Name: Philip J. Trusty
Residence: Fort Ripley
Current employment: Minnesota National Guard, Crow Wing County, owner/operator Crow Wing Lake Campground.
Public office experience: Four Years Crow Wing County commissioner, 14 years Fort Ripley Township supervisor/chair.
What are your county’s biggest challenges and what will you do to meet those challenges?
Some of the biggest challenges are budget related. The lack of funding that accompanies mandates handed down from the state, continues to challenge the county’s available funding resources. Working with local and state legislators to let them know the consequences these mandates have imposed on the county, is an important part of the process to help keep spending in line. As a county commissioner, I feel it is critical to keep in mind that the monies available, through whatever resources, need to be allocated and spent carefully in the best interest of the whole county.
Another challenge is the maintenance of roads and bridges throughout the county.
How would you balance conflicts between encouraging businesses and preserving the county’s natural resources?
What are you considering natural resources? I consider them to be the clean water, wetlands, and forests of the county. The county needs to work with the cities within it, to encourage development within the city limits in order to soften the amount of impact that development has on our wetland and forests. It is also important to not discriminate or discourage against rural business development, by fostering a good working relationship with the potential businesses, by building where it is most acceptable to ensure that our natural resources are preserved for our county.
Are there any specific programs you would cut or eliminate?
I’m not sure how you are defining “programs.” The county has worked hard to cut/eliminate/combine departments to provide savings to the taxpayers. I think there are “departments/programs” that need modification in order to be more efficient, yet continue to provide the services needed. I would not be afraid to cut or eliminate any program/department that does not provide an efficient service that is worthwhile, and cost-saving to the taxpayers of the county.