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Editorial: Support grassroots government

Rural residents have demonstrated numerous times in the recent past that when they rally behind or against an issue, they often win.

For example, the wind turbines stakes are especially intense in southern Minnesota — so much so that several developers have abandoned large projects as town boards vote "no." Goodhue County residents essentially accomplished the same thing a half-dozen or more years ago.

Last year, a proposed solar garden in Wacouta encountered a similar battle. The county advanced the concept but the township nixed it. Legal wranglings likely aren't over although they have grown quiet.

And let's not forget the zip rail battle. Local rural residents first killed a public concept for a bullet-style train from Twin Cities to Rochester, and then a private one.

The mining of silica sand surely will cycle back when oil prices shift and the demand for Bakken crude skyrockets.

Major issues surface quite frequently in the rural political world.

So why then are township elections generally quiet? Perhaps because the job can be thankless, but also because these contests involve neighbors and not polished politicians. For the most part, township supervisors, clerks and treasurers do their best to make democracy work in their own backyards.

We encourage rural voters to head to the polls on Tuesday, March 13. Vote for people on the ballot. Attend the annual meetings. Keep Minnesota's grassroots governments strong.

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