Houston County Commissioner District 1
Dewey, a longtime resident of La Crescent graduated from La Crescent High in 1967. He joined the State Patrol in 1970 and retired from there after 34 years. Having a strong work ethic, Dewey started Dewey Enterprises in 1979 and continues to run his trucking business today. He's been a Lions member since 1979, an Eagles Club member until it closed in the 90's and also an active member of Prince of Peace Church. In addition to serving on the council and several committees, he has also led youth groups on mission trips for the past 20 years. His family includes wife Kathy, five children, fifteen grandchildren and one great grandchild. The serving attitude is what he carries on daily, either volunteering or in business dealings. Being involved gives him a chance to learn the needs and wants of the people of La Crescent.
I am married to my wife Sarah and have three children Anna, Emily, and Alex and a grandson Zayveon. I live in the house that my grandfather built and six generations have lived under its roof. I have an AA degree in Law Enforcement and have been a municipal or county employee my entire adult life. Sarah and I also own and run Hill's Morel Mushroom - Minnesota each spring. I served 4 years on the La Crescent City Council and continue to serve on the La Crescent Golf Course Committee.
What motivated you to run for office?
SEVERSON: I like to be of service. Was seeing issues that are of interest to me and felt there was a need for change. I want to respond to and represent the La Crescent businesses.
YEITER: I chose to run for Commissioner as I thought it would give me the best opportunity to continue to serve the community as my public safety career nears its end. My experience working for Houston County gives me a perspective other candidates don't have.
What is the role of county government?
SEVERSON: Properly use the funds of the people and provide necessary services in an efficient manner to have an open eye and ear to the future.
YEITER: Many people don't realize how much county government influences their lives. From public health, to highway, or tax assessment, Houston County has significant impact on its citizens lives, yet most have never met their county commissioner. There needs to be more involvement by the citizens and more effort made by the county to reach them.
Do you think our county is healthy and successful? If yes, why? If not, what would you do to change it?
SEVERSON: From what I see so far, it sure appears to be healthy. Going forward with Co. Hwy shop and providing services to the different organizations, Road development could use some attention.
YEITER: I believe that our county is healthy, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to make our health a priority. From clean air to clean water, access to outdoor activities, including the Mississippi River, make Houston County a great place to live, work, or play.
What personal characteristic best exemplifies your leadership skill?
SEVERSON: 34 years with the State Patrol dealing with different people.8 years on City Council. 20+ years as Township Chairman. 2 terms on church council. 40+ years Lions Member and a dozen years as Chamber of Commerce Board President.
YEITER: I am a committed and determined individual that pursues goals until they are met. I won't just give you an answer that you want to hear or the popular answer, I will give you an educated answer after careful thought and research if necessary.
If elected, what steps would you take to put our county on firmer financial footing?
SEVERSON: Look at each department with “needs versus wishes”. Listen as each department head presents. Learn from those with experience in the field. Lean towards best results.
YEITER: I would propose an assessment of the new County Administrator position to determine if the cost savings envisioned actually materialized. I would also ask the department heads to start at a zero-dollar budget each year to justify expenses rather than just adding a percentage increase to last years budget.
How do you plan to include residents in the decision making process?
SEVERSON: By all means, it’s their funds I’m dealing with. That’s part of the Listen and Learn.
YEITER: I have been the only candidate to have a presence on social media. I would continue that access by converting my campaign page to a page where citizens can engage with me one-on-one or post questions to be answered to the public. I would also encourage Commissioner meetings continue to be live-streamed.