By Louise Oleson
Journal Managing Editor
Randy Schemionek says he thinks he can bring a “common sense” approach to the Ramsey County Commission, so he’s thrown his hat into the ring to run for commissioner.
Schemionek is a lifelong resident of Ramsey County, a 1977 graduate from Devils Lake High School and has a two-year degree from Lake Region state College.
He’s married to Julie and they have three grown children. They are 29, 27 and the baby is 19 years old and a student at NDSU.
His interest in serving on the commission goes back to two years ago and the battle his wife and Tammy Tollefson began with the commission to get the roads repaired and usable in their part of the county. “I watched them and observed the indecision of the commission. It was really frustrating,” Schemionek said.
Devils Lake flooding has steadily changed their farming operation. “I started out with about 2,000 acres and this year I think I harvested maybe 400 acres,” he said. The lake has taken the rest of the farm where they raise mostly corn and soybeans.
Although the lake has gone down about three feet this past year, he said, we are still at flood stage and that issue is not going away.
“I think I can bring a voice for farmers to the commission, most everyone who knows me knows I won’t remain silent when it comes to the important things. We have to work together as a commission but you can’t just rubber stamp everything either,” he said.
Schemionek says the social services situation is not going away, either, so it will have to be dealt with. The commission has struggled recently during the budget process with mandates from the state to raise the salaries of those working for the county social services up to industry standards meanwhile being able to give all county employees fair compensation as well as providing tax relief for taxpayers.
“I’ve watched them struggle with this and it’s not going to go away,” he said.
His work as the local sales rep for a wine and spirits distributor out of Fargo is an ideal situation for him to serve on the commission, “In fact they encourage it,” Schemionek says.
“My job gives me the flexibility to farm and it will continue to give me that flexibility to farm and to attend the meetings I need to attend,” he said.
He plans on being involved, committed to knowing what is going on around the county and available to those concerned with rural infrastructure and all the issues facing the Lake Region.
Page 2 of 2 - “I think it’s important to have a pro-active approach rather than just sit back and react,” he explained.
Things he sees as important issues to be addressed in the near future for the county include stabilizing the lake, compensation for inundated farmland, the encroaching oil business from the west, rural roads and infrastructure, the gravity flow outlet and housing needs in the county.
He says he is an organized person who is fairly good with numbers on the business end of things, has common sense and will be a voice for the people.
Having served on the board of trustees for the Elks and on the Devils Lake Youth Activities Board, he believes, helps give him the experience and contacts needed for public service.
When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, Schemionek hopes to win a seat on the Ramsey County Commission because he says he thinks he can make a difference.