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Letter: Representative government is a fundamental principle ... and is lacking in Goodhue County

To the editor: 

The current Goodhue County Board has only four commissioners since the death of Commissioner Ron Allen who represented District 1. The board is now deadlocked on the appointment of an interim commissioner, leaving District 1 unrepresented.

The League of Women Voters Red Wing urges the board to appoint an interim commissioner to restore representative government to Goodhue County.

The League of Women Voters supports a transparent governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.

• Any governmental body has the responsibility to assess vacancies immediately to safeguard every citizen's right to representative government

• Not only are District 1 constituents without representation in the current situation, but all Goodhue County residents have lost a decision-maker at the meeting table.

• By taking no action/leadership to address this vacancy, a risky precedent is being set.

• With only four members available to attend County Board meetings, there is a potential for tie votes, as we have already seen in the appointment process. As a consequence, county business can't move forward.

"County commissioners are elected officials who oversee county activities and work to ensure that citizen concerns are met, federal and state requirements are fulfilled, and county operations run smoothly." (From the Duties of a County Commissioner, Association of Minnesota Counties publication.)

Representative government is a fundamental principle in this country. Our residents have been communicating their desire for an interim commissioner to represent them until the election is completed.

The County Board meets on June 18. LWV Red Wing will send position letters to the commissioners and will attend the meeting to urge the appointment of a commissioner to provide effective county government now. We encourage our fellow Goodhue County citizens to join us.

Tina Langton

Dee McGowan

Co-Presidents of LWV Red Wing.

League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government.

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