Election 2020: Weyer looks to bring commonsense approach to District 2 seat
Weyer is up against Brian Hagen, of Verndale, for the District 2 spot. Commissioner Jim Hofer is not running for re-election.
With a background in working with his hands in and around Wadena County, Michael Weyer, of rural Staples, said he understands the hard work of making a living here. He feels he brings common sense to managing funds as a board member of Thomastown Township. He looks to use his 29 years of experience on the township board to help him if he’s voted in as the next District 2 Wadena County Commissioner.
Weyer said he’s been a part of the township for so long because he never wanted to leave the township without someone that had an understanding about what has to happen. But he feels the township is now in a good place for him to step down if he is elected to the county board.
“I like to think you can run a county pretty much the same way you can run a township,” Weyer said. That being said he’s not going into this thinking he knows all the ins and outs of the job, but he is going forward with an open mind.
Weyer and Joy, his wife of nearly 36 years, have lived on their farm near Thomastown Covenant Church since 1991. You can recognize it by the large smiling face on the silo that stands over the farm. Joy works for Wadena County as the Elections Coordinator. The couple have four children, Jason, Megan, Tera and Renne, and now six grandchildren.
Weyer has worked in farming, as a Culligan man, running the saws at Wadena Saw Mill, spent 27 years at Morey’s Seafood in Motley and is currently in home remodeling work in the area. He likes to stay busy, but what he likes most about the county is -- the quiet.
“Out here not a lot has changed,” Weyer said of the area of Thomastown Township. And he likes it that way.
Wadena County struggles with bringing in enough revenue as the county doesn’t “have a lot of luxury assets” such as lakes and resorts, he said. He reasons that while the county needs revenue and needs to lessen the burden on the residents, he believes the county board must also consider the desires of the county residents to not undergo major change. He shared a common theme that comes up at the township level. Some people have moved to the area seeking some of that quiet. They also want some of the big city amenities, including tarred roads. Weyer said in some instances the tarred road is a good idea but he understands that there is a cost and some people want to keep their area as rural as possible. He calls it a tug-of-war-like battle.
“You want to make sure that the integrity of this township is within what the people of the township want. You don’t make friends sometimes,” Weyer said with a laugh.
While making tough decisions doesn’t always make everyone happy, Weyer said he is eager to hear from people and consider their thoughts.
“If I get a call, I answer it,” Weyer said. “That’s what I do.”
In another comparison between his township and the county, Weyer said there are ways to manage money better. He said in the last nine years, Thomastown Township has only increased the levy once, and that was due to an increase for fire protection. Even during the harsh winter and spring of 1997, when crews were out plowing almost daily, he said they were able to handle the extra expenses thanks to careful use of reserves.
“We can honestly say that we have not burdened our township with things we don’t need,” Weyer said. “I think fiscally this township has been very responsible and I like to think that I can carry some of that into the county.”
Weyer said a part of why he decided to run right now is that he sees a lack of decision making in the current board at times. He said rather than handing decision making to a committee, he feels commissioners have the ability to do research, have discussion and make a decision as a board.
“I’m not afraid to approach somebody that I know isn’t favorable to what we’re thinking,” Weyer said. He said he tends to reason with people in an effort to hear their concerns.
“I like to think that I can serve District 2 with an open mind,” Weyer said.
In campaigning, Weyer said he has been telling people they matter and he wants everyone to get to know him. He is passionate about hunting, fishing and golf. He enjoys his current work of being a “fixer upper.”
Weyer has been on the Thomastown Township board for 29 years. He’s also served on the Wadena County zoning and adjustment board for two years and is on the Wadena County Association of Townships board.
Weyer is treasurer at Staples Assembly of God Church. He’s served in that role for about 10 years.