Voters in Oakland and the northern portion of Summit are facing a familiar choice on the ballot for Douglas County’s 18th District.
Two years ago, they elected someone new to office for only the second time since 2005. Now the incumbent, Joseph Moen, is facing a challenge from the supervisor he defeated two years ago, Dan Corbin.
“I've been doing it for a while,” Corbin said. “I know how the County Board works. I know how town government works. I don't believe it's anything you can go to school for, but it's experience. I have a lot of experience in that area and I bring the experience.”
Moen says his experience stems from his professional career.
“I'm very budget-minded,” Moen said. “In my professional career, I maintain a budget within plus or minus 5%. I'm very detail-oriented. I have the ability to look outside of the box and the norms to find a solution to a problem.”
RELATED: About Daniel Corbin
RELATED: About Joseph Moen
During his short tenure on the board, Moen has taken on increasing responsibility, including appointments to the study group exploring ways to combat chronic wasting disease and the Administration Committee, which oversees county personnel and finances.
Countywide, Moen said the board has to ensure core services are adequately funded. After all, he said, the people of his district deserve to have infrastructure, such as roads, fixed. He said the county also needs to address issues affecting the Department of Health and Human Services like drug abuse because of its impact on the community.
Corbin said the No. 1 issue the county faces is the low Medicaid reimbursement rate that has resulted in a lack of options to address mental health and drug issues.
“It’s why people can’t go to Duluth to get help,” Corbin said. “I believe that is a huge, huge issue.”
However, he said road and broadband infrastructure in rural Douglas County also need to be priorities. They are significant needs for the 18th District, where roads wash out frequently during flooding and some in the community still have to rely on dial-up internet service as schools expect children to use computers to take courses.
“I think I am the one to vote for because I do pay attention to all those issues, and I believe I need to keep on top of them,” Corbin said. “I'll do that no matter if I am County Board Supervisor or not, but it makes it a lot easier to find out if I'm County Board Supervisor.”
Moen encouraged voters to look at the records of both candidates before deciding how to cast their ballot in the April 7 election.
Corbin pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of theft in a business setting in 2015. He was ordered to pay restitution to the Douglas County Tavern League after funds were discovered missing in 2013 from the SafeRide program after Corbin’s tenure as president. No criminal charges have been filed against Corbin since then.
Corbin, who owned Corbin's Bar, said the money was stolen from his business and he repaid the money, taking responsibility for the missing funds. He said he has since served as treasurer and secretary for other organizations he's been involved in and has never stolen from any of those organizations.
Moen has no criminal record, according to Minnesota and Wisconsin online court records.
“Just go and vote,” Moen said.