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Paynesville Press - January 21, 2004

Contested race again in Paynesville Township

By Michael Jacobson

The race for supervisor in Paynesville Township is one of two contested races for township office. Township filings closed on Tuesday, Jan. 13. Township elections will be held on Tuesday, March 9.

In Paynesville Township, incumbent supervisor Don Pietsch is being challenged by township resident David Kidd. The only other contested race in the Paynesville area, according to the official filings, is in Union Grove Township, where incumbent Robert Groshens is being challenged by Donald Kelm. (In Zion Township, Robert Hemmesch filed for supervisor, and incumbent Tim Wegner did not file for another term.)

Pietsch has served on the township board for six years, first winning election in 1998, beating John Atwood 148-101. He was re-elected in 2001, beating Ed McIntee 289-271. He has served as board chairman for four years.

Pietsch worked for the Litchfield School District as teacher, coach, and administrator for 38 years and he served on the Litchfield City Council for eight years. After years as a summer resident, he moved to Lake Koronis full time in 1989.

During his time on the board, Pietsch has been instrumental in starting curbside recycling in the township; in acquiring Old Lake Road from the county and rebuilding that road (with a trail); in completing the road project last summer along Breezewood Road, Crest Ridge Road, and NW Koronis Road (with a trail); in paying off the debt for the Koronis Civic Arena; and in writing a joint zoning ordinance with the county. He has supported the airport project and has supported the timely delivery of township services, including snowplowing.

Kidd, a crew leader in the maintenance department at the Gold 'n' Plump plant in Cold Spring, has lived in Stearns County all his life and moved to Paynesville Township five years ago. Like Pietsch, he lives on Briorwood Road by Lake Koronis. Kidd attended a township meeting this year to ask about snowmobiling on the new pedestrian trail on NW Koronis Road - a request that was denied by the board - and attending that meeting piqued his interest, he said.

Since then, he has attended several board meetings and he thinks there should be some changes in how the township operates.

He said he supports a five-member township board (a proposal for which a petition is circulating in the township to put the matter on the ballot in March) and supports being fair to all. He said he is against excessive spending and against unnecessary tax levies. For instance he is not sure that now is the right time for a pool project, especially a seasonal pool, though he said he would support bringing any pool project to a public vote, which the current board has said it would do.

Eden Lake Township:
Supervisor: *Jon Schauman;
Clerk: *Gerri Kadlec;

Irving Township:
Supervisor: *Harlow Olson;
Clerk: *Donel Williamson;

Lake Henry Township:
Supervisor: *Joel Roelike;
Clerk: *Ralph Klassen;

Manannah Township:
Supervisor: *Steve Kraushaar;
Clerk: *Agnes Schmitz;

Munson Township:
Supervisor: *Joe Willenbring;
Clerk: *Michelle Hemmesch;

Paynesville Township:
Supervisor: David Kidd and *Don Pietsch;
Clerk: *Don Wiese;

Roseville Township:
Supervisor: *Jim Schultz;
Clerk: *Patricia Fenske;

St. Martin Township:
Supervisor: *Kenny Utsch;
Clerk: *Don Rausch;

Union Grove Township:
Supervisor: *Robert Groshens and Donald Kelm;
Clerk: *Loren Pearson;

Zion Township:
Supervisor: Robert Hemmesch;
Clerk: *Carolyn Reeck.

*Denotes incumbent.

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