For county governments, work is often invisible
Victoria Reinhardt has served on the Ramsey County Board for 20 years. During every campaign season, she’s been asked the same question over and over.
“When I went to the doors in ’96 when I was running, the most commonly asked question was: ‘What does a county commissioner do?’ ” Reinhardt said. “In 2016, the most commonly asked question is, ‘What does a county commissioner do?’ ”
Falling between city councils and the Legislature, nonpartisan county boards are a powerful layer of local government — managing multimillion dollar budgets, levying taxes and making decisions about social services, transportation, land use and public safety — but their work is often invisible to the communities they serve.