Voters will have to make a decision in the race for Crow Wing County District 1 commissioner.
Dewayne "Dewey" Tautges filed Friday for the seat that represents the southern part of the county. Tautges will be a challenger to incumbent Jim Hill, who earlier filed for re-election.
Tautges, a resident of Sleepy Hollow Road near Fort Ripley, is a third generation farmer and owns 578 acres in St. Mathias Township. He is presently serving a second appointed term on the Crow Wing County Board of Adjustment.
In deciding to run for officer, Tautges said he has a problem with the county's new administrator position and wondered if the administrator would be telling elected officials what to do.
"It's another bureaucrat," Tautges said of the job, noting the county has professionals at department head levels and the day-to-day business should be the responsibility of the county board. "I don't know if he serves under (commissioners) how can he really benefit the county."
Tautges said he was also concerned with property rights, including senior citizens who are taxed out of their homes. Tautges said he realizes property tax decisions are a combination of state and local government.
"It's probably something that has to come from the Legislature," he said. "We've got to encourage it and push it."
Serving on the board of adjustment, Tautges said he sees a squeeze on property owners who want to make improvements. He said water resources can be protected by setbacks but in those cases property owners should be able to build on the sides of homes or it will only be the rich who can make improvements and pay for major home alterations.
Tautges served 22 years as an elected committeeman with the Farm Service Agency. He also served on the St. Mathias Church Council and St. Mathias Park Board. He is a member of the National Farmers Organization, the Farmers Union and the Farm Bureau.
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