Leadership starts with first wordsSoaring high: The Prairie Island Indian Community has a newly revamped Tribal Council, duly elected and prepared to lead the community through what look to be two difficult years due to the economy.
By: R-E Editorial Board, The Republican Eagle
Soaring high: The Prairie Island Indian Community has a newly revamped Tribal Council, duly elected and prepared to lead the community through what look to be two difficult years due to the economy. The five members took their oaths of office Monday.
The council isn't really new, although it has a different president, vice president and secretary. In fact, the council has one new leader, Secretary Ed Buck; three incumbents, President Victoria Winfrey, Treasurer Johnny Johnson and Secretary-Treasurer Ron Johnson; and a fifth member, Vice President Alan Childs II, who wasn't an incumbent but has served in the past. That experience should help.
These individuals also bring a mix of strengths, interests and ideas, as any government body does. Based on their acceptance speeches urging tribal members to help them serve and touting better relationships with other entities, they also seem cognizant that they can't govern alone. That's a sign of good leadership.
Soaring high: Goodhue County commissioners could have taken 3 percent pay increases, but they didn't. We applaud them.
The move really is symbolic rather than substantive. After all, the five raises would have cost county taxpayers just over $3,000. Very few workers outside of government will receive pay hikes for 2010, however, so commissioners rightly stand with the people who elected them.
Soaring high: Red Wing’s sewer and water rates will go up in 2010. That’s unfortunate, especially for those facing ecnomic hardship. What’s fortunate and long overdue is having the increase indeed start next year and not come on the December utility bills mailed out in January.
This dubious past practice was especially unfair before the city switched to monthly billing. The bimonthly billing meant half the community’s property owners paid higher rates for both November and December – and they didn’t know it.
After citizen Don Martinson brought this unfair situation to light, several Red Wing City Council members made clear earlier this past year that this bookkeeping sleight of hand would end. Thankfully, it has.