To the editor:
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve read a number of letters to the editor regarding Pat Sawatzke. I understand that this is an election year, but the character assassinations in these letters are unfair and unwarranted. They certainly don’t represent the Pat Sawatzke that I have known and worked with over the last 20-plus years.
If you were to describe Pat as a person with strong convictions, a tough negotiator, hard- working, well-versed, fair, reasonable and consistent, I’d say “guilty as charged.” Pat is a proven leader who has been endorsed by his peers, which says a lot about his ability to govern effectively. He has worked tirelessly for all of Wright County, and has never been afraid to voice or defend his positions. To suggest that he and other commissioners have used their position to manipulate the budget process, as letters have claimed, is misguided and simply untrue.
It appears that Pat is being attacked because he fights to maintain a stringent budget. However, the county, city, schools and hospital need to understand that there are only so many tax dollars to go around and each entity needs to take responsibility to keep our levies as reasonable as possible. Many tough decisions have to be made while preparing the annual budget and we expect the commissioners to stretch our tax dollars as far as possible. I applaud the commissioners for their hard work and understanding during these difficult economic times. Mr. Sawatzke has helped to lead the charge to minimize tax increases at the county level and we are all better for it. I urge everyone to get out and vote Nov. 6.