Meet Commissioner Potter
I have lived in Wright County most of my adult life and I have seen the changes that have come along with the growth we’ve seen over the last several decades and the continued growth we’re seeing now that we need to prepare for.
Prior to joining the county board, I served in several capacities in the City of Albertville – including the park board, the city council and as mayor.
I worked for my father and in the construction business, then moved into real estate and then used my sales background from college to own and operate a liquor store, that eventually got squeezed on when the big liquor warehouses came into the area.
I didn’t look at this position as being a part-time supplement to my income or a retirement plan. I care about what happens to this county 10 or 20 years from now. I want the next group of commissioners that come in to have less problems than we did when we started and you have to take on a long-term vision to make that happen. I believe people elect officials to fix problems and try to make the future brighter – even if that means making tough decisions at times.
I’ve never been afraid to take on a big challenge, even if it was unpopular. None of us wanted to put in a 17 percent levy increase in 2018, but there had been significant problems that had had been pushed back for years and we needed to take a hard hit for one year and we did – to get the county back on track financially moving forward. It wasn’t that I wanted to be part of that, but it was something we had to do for our constituents to fix things in the long-term and stop kicking the can down the road.
My focus as a commissioner has centered on transportation and economic development. I’ve been very proud of the work I’ve done on the I-94 Corridor Coalition and the Highway 55 Corridor Coalition to get Wright County at the table instead of on the menu and, for the last two years, I have served as the chairman of the Association of Minnesota Counties Transportation Policy Board. As commissioners, we have changed our approach to budgeting to factor in the continued growth of the county and I want to improve the economic climate in the county so we don’t have 70 percent of our workforce migrating out of the county. We can’t micromanage. We need to have a long-term plan and vision that is consistent and sustainable.
Through all the ups and downs, my family has always given me the love and strength to keep moving forward – my wife, Heidi, my daughters Laura, Rachel and Amy and my granddaughter Annalena. They make the difficult times easier because of their love and support.
I know that a county commissioner can’t please everyone all the time and you need to make some difficult decisions, but anyone who knows me knows that I sincerely care about the people in my district and the people of the entire county. I work as hard as I can to make Wright County a better place for all of us.