To the editor,

I was disappointed today at the Isanti County Courthouse, when I heard four out of five of our County Commissioners vote to end the election of our County Auditor/Treasurer in favor of simply appointing a person of their choice.

While we believed that we had competent County Commissioners in our county, those four County Commissioners could not seem to acknowledge the negatives of this decision---negatives presented by a large crowd of voters from our community today.

While three Commissioners claimed to have had an “equal” number of positive comments from constituents, not one of those voters attended the meeting today to explain their views.

The Commissioners said that this appointment was for efficiency, in case the person elected happened to NOT be qualified for the demands of the job.

Excuse me! If efficiency is our priority, then perhaps we need to replace a score of poorly-functioning elected officials with internal appointees. Obviously, if that were to happen, our government system would lose its needed checks and balances. The presence of public opinion would matter less, and the persons appointed would no longer feel free to express opposing ideas, since they would then be simply employees. 

Taken to an extreme, why not appoint everyone in public office for the sake of efficiency? But wait! This would no longer be America as we know it, but something vastly different from our present form of government. It would likely be efficient, but  no longer a free society.

Please note! The Minnesota legislature recently gave the County Commissioners authority to appoint, not only the Auditor/Treasurer, but also the Sheriff and the County Recorder instead of electing them. [See State Statute 375A.10]. Is this decision today just the first of several more? I sincerely hope not. We want to retain our rights to vote! 

Marilee Selin

Cambridge

(1) comment

Mike Bandfield

Is the current treasurer being ousted by this change? No. Was the current treasurer elected? Yes.

Is it concerning to think a sheriff could be appointed rather than elected? Sure. Is it also concerning that someone with no skills or experience could be elected a sheriff by popular vote? Definitely.

As it stands, I think this change is fine but should be monitored for potential abuse in the future.

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