Andrew K Moller
For Hennepin County Commissioner District 5

Please vote for me in the August 9, 2016 Primary

Conservative Leadership for Hennepin County
Before I retired in 2008, my professional career was spent entirely in the private sector. In business, spending must be closely monitored and tough decisions on expenditures must be made. My private sector background will enable me to bring a fresh perspective to Hennepin County government. I believe it is the job of a Hennepin County Commissioner to challenge assumptions, ask questions, and make sure projects are scrutinized as much as possible. Hennepin County property taxes are high enough and can't continually be increased. In 2014, actual Hennepin County expenditures were $1.627 billion. For 2016, County expenditures are budgeted at $1.943 billion representing over a 19% increase in two years. Property taxes related to Hennepin County and the agencies it directly supports account for approximately 40% of a typical homeowner's property tax bill. Lower property taxes will put money back into family budgets and reduce the cost of living for middle class families. In addition, lower property taxes will help businesses create more jobs and improve our economy.

We have the money.  The problem is HOW MUCH we SPEND, and HOW we spend it.

Hennepin County is projected to have a staff of over 8,000 full time equivalents by the end of 2016. Since staff members are closer to the details of various expenditures, I will advocate for an incentive system that does a better job of rewarding employees for implementing cost saving ideas.

Public Safety
One of the most important roles of Hennepin County is Public Safety. The County's Public Safety program includes law enforcement which is provided by the County Sheriff, adult and juvenile corrections, criminal prosecution and legal counsel for the indigent. In 2014, I distributed campaign literature to help re-elect Sheriff Stanek.

Human Services
In Minnesota, counties are typically charged with providing human services. These programs are necessary to protect children and vulnerable adults who may be elderly, disabled or mentally ill. These programs should be administered with a goal of promoting self-reliance to the extent possible.

Transportation/Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT)
Hennepin County is responsible for maintaining county roads and bridges. The County has developed a five-year Capital Improvement Plan which schedules numerous repair, replacement and reconstruction projects. These projects are necessary to maintain roads and bridges in good condition and expand commuter capacity.

The 2016 Minnesota legislature did not approve funding for $135 million of SWLRT costs. In the closing minutes of the 2016 legislative session, a bill which did not pass, was amended to allow Hennepin County to raise $135 million for SWLRT through levying new taxes. I am opposed to an increase in Hennepin County property or sales taxes to fund additional SWLRT costs.

My sense is that SWLRT will be built in some fashion as more than $100 million has already been spent on the $1.79 billion project. With the State of Minnesota not approving a $135 million contribution to SWLRT it is time to pause and reconsider aspects of the SWLRT project. The MNDOT Guideway Status Report dated November 2015 (MNDOT report) estimates that SWLRT operating costs and capital maintenance costs will be $18.9 million in excess of fares collected in the projected first full year of operation in 2021. These operating losses continue annually into the future.

If SWLRT is to proceed, common sense tells me the route should be shorter. The proposed Southwest Station in Eden Prairie (Highway 5/Highway 212 corridor) is already well served by buses operated by Southwest Transit. Ending the route at the Golden Triangle Station will save significant project cost and ending SWLRT at earlier proposed stations will lower the project cost even further. The MNDOT report indicates that the proposed alignment will include new or restructured local bus routes connecting stations to nearby residential and commercial and educational destinations. Using more buses and shuttle vans with a shorter SWLRT route is certainly less expensive than building the full proposed line and stations.

Maintain Hennepin County's Award Winning Public Library System
Hennepin County's library system has 41 library locations and a substantial online presence. Libraries are a resource that is available to all Hennepin County residents. Because I believe in the importance of the library system, I make an annual charitable contribution to support the Hennepin County Library system. However, just like all government services and agencies the budget of the library system should be monitored to make sure it does not expand beyond its intended purpose.

Term Limits
It is a privilege to be elected by voters to serve in public office. I strongly support term limits for Hennepin County Commissioners. Three four-year terms are enough for Commissioners to accomplish their objectives. Periodically electing new Commissioners who have varied backgrounds can lead to innovation and new approaches to creating a more efficient County government.

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Prepared and Paid for by Andrew K Moller Election Committee
PO Box 44910, Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Phone: 952-294-8057

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