9 more people file for area positions
Nine additional people filed for positions on the Albert Lea City Council, Freeborn County Board of Commissioners and District 27A representative seat as of Tuesday afternoon, the last day before the end of the filing period.
The following are the people who filed:
• John Severtson and Robert Rasmussen for the 5th Ward seat on the Albert Lea City Council
• Ronald Jacobsen and Brad Edwin for the 1st District seat on the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners
• John Forman and Steve Kluver for the 3rd District seat on the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners
• Ted Herman for the 5th District seat on the Freeborn County Board of Commissioners
• Joe Pacovsky and Thomas Martinez for District 27A representative
Severtson, 71, has lived in Albert Lea his whole life except for when he was in the military.
A former Albert Lea City Council member from 1985 to 1989 and from 2005 to 2009, Severtson said he decided to run for office again after contentions with the Albert Lea Housing and Redevelopment Authority two years ago, and he and a few others were asked to step down from the board. He said he did not like how the city took control of the HRA after the departure of former Executive Director Jon Ford until a new director was hired.
He said he has always believed that the city has too many staff members in upper management. Instead of so many people on the high-end, he said more people are needed in lower jobs at the city garage, as an example. He said in the city’s history when Albert Lea was a “booming town” there were fewer people running it.
Severtson said he thinks residents need to have more input in what goes on at the city and that though he recognizes that there are many things the city has to do, he thinks things could be done more efficiently.
“We’re paying for a lot of stuff the majority of the citizens don’t get any return out of,” he said.
Severtson is retired from Enderes Tools and in recent years has been the leader of Albert Lea’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization.
He said he enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He said he has been on the ballot every two years except two since 1985. He has also previously run for Albert Lea mayor.
Edwin, 62, lives in Manchester Township north of Albert Lea, and said he has been thinking about running for office for several years.
“It seemed like this is the time with this situation we’ve had with the virus over the last three months,” Edwin said. “I think moving forward, it’s going to be really challenging for the county, and I think I have some skills that can help with that.”
Edwin has been in management his whole life and has run his own business — Credit Bureau of Albert Lea — since 2005. He said he has not only people skills and customer service skills but also accounting and budget skills, as well.
Edwin said he would like to see operations become more efficient at the county level and for the county to consider more partnerships when possible with the city of Albert Lea.
Though the coming years will be difficult, he said he thinks with the proper leadership and cooperation, the county can move forward without putting additional burden on the taxpayers in the county.
Edwin is a former Kiwanis member and served for at least 10 years on the Albert Lea Salvation Army Advisory Board. He also was a Manchester firefighter for nearly 20 years.
He and his wife, Vickie, have been married for 45 years and have three daughters and two grandchildren.
Forman, 72, has lived in Albert Lea since 1960 and said he had thought about running previously for the District 3 seat when he heard the possibility of Commissioner Jim Nelson retiring. At that time, he said he thought he might be too old and not have enough time, but now that things in his life have slowed down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has more time for the position.
Forman was one of the original investors of Alamco Wood Products and worked his way up to CEO. He said he managed the sale of that corporation to Bell Lumber and Pole, and then managed the company for about five years after the purchase until his retirement six years ago.
Looking ahead to the next few years, Forman said he is closely watching what happens with Freeborn County’s numbers for the U.S. Census and how those results will affect the county’s position.
He said he has always supported area lakes and hopes to promote Freeborn County as a good place to do business.
“I know that after this COVID, there are going to be a lot of small businesses that are going to need what help they can get,” Forman said.
He said he supported the county’s decision to designate $150,000 from funds from the Freeborn Wind Farm to a program to help small businesses hurting from COVID-19.
He said he is also in favor of alternative energy and hopes these projects will continue in the county and help diversify the economy.
Forman is a part of the Albert Lea Knights of Columbus, Albert Lea Rotary and the Fountain Lake Investment Group and is a trustee of St. Theodore Catholic Church.
He and his wife, Lioba, have been married for 48 years and have three children and five grandchildren.
Look for more information about Rasmussen, Jacobsen, Herman, Kluver, Pacovsky and Martinez in the coming days on www.albertleatribune.com.