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Weik: Analytical approach needed on board

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In just two years as the District 5 representative to the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Lisa Weik believes she has found her calling.

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"I think my inner child is a county commissioner," said Weik, who first ran and won as a local Republican-endorsed candidate in 2008. The local Republicans did not endorse a candidate this time around. "I really do believe I was born to do this job."

It's a job Weik entered after a career in medical device research and health care regulatory work. "Most of the challenges facing us at the county, state and federal level are science-based or will need science-based solutions." Weik, 52, said.

One such issue Weik categorizes in that realm is protection of groundwater. After walking the district this spring and summer, Weik said residents told her drinking water and the water shed should be a top priority.

As commissioner Weik has served on a solid waste management coordinating board that has been working on development of a pharmaceuticals take-back program for counties that would minimize the amount of medicines being flushed into the water system.

"I've done the preliminary work on these issues and it's something, that based on my background, I am qualified to continue to help develop," Weik said.

One issue that has been of major interest during Weik's two years on the board is that of transit and the county's financial investment in the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB), which s funded by sales tax funds from counties around the metro. Weik publicly campaigned in the fall of 2008 on a call to repeal Washington County's quarter-cent sales tax increase the board approved earlier that spring. She said it became apparent pretty quickly when she joined the board that such a call for a repeal wouldn't have the support from her colleagues, so she instead has taken an analytical approach to become involved as an alternate representative to CTIB for the county board.

"We are now invested in this and it's important for us to make sure we are getting our money's worth," Weik said, adding that the county has seen greater returns in funds it receives from CTIB since it first enter ed into the agreement with five other metro counties in 2008.

Regarding the county budget, Weik said she has worked hard with current board members to achieve a zero percent increase to the preliminary property tax levy. She said during the budget process the county made sure to prepare for a potential loss in state aid that funds several of its mandated services.

She believes that the county will continue to face trying economic times and plans to advocate for flat or reduced spending through at least 2011.

"We have to focus on funding our core, essential services and prepare to go into commando mode while we ride out a tough economy," she said.

Lisa Weik

Age: 52

Residence: Woodbury

Family: Married, two adult children

Occupation: County commissioner

Relevant experience: Two-years experience on County Board; career in medical device and health care regulatory affairs; Woodbury Lions Club.

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