Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hill County Commissioner Race

I received my ballot in the mail today so it’s time to make some decisions about who are the best candidates. I also received the following from Hill County Commissioner District 2 candidate Jeff LaVoi. Sadly I didn’t receive any information about his opponent Jim Catt but I will review the information on his campaign advertisements after the information from LaVoi

My name is Jeff LaVoi and I am a candidate for Hill County Commissioner, Dist 2.
I am running as an independent candidate, not because I have anything against either party, but simply because I believe, on the county level, a candidate should be chosen by their qualifications rather than party affiliation only.

Name: Jeff LaVoi
Born: Fosston, Minnesota 1945
Background: Raised on small diversified farm
High School: 1963 graduate of Fosston High School
Military: Served 4 years in United States Navy 1964-1967
College: Graduate of University of Minnesota,Crookston, Ag Business Major
Family: Wife Kathy(a histologist at NMH), Seven children, Heidi, Mark, Renee, Bobbi Jo, John, Sarah, Kurt. Five Grandchildren, one Great Grandchild (Nest is now empty)
Religion: Have personal relationship with Jesus Christ, teach adult Sunday School class at Church of God in Big Sandy. Was on board of KXEI, our Christian Radio station, when it went on the air 25 years ago.
Career: 42 Years in Farm Equipment Business. 30 of those years as Partner/Gen. Manager of John Deere dealerships, starting in Crookston, Minn. as small minority ownership and manager. In 1981 the opportunity came to be full partner and manager of Havre Implement and in 1986, my partner and I purchased the dealer ship in Grand Forks, N.D. I retired at the end of 1997 and purchased a small ranch in the Bears Paw Mts.(A childhood dream). Sitting around with little to do is not my style so I took a job as salesman for Moodie Implement, who now owned the store in Havre. The past 11 years have been spent at this job and still going.
Summation: Understanding the workings of a business, budgets, payrolls, employee relationships. benefits, taxes, growth opportunities, to name a few, will be a great benefit as Commissioner.
Dealing with economic problems, such as rising expenses, interest rates, government regulations, and the forces of nature such as drought or floods, have all been experienced plus more. You learn out of necessity to be a problem solver.

I believe one of the greatest things I've learned over the past 42 years is how to deal with people. You meet many different personalities. Learning how to listen, diffusing volatile situations, solving problems, genuinely caring, are all very important. After all "No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care".

Our County is facing some difficult situations. Annexation, a drop in gas/oil exploration, are just a couple of ways county revenue will decrease. There are a number of lawsuits, some still pending, that always cause problems and expense. I do believe there have been some shortcuts taken , and perhaps some individual rights abused that have brought on these lawsuits. There has also been conflict between the City Of Havre and Hill County. We need qualified leadership to work out these areas of conflict and avoid them in the future. Hill County has a great deal to offer and if we all work together we can not only survive but thrive. I would like as your next County Commissioner to be a part of our future success.

Jeff LaVoi

Now for his opponent, Jim Catt.  What is there really to say?

Jim’s campaign literatures main theme is that he will be “Connecting resources to needs” whatever that may mean and his ads in the paper say he will focus on “Reconnecting with all people, towns and cities in Hill County” Jim’s radio ad claims that he has over 25 years experience in county government and that he has business experience.  Jim also stated during the primary forum that he wants to "partner" with RockyBoy to try and obtain some grants for the county.

From what I can ascertain Jim is indeed a very nice man and is always willing to help a friend in need. I don’t think there are allot of folks that don’t like the man. He is friendly, outgoing, and a rather pleasant person to be around but I think his “experience” claims are relatively fictitious.

In reality Jim’s county government “experience” has been serving on the county planning board that meets once per month for an hour or so. From what I can find out about Jim he worked for the railroad until he suffered a disabling back injury and received a settlement from the railroad. Shortly after his settlement he had a miraculous recovery and started doing landscaping and pouring concrete driveways and sidewalks around town which is what he says is his business experience

If you were to look up these two candidates campaign reports you will also see that Jim is nearly 100% personally financed. I will say that he is putting his money where his mouth is as he is apparently paying for all his campaign expenses himself or does he have a rich uncle someplace?

Since Jim chose not to send us any additional information there isn’t much else to say. It is obvious to me that Lavoi is the better choice in this race. I like the fact that he refuses to align himself with either party and is running as an Independent not beholding to any political apparatus in this town.  Considering that the paper reported just this week that the county budget runs in excess of 5 million dollars per year and they are having budget problems to the point of even having to look at laying off county employees we can’t afford to vote for anyone other than a person with a strong successful business background


  1. I am going to vote for Lavoi. I like his being independent and I also think someone in the courthouse needs to be something other than a Democrat so they can’t all keep getting together and hiding what is really going on from the public.

    I agree with a few of your points about Lavoi’s superior business/work experiences and ethics also

    AND>>>>>>>>> To answer your question, Jim may not have a rich uncle but isn’t his aunt Darlene Sharp the 47 million dollar lottery winner? Glad you asked that question as I would have never thought to look at his campaign funding report otherwise.

  2. I too am going to cast my vote for Lavoi, he strongly feels that the Commissioner's job should be non-partison he is about doing the right thing for the county. As my personal experiences are with him he has a good work ethic, he listens well and most of all chooses his words carefully to research the subject at hand. We need representation from someone that lives in the country, drives country roads all the time, and has a lot of business sense with budgets and finance. I truely believe he would work well with Bessette and Wendland and be the right fit for Hill county. He is the better choice of the candidates, I am concerned if Catt were to be elected what his disability would expose the taxpayers to. I agree he is a nice man, but we have a better choice this time around.

  3. I noticed Mr. Catt’s health improved dramatically once his BN Lotto check cleared. It was a miracle.

    Who will be laying on the hands and healing the future masses of injured railroaders now that Oral Roberts is dead?

  4. Mr. Lavoi looks like a well rounded individual with the traits the job needs. I believe he can make it even though he is not part of the establishment. I kind of like his independence.

  5. I have already voted for Jeff Lavoi. Catt says he has served the county for over 25 years but I wanted someone that has never been involved with the county and knows nothing about the Courthouse step liability still facing the commissioners this next year. This front step financial black hole has been sucking up our tax dollars for over 10 years now and the three present commissioners are still talking about tearing them out and redoing the job yet another time. The courthouse needs a fresh new outlook on this mess not to mention their financial troubles.

  6. got anything to post besides politics? I already know whos going to lose..... the american public.

  7. Lavoi is running independent as I think all county and city elected official's should.They have serve both party's. I think the county attorney and the sheriff are 2 offices that should be mandatory independent.