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Bartels is solid choice for board

If the Pierce County Board had to name a replacement for the late Bill Gilles rather than let the people decide, then Ron Bartels was the obvious choice -- and not because no one else sought the post.

We contend that elections trump appointments, but acknowledge that District 14 still ends up with a quality supervisor. The Isabelle Township resident will represent the village of Bay City, Isabelle and Hartland Townships as well as parts of El Paso and Salem, until April 2010.

He has valuable experience. Voters have vetted him in the past, electing and re-electing him to the Isabelle Town Board. He served 14 years.

Citizens know what to expect. He also has the respect of fellow township officers, as shown by the petitions and letters of support for his candidacy.

Bartels also held a seat on the Red Wing Regional Airport Board for six years, one of those as chairman. The knowledge he gained and the relationships he built could be especially valuable because Pierce and Goodhue counties regularly do business together.

As governments seek more ways to collaborate and save money, local officials on both sides of the Mississippi River would do well to strengthen their ties. Bartels could be key to such an endeavor.