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Vene named Association of Minnesota counties president

BEMIDJI – Beltrami County Commissioner Joe Vene was elected president of the Association of Minnesota Counties Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” Vene said in a phone interview. “I’ve said often that the jurisdictional boundaries that are drawn for us may identify us, but they don’t necessarily define us.”

“We have to figure out better ways to serve our constituents,” he added.

Vene is currently serving as AMC’s first vice president. Carver County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik is currently the organization’s president.  

AMC is a non-partisan organization that works with the legislature on issues affecting Minnesota’s 87 counties.

According to a job description on the organization’s website, the AMC president is expected to represent the association at national meetings of county officials. The association’s president serves a one-year term.

Vene was first elected to the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners in 2004.

Vene said one of the things he wants to work on is “parity” between rural and urban counties in areas like transportation.

“If I come from a rural county base, I want to be sure that we’re paying attention to our rural issues, while we’re listening to our urban partners to see what their needs are,” Vene said.