Two Goodhue County commissioners on Monday night refused to appoint a replacement for the late Ron Allen. If people can't compel these men to change their minds by Tuesday's board meeting, 20% of county residents will have no representation on the County Board - potentially for more than nine months.
No voice when the proposed property tax levy must be certified to the state in September.
No voice when the budget is finalized in December.
No voice when big issues come up for a vote.
Jason Majerus and Barney Nesseth are misguided in their stated rationale: The board shouldn't appoint someone because that individual would have an edge in the special primary in November and special election in February.
So better that 9,200 people have no representative than one person have a slight advantage? Not terribly rational.
Appointments are a long-standing practice to help ensure that people have representation when elected people no longer can serve. Minnesota has laws to guide the practice.
Does an appointee have an advantage? Sometimes yes, as in the case of U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, who easily won election in November. Sometimes no, as in the case of Ralph Rauterkus, who lost his Red Wing City Council appointment in that same election.
Minnesota Statute 375 begins "Each county shall have a board of five commissioners." Every citizen deserves and, in fact, needs a county commissioner. We're one short. Goodhue County Board should appoint Allen's temporary replacement on Tuesday. The voters then can decide whether to make that permanent or elect someone else.