Lyon County Commisioner Sanow wins state award
Lyon County Commissioner Charlie Sanow was honored with a “Friend of Transit” award at the Minnesota Public Transit Association conference on October 9.
Sanow was nominated for the award by staff in the Community Transit program at United Community Action Partnership (UCAP). He was the only person in the state to receive the honor this year.
“It is so rare to have a county commissioner who not only supports public transit, but speaks on its behalf,” said UCAP Transportation Director Cathleen Amick.
“We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to publicly tell him how much we appreciate him.”
Sanow has been involved in transit for over 25 years, serving on the local transit advisory committee for over a decade, and giving rural transit a voice in many transportation committees and transportation planning meetings.
“Commissioner Sanow has volunteered countless hours to his community and to the State of Minnesota on behalf of Greater Minnesota transit systems,” Amick said.
He served as an elected official on the Five-Year Transit System Plan Project Advisory Committee and the Association of Minnesota Counties Transportation Committee to make sure that rural transit systems across the state were not forgotten in transportation funding.
But Amick said his participation on committees is not what makes him stand out.
“In a rural area where we often find ourselves justifying the need for transportation service, Charlie understands that transportation is a means for everyone to access services and promote strong businesses.”
Sanow’s leadership, Amick said, “has helped the southwest corner of Minnesota to come together as a region and do many things that no one thought an area as small as ours could accomplish.”
Sanow reiterated the need to work together in when he accepted the award. “If everyone does a little, we can accomplish a lot,” he said.
Southwest Minnesota has a growing variety of transportation options, including in-town routes, and county-wide flex routes, volunteer drivers and vehicles for seniors and people with disabilities.
Most recently, it was Sanow's voice that helped secure funding to begin a flex route between Tracy and Marshall.
“This kind of continued growth is only possible with the support of Charlie and others like him,” Amick said.
“We are excited that he was given the award, and so grateful for his continued leadership.”