Colleen Millard becomes third vying for county board seat
Longtime Cottage Grove resident Colleen Millard decided that instead of sitting back and complaining about her disapproval of the county board's choices in budget cuts, she would "step up and do something about it," she said.
Millard is one of three candidates in the District 4 Washington County Board race facing incumbent Myra Peterson and challenger Autumn Lehrke.
"I think they're cutting the wrong areas like 4-H and the library hours," said Millard, a resident of Cottage Grove since 1981 who has four children and four grandchildren. "I'm a real proponent for activities for the kids outside of school and 4-H is a fantastic program."
Millard has grandchildren active in 4-H who raise pigs on her Cottage Grove hobby farm. She is a member of the League of Women Voters and St. Rita's Church.
She will have to learn more about how the various departments in the county operate before identifying specific cuts, she said, but her work experience tells her there are always ways to save money.
For example, when she worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, her office found a way to cut costs by using the office staff to help in the stockyards when livestock deliveries were made on the futures market instead of flying in out-of-town staff -- saving airfare, lodging and overtime costs.
In her current job as an office administrator for a downtown St. Paul law firm, she said she requires a letter from service contractors that promises they won't raise their prices more than a certain percentage each year, she said.
Other issues that concern Millard are chemical contamination of water, unfunded mandates from the state Legislature and Washington County getting its due from the .5 percent transit sales tax paid by five metro counties.
"We've got to make sure that Washington County gets their share of that money since the taxpayers are paying for it," she said.
The District 4 county commissioner race's three candidates will be whittled down to two based on the results of the primary election Aug. 10.