Marty Long is no stranger to politics. He’s been an elected official for 21 years, currently as a City Councilmember in North Oaks, where he’s resided with his family for 25 years, and as a board member for the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization (VLAWMO) and the department chair of the Lake Johanna Fire Department.

He’d like to bring his knowledge of this area’s special concerns and the relationships he’s built over the years with officials and legislators to the position of Ramsey County Commissioner for District 1. This seat is open due to the resignation in June of Blake Huffman. A special election will be held Nov. 5 to fill the office until the current term expires in 2020.

A special primary will be held Aug. 13 (absentee voting is now open), and the two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will be on the ballot for the Nov. 5 general election. Mr. Long is one of nine candidates vying for the seat.

Out of the seven districts in Ramsey County, District 1 has the largest square footage and the smallest population (District 1 encompasses Arden Hills, Gem Lake, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Township and parts of Mounds View, Spring Lake Park and Blaine). Mr. Long believes this unique situation is one that requires an understanding of roads, parks, transit and water resources—to name a few—in balance with a preparedness to “say no” when necessary to the powers that be. He believes North Oaks is not an island, and that actions in concert with sister cities and neighbors will be to everyone’s benefit. 

Mr. Long’s experience with the diesel range organics clean up at TCAAP (Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant) is a good example of his grasp of the particular concerns of our area’s environmental health. Back when there were no laws governing the safe disposal of chemicals, industrial waste was burned, dumped, and buried shallowly where it would eventually leach into the surrounding soil and water table. The plant is now a federal Superfund site, and well monitoring is in place for some local wells. Mr. Long’s work with the cleanup and remediation was an education in how a community’s ecosystem, once negatively impacted, can have ripple effects for residents and businesses for years to come.

Mr. Long’s roots in the community run deep. He graduated from St. John’s University in 1983 and has been the owner/operator of Minnesota Mulch and Soil since 1985. He and his wife, Denise, have three children and three grandchildren, who all reside in Minnesota. His time with the North Oaks City Council and liaison to the Planning Commission has been rewarding, and he sees the role as Commissioner as yet another opportunity to serve the community he loves.

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