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Election 2008-District 11A: Dave Holman, IP

Please tell us about your background (family, occupation, experience, community involvement, etc.)

I am a first-generation American. Both of my parents were Swedish. I grew up on a 40-acre farm, so long ago that we had names for the cows. I was also a member of the high school FFA.

I am a retired educator with degrees beyond a masters, with areas of study that include English, social studies and media.

My employment history includes riding the back end of a pitchfork, airplane mechanic, working in a canning factory, teaching, safety instructor for an insurance company, and guardian ad litem.

My civic service includes work on a planning commission, school board and president of a local education association. I have been a board member of the DAC and served as chairman for two years. I also have been county chairman of a county political party.

Local governments are increasingly having to raise property taxes to balance their budgets while state aid, in many cases, is falling. What will you do about this situation?

Get the state aids back to where they should so we do not have to use bond issues for items that should be state funded.

What are your plans to boost agriculture, particularly with alternative energy initiatives putting added pressures on producers and land owners?

This is hard to answer. We do have a rural, agricultural economy. Change is coming and new ideas and crops will come into being.

K-12 education - What are your insights into where the state's education system is, where it is going and the challenges ahead?

Things need to change. The Minnesota Department of Education needs to set and enforce standards which includes funding to do the job. I will strive to get more control over the classroom to the classroom teacher. Make equal opportunities for all students, regardless of the size of the school and do this with state funding.

What other issues do you plan to make priorities if you are elected?

I will explore with others how we can keep our young people here, create jobs at a good job wage. We need to expand the experience for the young people through the tech school at Alexandria and at the University of Minnesota, Morris, which has a good national reputation.