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Paynesville Press - June 19, 2002

County commissioner announces her retirement

By Michael Jacobson

After serving as a Stearns County Commissioner in the Third District for 14 years, Rose Arnold has announced that she will not seek another four-year term.

"Serving as a Stearns County Commissioner has been a tremendous experience," Arnold said. "I have loved and relished every minute of my public service. I have enjoyed meeting many wonderful people and representing their interests and needs on the county board."

"I have always spoken out for the constituents in the Third District and county residents as a whole and voiced my opinion for fair and equitable treatment for those needs," Arnold said.

Arnold's Third District included Eden Lake and Munson townships and the cities of Richmond, Cold Spring, Rockville, St. Joseph, and Kimball. It has been redrawn for the next election in November 2002.

Arnold served as chair of the county board during three of her terms in office. During her 14 years of service, the Quarry Park was established and the Lake Wobegon Trail came into existence.

She made commitments to sustaining the dairy industry, advocated for diverse agriculture economics, and supported host of other rural and transportation initiatives on either state or regional boards.

She was recognized for her leadership by being elected by her peers to serve as President of the Association of Minnesota Counties.

She takes pride in the fact that last year Stearns County was the lowest in per capita spending in all of Minnesota's 87 counties.

"Fourteen years ago, I campaigned for this job committed to doing everything I possibly could to positively affect the lives of all the people whom I've represented in the political process. What I will miss the most is my personal contact with many of you, not only through your letters, phone calls, and now e-mails, but also the very many one-on-one personal contacts," she said.

"I will also miss those county employees who work so tirelessly serving the residents of Stearns County. Throughout the years I have found that people were very caring, kind and respectful," she added.

Arnold said it is "time for another transition in my life. I have always believed life is a journey not a destination. My husband, Richard, has been retired for several years. He has always been by my side and supported me in any endeavor I chose. Now we would like to spend more time together with our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild."

Four of the five commissioners in Stearns County will be up for election in November, including the now open seat in the Third District, as well as Don Otte of Sauk Centre in the Fifth District. Otte, who has announced his intention to run again, represents the western half of Stearns County, including the city of Paynesville, Paynesville Township, Zion Township, and Lake Henry Township.

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