To the editor:
Sports fans, consider this: when your basketball team only has four players instead of five: you are going to lose.
Music lovers, try using only four lines on the musical staff instead of five: you are going to lose harmony.
Sports and music are organized around rules that make sense. So is government. Not making an appointment for half of Red Wing residents has left the Goodhue County Board one player short and without the sound judgement of five commissioners.
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Why does this matter? Well, when somebody tells you that they will be happy to represent you; but you'll never see their name on a ballot, the democracy bus just went off the road. Actually, without a representative for District 1, Goodhue County is only fourth-fifths of a democracy. As bizarre as this may seem, before the Civil War, slaves were still counted as three-fifths of a human being for representation, while currently in Goodhue County District 1, citizens count for zero.
When District 1 voters demanded rightful representation at two previous County Board meetings, two commissioners assured them that they would be happy to represent them from afar but were unable to provide them with the local representation that they needed. Jason Majerus and Barney Nesseth claimed it wasn't fair to make an appointment that could last for up to eight more months from now.
OPINIONS: Representative government is a fundamental principle ... and is lacking in Goodhue County | Interim role is about continuing Ron Allen's legacy with Goodhue County | Lack of representation already produces no-action tie votes
Why would anybody defend an empty seat instead of protecting the rights of the people in District 1 for representation? What's next, somebody decides that home plate shouldn't have five sides because four is just as good?
To continue that baseball analogy, what isn't fair is that for the west half of Red Wing and all of Welch Township, the score is frozen at 4-0, and District 1 doesn't even have a batter in the game.
I am asking Goodhue County residents, and especially those from the District 1 to show up at the next County Board meeting to express their concerns and to seek action on their missing representation.
There is a public comment period on the County Board agenda at the County Government Building at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 18. You don't have to talk; but, you do need to show up. I think you need to see what your empty seat at the table looks like.
Right now, that seat is empty. It has no voice. It has no vote. It stands for nothing. It should be filled now. It is your right.
Paul Drotos represents Goodhue County District 5.