Chairperson's State of the County Address

Jim Bier, 2019 Olmsted County Board Chair


On January 8, 2019, Commissioner Jim Bier was elected by the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners to serve as its 2019 Chairperson.  Commissioner Matt Flynn was elected as the Board's 2019 Vice Chairperson.  Please see the Chair's 2019 State of the County Remarks below:


I’d like to welcome everyone to the opening of the first meeting of 2019 of the Olmsted County Board. I’d like to first thank Sheila for her timeless work as the board chair in 2018 and extend my thanks to a job well done!

As I enter me 3rd stint as Board Chair, I would like to thank my colleagues for allowing me to lead this organization. It is one that I have been, and continue to be, extremely proud of. I would like to thank the constituents of District 5 for allowing me to represent them. It is a responsibility I take very seriously.

I’d like to open with a story I am sure you are all familiar with. It is the story of an old man walking along the beach after a storm. Many starfish were scattered along the beach, with no means of returning to the ocean. As a result, the starfish would perish on the shore. As the old man walked, he noticed a boy picking up starfish and throwing them back into the surf. He asked the boy “What are you doing? You cannot possibly hope to help all the starfish that are destined to die on the beach! What difference does it make?” The boy picked up a starfish, heaved it into the ocean and said, “Made a difference to that one!”
I had prepared some remarks for my chair’s report but discarded them after noting all of the turmoil that is in the world today. I cannot control what comes out of White House, the Congress, Our State Government, among other places. What I can control is my attitude and what happens locally.

I ask you as citizens of Olmsted County, to make a difference locally. I encourage you to remain cognizant of federal and state issues, but if you want to effect real meaning and change, do so locally. Go to a local Elementary school and read a book to some students that need a little extra.  Volunteer at Channel One.  If you have the means, donate a little extra to a local charitable organization. If you are an outdoors type person, take a child to Oxbow Park, or take them fishing. Get involved in local organizations such as Rotary. We all probably know a family that could use a little extra help, such as home cooked meals or a ride to an appointment. Instead of getting on the internet and shopping on Amazon, try mentoring someone in your field of expertise. What I am trying to say is, just like the boy on the shore, we can all make a difference to “That One” if we just make the effort. Everyone can and will make a difference if we can just make the effort.

Thank you for your attention and now let’s get to work!