

From your perspective, what is the role of a county commissioner?

Some of that was laid-out, to a great degree in my first answer. Additionally, an important part of our role is to work with other counties; by/with our meetings and dialogues with all other counties across the State. For me, I believe the “Zoom” meetings that we are participating in are working well to share our ideas. Zoom has given me unknown opportunities to “meet” and share ideas with other leaders from the state and federal levels. That is very good, but I still prefer face to face, for dialogues. We belong to the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC), which gives us a great “tool” to share the many issues/developments/successes, which are common to all counties. The county commissioners, and the county’s citizens, are the “boots-on-the-ground” for gathering/sharing important information needed for the state and federal governments, when they are formulating policies for the citizenry.

What do you think is Redwood county’s greatest asset? How would you as a commissioner best utilize that asset?

The greatest asset of any governmental entity are the people. We are a Republic, and, therefore, the citizens are the government. The citizens elect people to “govern” and serve the people. The Preamble to our Constitution (also part of the answer for question # 2) states in the General Welfare Clause, that we must promote and protect; the Health, Interests, Rights, and Needs of all the People. That states it all. We want/promote every individual to be a productive human being; to become the best they can be, for the benefit of the “common good” of all.

What do you think is the county's most important issue that needs to be addressed.How would you work to resolve it?

The most important needs for our county, and most other rural counties, is the immediate expansion of broadband and funds for road and bridges. Many environmental regulations need to be modified or deleted, as they are prohibiting “productive projects.” (Many are unnecessary).  These productive projects, that are necessary infrastructure projects, would create an abundance of productive jobs with good salaries. A real boost for the economy. The funds for broadband, and other productive projects, could be available immediately, if Congress/President would bring back our National Bank, as used by FDR to fund the New Deal. Very Simple. Look it up. Call your Congressman, Collin Peterson – he does understand this policy. He just needs support from his constituency. Call him, and lend your support. (202) 225-2165

Why should people vote for you?

What I stand for, my background and experiences. I will do my best to serve the needs of the people, when it is for the common good of the people.

Please provide a brief bio of yourself.

The following are my current and past life experiences and occupations:

• Graduated from Belview High School (active in all sports, music and declamation)

• Attended Mankato State College – Worked as an Ass’t Mgr, for a Men’s Clothing Store while attending college

• Teacher – Jr. High Math, Science, History and Religious Education

• Coach/HS – Football, Basketball, Baseball

• Started Continental Farm & Home Real Estate approx. 45 years ago

• Coached amateur baseball for 40-plus years at Sleepy Eye and Redwood Falls

• Manage River Ridge Apts. in Redwood Falls

• Worked many years with Economic Development Projects, and Planning

• Committees for projects

• Married to Joey for 52 years; 5 children, 20 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren(and one more to arrive in a few months)