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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


My Ballot: County Offices & Questions

For Ramsey County, we vote on several offices and also two county charter amendment questions.  While political parties may have endorsed some candidates, these offices are all non-partisan, so no party affiliation is indicated on the ballot.


We need change in the office of sheriff.  The incumbent, Bob Fletcher, has been there a long time.  He has been tainted by association with scandals among his staff (a couple of whom went to prison) and the debacle of the Metro Gang Strike Force, for which he was the fiscal agent.  The disbanding of the Strike Force had a direct effect on Maplewood, since it funded one of our police officers -- a salary that is now is an expense for our property tax rolls instead.

Matt Bostrom is an officer of impeccable integrity and professionalism.  He would restore honor to the office, and I know he would work well with all of the law enforcement agencies in the county.  I have been struck by how people I know all across the political spectrum -- from extreme right to extreme left -- so strongly support Matt, because he has the character we need in a sheriff, giving us the confidence that he will enforce the law fairly and effectively.

County Attorney

This is an open seat, with two contenders on the ballot.  John Choi has had my support since early on in has campaign, when I had a chance to meet with him and learn about his vision for the office and his personal and professional background.  While I am impressed by the resume of his opponent, David Schultz, I think that Choi's administrative experience as Saint Paul City Attorney gives him the edge.

Charter Amendment Questions

I'm reluctant to mess with our county charter without a very good reason.  These two amendments appear designed to lower the threshold for putting issues in front of the voters, to undo decisions made by the elected county board.  I think the mess of the State of California gives us an idea where governance by referendum can take us, so I'm not enthusiastic about any steps to bring us closer to their model.  If an issue is so important and urgent that we need to appeal it by referendum rather than by choosing new elected representatives, it should be able to meet the existing thresholds in the charter.

Conservation District

Let me be honest, I know almost nothing about these candidates.  My main concern with offices like these is not to inadvertently elect a fringe nut-case.  Janelle Anderson and Carrie Wasley have the endorsement of the DFL, and when they were seeking that endorsement I heard good things about them from folks who pay closer attention to the Conservation District than I do.  I feel comfortable casting votes for them both.


thanks so much for this post!

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