Anoka County Board
Restore prevailing wage
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 16, 2020
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
HAM LAKE — Seeking District 2’s seat on the Anoka County board, Noel Lutsey is making his first run for public office. “My career is built on connecting jobs and people and education and grants,” he says. “I have the connections and the experience needed.”
District 2 includes Bethel, East Bethel, part of Andover, Ham Lake, and part of Blaine.
Lutsey is running with the endorsement of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. His other labor endorsements include: AFSCME Council 5, Education Minnesota, Laborers District Council,
Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, and Minnesota Association of Professional Employees.
Lutsey works as director of training at Anoka Technical College, where he is a 10-year member and current steward of Local 1301 of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. He previously served the local as president for seven years and earlier as vice president.
Lutsey is an active community volunteer and “because I’m so active in so many organizations, I started paying attention to the county budget,” he relates. He became dismayed that Anoka County board meetings include no open forums at all for comments or questions.
“It wasn’t my lifelong dream to be a county commissioner,” he shares, but he decided “instead of just complaining, I should do something.”
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic slowdown, “leaders step up now,” he says. “I didn’t see that from my commissioner.”
“This board got rid of prevailing wages,” he notes. “We know how disastrous that is to the economy.” He adds: “we need to strive to getting it back.”
“We could do a lot better job with county employees,” Lutsey says. “Supporting employees is number one.” But that’s not happening. “We lose a lot of people through turnover” to other counties. That’s expensive. “We need to retain these employees,” he says.
“I’m working for your vote,” Lutsey wants to tell union members. “My door is always going to be open… I will fight for transparent and honest communication, a responsible budget that respects your tax dollars, and an economic plan that will grow jobs and our local economy.”