Tuesday night provided an opportunity for the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners to speak with local legislators – among them Rep. John Persell DFL-Bemidji.
It also provided this reporter the opportunity to hear some of the famed Persell-isms I’ve heard so much about. If the Andy Griffith show could be personified, Bemidji’s legislative representative may very well be that man.
Here are some of the gems that came through the phone’s speaker.
When discussing the status of several bills pushing for the construction of the Northern Minnesota Veterans Home:
“I don’t want to count our chickens before the hen lays her eggs.”
When discussing Gov. Mark Dayton’s expansion of the sales tax to include services purchased, Persell said perhaps the rate, currently 6.875 percent, shouldn’t be dropped as low as Dayton has proposed – 5.5 percent. This, Persell said, might be able to prevent the expansion.
“Well, maybe we go from 6.875 to 6 and not expand the base so far. That kind of makes sense to this old woodtick”
I have no idea why Persell would refer to himself as a woodtick, but none of the commissioners flinched at the statement. Any of you from the northwoods who can explain this are more than welcome to do so.
Toward the end of the conference call, which also included Rep. Roger Erickson DFL-Baudette, District 3 Commissioner Richard Anderson asked the legislators if there was anything they wanted to add. Persell fired back with a view of the Capitol that many northern Minnesotans can probably relate to.
“When it snows down here they really don’t know how to drive,” he said.
“Everyone has to clear the roads just to let the plows through, right?” Anderson replied.
“I don’t know but I’ve paid about $300 worth of parking tickets down here so, if you could help me out, I’d appreciate it.”