I look forward to serving the people of District 3 in 2022
Thank you for your support in 2022; you elected me with over 66% of votes. In spite of the difficulties of the year caused by the pandemic, I worked to ensure that county continued to serve the needs of the people in the most efficient and cost effective way. We are all hopeful that 2023 will see an end to Covid. In 2023 I will work with the Board to support more housing for low-income individuals and families and to reduce the homeless population. I care about the people in my district and Olmsted County. I work to maintain the trust you have placed in me. I was elected to a four-year term in 2020 but because of re-districting, I ran for re-election in 2022. I will be running again in 2024 and I thank you for your continued support.
I Have Kept You Informed
To keep you informed in 2022 I posted items to my website 18 times with about 85 items of interest and updates on county projects. I also included several videos and pictures. I will continue to update the people of District 3 in 2023.
Wright Elected Board Chair; Kiscaden elected Vice Chair
The County Board Chair and Vice Chair change every year. It has been a long-standing procedure that the Board Chair has a one-year tenure and rotates through all the board members. The stability that this provides is further enhanced by an administrative committee that is made up of the past board chair, the current board chair, and the current vice chair (Thein, Wright, Kiscaden).
See the Board Chair Comments
Here is the link to my Board Chair Comments: https://www.olmstedcounty.gov/news/words-new-olmsted-county-board-chair-gregory-wright
2022 was a year that saw many accomplishments In spite of the State Legislature failing to pass a bonding bill and a tax bill, Olmsted continued to move forward.
- We made it through the Pandemic and are happy to slowly return to normal
- Olmsted County hired a new Director of Public Health
- The planning department completed the Redistricting process required by the 2020 Census.
- The county completed a successful election for Federal, State, and local offices. The audit of the election showed that there were no anomalies in Olmsted County.
- The Housing and Redevelopment Authority purchased the building at 105 North Broadway for Transitional Housing. This helped to alleviate the greater need for housing the homeless.
- I supported assigning two Social Workers to work with the county schools which have students who experience homelessness
- Olmsted transportation completed County Road 101; the concrete road completed an East-West 10-ton route. This will allow trucks better access to Highway 63. It also provides for quicker access to Shoppes on Main for the people who live in the South end of District 3.
- The transportation department completed a portion of County Road 4 (Valley High Drive) and County Road 5 (entrance to Oxbow Park).
- Construction on County Road 44 (60th Avenue) started. This is part of the project that will connect to the new interchange at Highway 14 and County Road 44. This will re-open the intersection and alleviate the congestion on West Circle Drive.
- Began a Soil health and preservation project. This project is aimed at reducing nitrates in the ground water, increasing soil health to reduce the amount of fertilizers, and promote the preservation of top soil.
- The county board accepted the joint study on Race and Racism as a Public Health Issue. The process of determining which committees are best suited to evaluate the recommendation starte.
- The application process fo Family Support and Assistance transitioned from a paper and in-person process to a digital process. The application can now be done on a computer or phone. This has created work efficiencies.
- The Board adopted a 5-year General Land Use Plan completed by the Planning Department
- The Board adopted a new 10-year Solid Waste Plan completed by Environmental and Public Works Department.
- The Board approved the installation of a new technology Backup infrastructure to protect the county’s data from hacking
- The new Oxbow Nature Center progressed. Because of material delays caused by the pandemic, the Nature Center missed the Fall opening but should be open in early spring 2023
- Work on the Lake Zumbro County Park began.
- The Board allocation $10 Million to Housing Coalition for the construction of more housing units.
- Following the retirement of four commissioners, four new commissioners were elected. This is the first time that four new commissioners joined the board in the same year.
What is Coming In 2023
In 2023 I will be working on many Olmsted County projects including the following:
- Completion of County State Aid Highway (CSAH)
- Legislative Bonding for Highway 14 and County Road 44 Intersection, Materials Recovery Facility at the Olmsted Waste to Energy Facility, and Graham Park Improvements including a multi-functional structure and replacing building that have reached their usable life.
- Construction of a new intersection at Highway14 and County Road 44
- The implement the full Olmsted Soil Health Program – up to 5 million that will include projects to increase cover crops, include small grains in crop rotations, and grazing fields.
- The completion of Oxbow Nature Center
- Adding more camping facilities at Oxbow Park
- The construction of an amphitheater at Chesterwoods Park
- Adding amenities and improving parking at Lake Zumbro Park
- Climate Mitigation and Resiliency Planning
- Starting construction on a Material Recovery Facility which will help sort out recyclable materials before going into the burners, increase revenue from saleable recyclables, increase the lifespan of the burners, and reduce the amount of ash and the need for another ash cell at the Kalmar Landfill.
- Begin construction on needed space at the Public Works service Center
- Begin construction on an indoor training space at the Regional Public Safety Training Center. This will help our Deputies be well prepared to carry out their law enforcement duties
- Making room in the Government Center for expanded Court offices will begin the process of moving some office functions to the Government Campus (where public health and Family Services are located.
- Discussions will continue on the Seneca/Graham Park site.
- Planning for Graham Park as a County and Regional Festival Center will continue.
- Implementation of the recommendation from the joint study on Race and Racism as a Public Health Issue will continue. Some of the recommendations have already been handed off to citizen committees.
- Family Services for children and aged will need an expansion of Olmsted’s system of Care Coordination
- I will continue to work on increasing the Community Engagement Processes and Techniques and the developing a Community Council concept
- I will support the efforts of Health and Human Services as they deal with emerging issues such as the need for more Child Care, assisting Children of Incarcerated Parents, and Juvenile Justice.
- I will support the Planning Department’s efforts to complete Open Space planning which will include determining future recreational corridors.
- The Board will be involved in work with the State to create an improved model for the Public Health Department
- Complete the purchase of DNR property adjacent to Energy Park.
- Planning for the future of Energy Park
- I will support new approaches to housing
- I will support finding solutions to the challenge of Juvenile Justice
- As part of the Legislative workgroup, I will be supporting Olmsted’s efforts to apply for funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to complete county projects
- I will be meeting with our State Legislators regarding Olmsted’s bonding requests for the MRF, Graham Park, and 14/44 Intersection
- I will be working with Family Services, Health and Human Services, and the Housing and Rehabilitation Authority to work with our Aging Population. One third of our population is over 65. This demographic change will require more assistance for our growing elderly population.
- I will continue to support Olmsted One. This is the county’s program to grow and support diversity in all of our departments. Supporting diversity is not a choice, it is a necessity so that Olmsted can maintain its excellent workforce.