Gage says he won’t seek another term on Ramsey County Commission

Mike Bellmore, Features Editor
Ramsey County Commission President Barry Gage, right, listens as Commissioner Joe Belford makes a point and Lonnie Olson sits in the background. In January Gage’s term as president was up and the commission elected Belford to the position.

There's going to be at least one new face on the Ramsey County Commission next year.

Barry Gage, who has served just one term on the commission, says he will not seek re-election.

He'll bow out right at the end of his first term, and cites an increasing workload at MDU as the reason.

“Shortly after I was elected, my workload nearly doubled at MDU,” he says.

“I basically go 120 miles in each direction and I just don't have the time to be on the Commission.”

Gage says he doesn't regret running for the spot or one minute of the time he has served.

He was a member during one of the most trying times in county history, and the continuous flooding problems were a big part of it.

“It was a great experience while it lasted and I certainly regret none of it, but right now my workload is just too much,” Gage added.

Gage said he wouldn't rule out maybe revisiting a bid for the County Commission after he retires.

But insists right now the workload he has is too great.

This summer, he says, is going to be extremely busy with road and dike work again on tap to deal with the ever rising levels of Devils Lake.

Right now some of the problems commissioners are concerned with are emergency responders, road work, pilot cars and other issues dealing with infrastructure.

One thing he points to with pride is the fact he never enrolled in the insurance program that is made available to commissioners, nor did he ever turn in an expense report to the county.

“I've always figured that's just part of the job,” he smiles. “But that's probably a discussion for another day.”