Fillmore County commissioners for Districts 1, 3 and 5 are up for reelection on Nov. 6. Marc Prestby, commissioner, for District 5, did not respond to our questionnaire. The responses from commissioners Chuck Amunrud, from District 3, and Thomas Kaase from District 1, are listed below.

Top priority: If elected, what is your top priority for 2013 and the next four years? Why are you running for office?

Amunrud: I want to begin by saying thank you to everyone for allowing me to represent you as your county commissioner in the Third District, and again ask for your continued support in the coming election. Since 2003, I have strived to serve the citizens of Fillmore County, providing good sound fiscal management of our county budget. Working within our communities to expand business opportunities has always been a top priority.

I have been directly involved with bringing a State Veterans Cemetery to Fillmore County. Currently, the State Department of Veterans Affairs is in the design phase, preparing final plans for the Federal Government by next May for approval, allowing construction to begin. I was involved with bringing the county, city, and state together, to apply for and receive a federal grant to help expand Spring Valley's industrial park.

Spending tax dollars on mandated services from the state and federal government continues to erode, leaving local governments to come up with innovative ways to continue services that we, by law, must provide. Some of our services that we must provide to the public could be reduced or combined. While other more important services must be funded, such as helping the innocent victims of domestic violence and child protection. Fillmore County has and will continue to seek innovative ways to deal with shrinking budgets while providing an efficient way of making our county be the very best for all of us.

Kaase: With continual sound fiscal management of our county, by our board, being an everyday on-going process, my top priority is the Veteran's Cemetery. Thanks to Commissioner Amunrud, who has been on the forefront of this quest, this dream looks to become a reality. Our board of commissioners had the foresight to make the decision to donate part of our "County Farm" to make this a reality. This donation put us out in the lead as a potential site for the building of this Veteran's Cemetery. Why is this such a priority? First and foremost, this Veteran's Cemetery allows "our" veterans to have their final resting place here at "home" in Fillmore County. This cemetery also helps our local economy. Jobs, not only during the development and construction are brought to our county, but also "permanent" jobs during the continual operation of this cemetery. This Veteran's Cemetery has also shown how our veterans, community members, businesses, our board and other government officials, and our citizens have come together and work so hard to make this a reality.

I first ran for Fillmore County commissioner of the 1st District in hopes of having a positive impact on the community I live in and grew up in. I am seeking reelection because I believe I have been successful in having a positive impact. My background and experience in public safety (former Fillmore County deputy sheriff and current Rochester Police Department lieutenant), agriculture (actively farming), and commercial business allows me to be well versed in the challenges that face our county. I have been very fortunate to have been part of a successful team, our board, that has met the challenges we have faced in the last four years. With the many challenges that our county will face in the future, I believe I can continue to be an effective commissioner and help lead our county into a positive future.

Biographical information: Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.

Amunrud: I live in Spring Valley with my wife, Deb, and we have been married for 45 years next month. We are proud parents of two children who have blessed us with seven wonderful grandchildren. My promise if reelected will be to continue working on improving local government, here in Fillmore County.


Family: Married to Dorle Grindland Kaase, having one son Kaine Kaase

Schooling: Graduate of Preston-Fountain High School and Rochester Community College. Also numerous trainings and certificates from various training organizations including the FBI and BCA.

Law Enforcement: Former Fillmore County deputy having served as dispatcher/jailer, investigator, sergeant of patrol, developed and implemented the welfare fraud investigations and DARE program.

Current Rochester Police Department lieutenant assigned to the patrol division and also served as a Community Oriented Police Officer and Investigator assigned to the Narcotics Unit and Southeastern Minnesota Narcotics Task Force.

Farming: Actively crop farming with my son, Kaine; owned and rented farm land.

Business: Currently own and operate, with my son Kaine, a trucking company. Formerly the manager of the former Dahl's IGA of Preston.

Board activities: Assigned to and regularly attend numerous boards/committees. Examples (but not all inclusive) such as Development Activity Center (DAC), Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Jail Committee, Bluff Country HRA. Currently serve as the chair of the Association of Minnesota Counties Public Safety Committee (having previously served the past two years as vice chair). Serving on the Southeastern Minnesota Regional Radio Board, the Minnesota State Radio Board, the Minnesota State Radio Board Executive Committee, Chair of the State Radio Board Legislative Committee, member of the Criminal Justice and Juvenile Task Force, and a member of the Criminal Justice Forum that was convened by our Chief Minnesota Supreme Court Justice.