File now to represent your SWCD
By Janet Kubat Willette
Date Modified: 06/12/2012 7:56 AM
LEWISTON, Minn. — Are you interested in soil and water conservation?
If you answered yes, have you ever considered serving as a Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor?
The filing period for Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors opens May 22 and closes June 5. Supervisor candidate names will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Supervisors must live in the district they hope to represent.
While most districts have two or three supervisors on the ballot, Winona County will have four of its five supervisors on the ballot this year, said Brein Maki, office administrator for the Winona County SWCD.
Seats will be on the ballot in District 1, District 2, District 3 and District 5.
Lonny Dietz represents District 1. He was appointed to fill an unexpired term after a resignation and began serving in July 2011. He plans to file for re-election.
"I think it's an important service that needs to be done," Dietz said.
District 1 includes Whitewater, Mount Vernon, Elba and St. Charles townships. This will be a two-year term.
Dietz wants to continue educating the public and promoting the voluntary services the SWCD offers. The revenue the SWCD can leverage into the county is huge, he said, and it's needed by local contractors.
Arlene Nelson represents District 2. Nelson also plans to run for re-election. Her seat is up for election due to redistricting. The boundaries of District 2 shifted to include all of Norton, Utica, Hillsdale and Warren townships. This will be a four-year term.
Nelson, who has farmed most of her life, said she wants to continue to serve to see good conservation practices put in place.
"The land is kind of my passion," Arlene said.
She also enjoys working with the other supervisors and the Winona SWCD staff.
The District 3 seat, which now includes all of Rollingstone, Winona and Wilson townships, will also be on the ballot. Eric Nelson, who was appointed in August 2011 to fill an unexpired term, plans to run for re-election. This will also be a four-year term.
"The goals of the district to conserve soil and water are all admirable and something I can help with," Eric Nelson said.
District 5, which includes Homer, Richmond, Pleasant Hill, New Hartford and Dresbach townships, is the fourth district on the ballot. The District
5 seat was filled three months ago by Mark Zimmerman. Zimmerman was unavailable for comment. This will be a four-year term.
Only Jim Riddle, who represents District 4, which includes Saratoga, Fremont, Hart and Wiscoy townships, isn't up for re-election.
At last week's monthly meeting, the supervisors authorized cost share payments for streambank stabilizations, controlled burns on conservation property, an ag waste management project and a grade stabilization structure.
They discussed possible resolutions to take to the area meeting and participation in Winona County's Family Night on the Farm on June 21.
Arlene Nelson is going to work on the resolutions and bring them back to the next meeting. They set a meeting of their budget committee to begin
work on their 2013 budget.
SWCD supervisors set overall policy and long-term objectives for their district, develop their district's annual and comprehensive plans, approve
landowner cost-share contracts and work with the SWCD staff to see that policies and plans are implemented.
Supervisors aren't paid a salary, but they receive compensation for attending meetings and are reimbursed for expenses.