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Sumner aims for County Board seat

Bill Sumner

NEWPORT — Longtime Newport City Council member Bill Sumner is seeking to fill a new seat in Stillwater.

Sumner, who is currently serving his third term on council, announced his candidacy May 15 for the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

A retired investigator and auditor for the Minnesota Department of Revenue, Sumner has lived in Newport for nearly 30 years. He's also spent the last two years serving on the Washington/ Ramsey Recycling and Energy Center Board.

Sumner said his experience on that board, the City Council and the Department of Revenue would help him as a county commissioner.

"It will be similar responsibilities on a much larger scale," he said.

Research has always been important to him when he approaches issues from the council, he said, and will be putting his efforts into continued solutions to water pollution in light of the settlement between the state of Minnesota and 3M Corp.

"Quality of water is so critical to development, as well as current residents safety," he said.

Sumner said one of his biggest concerns is fiscal responsibility, and that he's proud the City Council has been able to keep Newport taxes where they are.

"And I'm hoping to do that at the county," he said.

If elected county commissioner, he said he looks forward to working with individuals — as he has over the last 20 years volunteering for Stone Soup Thrift Shop in St. Paul Park — but also working with businesses.

District 4 includes Cottage Grove, Denmark Township, Grey Cloud Island Township, Newport, St. Paul Park and portions of Woodbury and Hastings.

Jack Lavold is currently the District 4 commissioner, being appointed in March after Karla Bigham was elected to the state Senate. Lavold has said he will not run for election to keep the seat.