Two-term incumbent Gary Peterson announced after the Committee of the Whole meeting on May 5 that he is filing for re-election for another 4-year term on the Carlton County Board of Commissioners. Filing opens on May 19 and paperwork is submitted to the Carlton County Auditor.
Peterson wrote, “After careful consideration I have decided to run for re-election. The coronavirus has changed everyone’s lives. We have much unfinished business and projects to deal within the County. I would like to continue to work and serve the people of Carlton County.”
Peterson admitted this is a hard time to campaign for political office. Parades, festivals, prominent holidays, and door to door one-on-one with the public are almost impossible with social distancing. That will not change for many months and perhaps continue after the November election.
The Committee of the Whole meeting was lightly attended. Several department heads and Commissioner Dick Brenner live streamed the meeting making comments and votes when requested by Chair Tom Proulx.
Acting Audiror/Treasurer Kathy Korteum commented via phone interview, “We have two weeks to go for property taxes to come in. At the moment we are down 5% in property tax payments, which is workable for our budget, but the final figure will not be known until after May 15th.
“As far as the ½% sales tax collections for transportation projects, over the years we have averaged around $1.8 million in revenues. Averaging that over twelve months, March income was $15,000 down and April was $13,000 down. If those figures continue to hold we will be good during our current budget year.”
No information has come from the Minnesota Legislature if they will approve Carlton County to levy ½% sales tax for the construction of a new jail. If permission is granted the local voters of Carlton County will vote whether to levy the ½% sales tax or put the building project funding as a property tax levy.
Carlton County Coordinator Dennis Genereau reported that Itasca County has received a 22-month extension for construction of a new jail because of the impact of the COVID-19. Carlton County would be available for an extension also, it is hoped.
A quote for a COVID-19 flyer to be sent to all Carlton County households was received from Community Printing of Cloquet. The County Coordinator was asked to check all the other local print shops for quotes before the Regular Meeting of the Board on May 12 when a decision will be made to go ahead.