Linda Flanders joined the Goodhue County Board in 2019 in a special election following the death of Commissioner Ron Allen. Flanders is currently serving as the district one commissioner and is on several committees, including the School Committee Advisory Task Force.
We spoke with Flanders about why she joined the board, what she hopes to accomplish, what she likes to do for fun and more.
What inspired you to join?
I feel time speeding up and changes coming quickly. The times have changed and so has the population. We are much more diverse now. To stay relevant and thrive, I believe we do have to look at things differently, come up with some creative responses and revise policies that no longer work for the times.
What do you hope to accomplish for the residents of Red Wing?
I hope I can be part of making Red Wing a thriving small town. I don’t like to see empty buildings downtown, nor recognizing that there are second stories that could become places to live rather than empty space. It is a complicated dilemma and does require several government agencies working together.
What is one particular topic/issue that you advocate for?
Broadband! This year has shown so clearly that high speed Internet is essential for so many reasons: remote work, telemedicine, meetings and education. This is an area that could leave so many people behind and prevent certain areas of the county from meeting today’s requirements.
What is one thing you like most about being on the board?
It is very interesting to recognize how complex government is when looked at as a whole. An idea, or change in one area, has either negative or positive effects on several departments. It’s challenging to learn all that, and also extremely educational.
What do you find difficult about your job?
Time. To understand all the issues and long-term effects of making decisions is quite a challenge.
What do you do outside of the county board?
I do work full time as well, as do some other Commissioners. I also occasionally teach Crisis Intervention skills and I like to learn, so I often take classes on topics I am interested in.