Name: Doug Kern
Residence: Crow Wing Township
Current employment: Self-Employed, Kern’s Appliance, Century 21 Realtor.
Public office experience: Greater Lakes Association of Realtors (GLAR) Government Affairs Board. Four- year chair of Crow Wing County Republicans. Served on many different committees from fundraisers to parades.
What are your county’s biggest challenges and what will you do to meet those challenges?
The biggest challenge we face as a county commissioners are three numbers we need to pay attention to. They are directly linked to property taxes going up. Those numbers are 3,5,7 — these are ARM (home and commercial) loans people took as the banking standards were lowered back in the 1990s so everyone could own a home. When the loan standard was raised about five years ago the foreclosures followed. We need to find ways to relieve property owners — we’re starting year six and more foreclosures are on the way unless we can find ways locally to help property owners get relief.
How would you balance conflicts between encouraging businesses and preserving the county’s natural resources?
As public servants we are entrusted with taking care of our county along with building a legacy for our children, one where they can work, own and enjoy the lakes area.
Are there any specific programs you would cut or eliminate?
To spend within our means is paramount, we are, after all, using taxpayers’ money. We will not ever regulate ourselves into prosperity, in all departments and areas we need to be like the surgeon who knows where to cut. Redundancy in services is spending our dollars twice. Working with townships and lake associations to have the freedom and pride of living in God’s country.