County commissioner - Mark Henry
Q: Please provide us with some background information, including your education, job position, community service and any previous or current connection with government.
A: I was born and raised in Dakota County. I graduated from Farmington High School in 1978 as a member of the National Honor Society. I attended Golden Valley Lutheran College for one year and then went into the road construction, commercial earth moving trade. I continued my education at Hennepin Technical College and Dakota County Vo-Tech and completed the University of Minnesota LTAP roads scholar technical program in 2007.
I started my own business in 1988 primarily township road maintenance. In that capacity, I have advised town board supervisors in annual and long term budgets, adoption of town ordinances and road registration and right-of-way management. In addition, I have acted as township representative for the 2008 MinnCan oil pipeline project and 2013 CapX2020 power line project protecting town infrastructure and roads.
I have sat on several county watershed advisory committees and started the local Pheasants Forever Chapter in 1996.I currently am serving my second term as a director on the Dakota County Fair Board and was recently appointed to the Vermillion Watershed Joint Powers Organization Planning Commission.
Q: Why did you decide to run for this position?
A: I have made my living off public money for years and I recognize that people expect good service for the taxes they pay. I believe in protecting public money and ensuring the trust of the average citizen. I made the decision to run for county commissioner because I feel I can be a good steward of public money and restore trust in local government.
Q: What are the major issues and challenges facing Dakota County? How should they be addressed? Is the county doing a good job for its residents?
A: Dakota County is somewhat unique in that it has two faces: an urban suburban setting in the north and a rural agriculture based economy in the south. One issue we face is protecting property rights in the rural areas while protecting quality and availability of water for all citizens. The county in general has done a good job in land stewardship and quality of roads. Health and human services are some of the best in the state.
Q: With ongoing budget constraints, how does the county continue to meet the needs of a growing population while continuing its standard of services?
A: County government must strive to recruit the best possible employees and outside vendors. Good services stem from a good work force and updated tools and equipment. Careful analysis of costs and use of outside funding sources such as federal and state money should ensure continued good services and upgrading of infrastructure.
Q: Why should people vote for you?
A: Throughout my life, I have listened to and valued other people’s opinions. I have served Dakota County residents and many volunteer organizations here for over 20 years. I am an active participant in our community with a strong record of service to others working with diverse groups of people to accomplish community goals, I value a strong work ethic and will put in the extra time and effort to be an honest representative for all people in Dakota County. I will sincerely listen to you and be available to hear your ideas and concerns. I will work so your tax dollars are spent wisely and conservatively to maintain your trust in your local government! You will see my honesty and integrity in respecting citizen’s rights to their land and personal property. I believe in representative government by the people, for the people!