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Q&A with Washington County Commissioner District 1 challenger Edward Eigner

Edward Eigner

• Age: 71

• City of residence: Forest Lake

• Years lived in district: 17

• Education: B.S. University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

• Occupation: Operations manager

• Notable community and civic involvement: Present Forest Lake City Council member; past Forest Lake Planning Commission member; present Forest Lake Personnel Committee; present Forest Lake Fire Board; member of the VFW at American Legion

Why are you running for office in Washington County Commissioner District 1?

I am running because I would like to see the Washington County Board better represent the local districts. They are too supportive of going along with the status quo of the other agencies — the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), in particular. It is most important to me that the tax dollars collected from my district be used to promote projects which benefit the people from the district.

What are the biggest issues in the district you're running for?

One of the biggest issues facing our district is the proposed new bridge for Highway 97 to provide access to Interstate 35. Although the bridge is actually in Anoka County, the majority of the traffic comes out of Forest Lake or Washington County. MnDOT's current plan is to replace the bridge in kind. Building the same bridge would not address any of the traffic issues, which not only exist now but also for the traffic projections during the next 20 years. This would amount to a waste of hard-earned taxpayers' $23 million. We have a great opportunity for both county boards and MnDOT to work together and solve this problem.

I do not feel we are getting enough support from our existing Washington County Board to support a new bridge design which will solve present and future needs.

How do you plan to address these issues if elected?

I would be a powerful lobbyist for the needs of Washington County. I would actively seek out and join forces with surrounding communities in an effort to reach a mutual benefit for all concerned parties.

What differentiates you from the other candidates?

I will not show any favoritism toward any one community. I will be a strong voice who will be willing to stand up to the Met Council and MnDOT. I will fight to change the Met Council from appointed to elected positions. This would make them accountable to the electorate rather than the governor. We gave the voice back to the people in Forest Lake — together we can make it happen in Washington County.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

(651) 301-7883