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Elections 2010: Soil and Water

October 24th, 2010 (03:33 pm)

So, I have a rule of thumb I use to eliminate some candidates right off the bat. If I can find nothing out about you with Google (so, you have no website, no web presence, and haven't bothered filling out the questionnaires for the voter's guides) then you are clearly not a serious candidate. This particularly comes into play with the offices like Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor, where the races get almost no coverage.

The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts sends a questionnaire to all SWCD candidates, and you can find the responses from the Hennepin County people here. In District 2, Amber Collett and Scott Tracy both responded. In District 4, David Rickert responded. Hilariously, one of the best sites for additional information on the Soil and Water people is Fraters Libertas, a conservative group blog that does endorsements for Soil & Water every election cycle. Their info is here.

The bottom line is that in District 4, only David Rickert bothered to fill out the questionnaire, and he sounds basically sane and experienced so he gets my endorsement.

In District 2, Amber Collett and Scott Tracy both filled it out. Collett seems young and energetic (she has a Facebook page for her campaign). Scott Tracy has previous experience (he held the same position in Scott County in 2008). Fraters Libertas endorsed Scott because they loathe Amber for being involved in this public works project in Minneapolis where they were supposed to build very artsy drinking fountains. As a tax-and-spend liberal I kind of liked that project, but my inclination is still to vote for Scott Tracy as he has some substantive experience doing this actual job in what sounds like a reasonably competent manner.


Posted by: Joe Agee (rvrjoe775)
Posted at: October 26th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)

Ha! In doing my own research I reached the same conclusions, and hen changed my google search slightly and found your evaluation here. I'm still tempted to give the nod to Amber but it's hard to ignore Scott's experience.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 27th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)

I'm trying to narrow down who I'm voting for as well, and I was thinking the same thing! How could anyone possibly vote for someone if there is no information about them?

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 31st, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)

Thanks for posting, Naomi! We were looking for info on the candidates and hadn't found the link to the questionaire. The fam here is divided between Amber & Scott - most of us like Amber's ideas and energy. Thanks again - fellow Carl Britta '95

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 31st, 2010 09:34 am (UTC)
Amber Collette endorsed by David Rickert

Hi Naomi! First of all, thanks for this blog. You really helped me to solidify my School Board votes. I couldn't decide between the top three, and your reasoning about Mammen makes a lot of sense so I'm going to follow your strategy. Anyway, I was unsure about who to vote for for Soil & Water so I went to Amber Collette's site and asked her why I should choose her over Scott Tracy. To my surprise, David Rickert replied with an endorsement for Amber, though he also knows and likes Scott. See comments at end of this link: http://bit.ly/8ZkkJe

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: October 31st, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
Info circulated from Scott Tracy

I thought I would pass this along:

"Hi All -

As part of a grass roots campaigning effort, I am circulating my information related to the District 2 Hennepin Conservation District Supervisor race this fall. I’m very excited about the potential to serve in this capacity, and I believe that my personal and professional experience in conservation make me a good fit for the Supervisor position. Candidate profiles can be found at www.maswcd.org . In addition, I’ve a...ttached relevant experience I would bring to the position, below.

Please feel free to forward this to potential voters that you know in Hennepin County. Thanks alot!


Relevant Experience

Scott County SWCD Board Member. Served as an elected Supervisor to the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District Board. The SWCD is a political subdivision of the State of Minnesota established to carry out a program for the conservation, use and development of soil, water and related resources. Provided leadership and governance, and helped to develop policy, long range plans and budgets. As a SWCD Supervisor, Mr. Tracy participated in lobbying efforts with local and federal government representatives in support of conservation initiatives, including the Clean Water Legacy Act. Mr. Tracy was accepted to attend a one-year Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts leadership training that included time in Washington D.C. Mr. Tracy served on the MASWCD Legislative Committee and the MASWCD Area IV Education Committee.

City of Lakeville, Environmental Affairs Committee Member. Served as an advisory committee member to the City of Lakeville, Minnesota. Involved in the review of stormwater and erosion control plans, tree preservation plans, site grading plans, and wetland delineation and mitigation plans as part of new development within the City. Also involved in the completion of a comprehensive stormwater management plan and water quality improvement plan for the City.

Environmental Consulting Experience. Mr. Tracy is currently a Senior Project Manager for Tetra Tech, an international environmental engineering firm, and has over 23 years of professional experience. His experience includes water quality assessments, wetland delineations, NEPA assessments, brownfield redevelopment projects, preacquisition contamination assessments, regulatory agency liaison activities, stormwater management, community outreach programs, grant funding identification and application preparation, receipt of liability release assurances, completion of Environmental Assessments and Environmental Assessment Worksheets, and TSCA and RCRA hazardous waste management. He has been an invited speaker at nationally-sponsored events on a wide range of development and redevelopment-related issues and has extensive experience working with municipalities, state regulatory agencies, and citizen action groups.

Outside Evaluator. Mr. Tracy has been an outside evaluator for the University of Wisconsin (River Falls) Environmental Science Degree Program

Invited Speaker. Mr. Tracy has been an invited speaker at the following events: Minnesota Environmental Initiative, St. Paul, Minnesota; EPA Brownfields Conference, Chicago, Illinois; Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Alexandria, Minnesota; EPA Brownfields Conference, Atlantic City, New Jersey; University of Wisconsin – River Falls, River Falls, Wisconsin; University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota; Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania; American Planning Association 1997 Conference, Chicago, Illinois."

Posted by: Amber Collett (ext_305912)
Posted at: November 1st, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Soil & Water District 2 Race

Hi everyone!

Thought I should put in a few words as one of the SWCD 2 candidates!

First, I think it's important to highlight the fact that we have two highly qualified candidates running for this position (Scott & me). I'm excited to hear so much buzz about the position this year!

That being said, I believe I am the better fit for the Hennepin Co. board position. For boards to be effective, there has to be some diversity in talent. Right now the board is lacking someone with communications and public outreach experience in addition to just technical experience. I would not only bring technical experience to the table (I managed conservation easement areas in Rice County for several years), but would be able to use the skills I've gained as a community organizer and communications professional to update HCD's materials, strengthen our relationships with other bodies of government, and handle the logistics for event/forum planning that have been stressful for previous board members.

I've been attending the HCD board meetings for the last few months and know that I'd be able to hit the ground running. I've taken part in the strategic planning process because the board is right now setting in place a five year plan that will be a guide for the four years of my term. I felt it was important to be involved early, to get to know the current board members, and see where I'd fit in the mix.

Moreover, the board is in a tough spot right now. They need someone who is energetic, a creative problem solver, and someone who is willing to go above and beyond the position's requirements. I thought very seriously about how this position would fit within my life and am excited to serve.

Hope to see you at the polls!

Amber Collett

Posted by: Carbonel (carbonel)
Posted at: November 2nd, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)

Thanks for doing the work on this.

Now I need to figure out about the Richfield city offices. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute.

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