For what it is worth, I want to share my admiration and hope for Houston County. I have been a public health professional for more than 20 years. I have come to understand that one of the key foundations to individual and community health and quality of life is having influence in and contributing to a living environment reflective of one's values. 

In May 2013, I visited Houston County to participate in a film screening and discussion about industrial sand mining and what it meant to the community. Nearly 100 people attended the event. I was impressed by the existing knowledge regarding frac sand mining among those in attendance. However, what struck me most was their devotion to their community. The energy in the room was no one's personal agenda, what I observed was a community agenda that understood and revered the people and the land that make Houston County the nationally unique treasure that it is. 

My hope is that the Houston County Commissioners will use every resource at their disposal to empower themselves and their constituents to maintain a living environment reflective of the community's values.

Tracy Sides, PhD 

Saint Paul